Innovation policies and ecosystemsback to issues

Policy-makers are faced with the task of translating a wealth of information about innovation, trade, global supply chains, trends in technology, and other factors into laws and regulations. Below we provide business perspectives on what governments can do to support entrepreneurship, attract foreign technology partners, facilitate technology deployment and the diffusion of know-how, and reinforce domestic innovative capacity.

  • South Africa: Draft IP Policy Released

    The South African Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has released the "Draft IP Policy of the Republic of South Africa" (Phase 1). The South African IP Policy has been developed over several years, in consultation with a range of stakeholders and government agencies. It will be implemented in phases, with the first phase focused on select issues notably IP and public health and engagement in global IP policy forums. The IP Policy is expected to be published soon in the South African Government Gazette, at which point comments can be submitted within 60 days of publication.

  • WTO Report on Twenty Years of the ITA

    The WTO Information Technology Agreement (ITA) commits participants to eliminate tariffs on a wide range of IT products with an annual value of approximately USD 1.7 trillion. To mark the twentieth anniversary of the Agreement, the WTO has just released a new report about the ITA. The publication reviews how the ITA has evolved since it was agreed in 1996, discussing in particular its recent expansion involving new commitments by participants to eliminate tariffs on 201 products valued at over $1.3 trillion per year. 

  • Brazil: Women in Tech

    In this article for Americas Quarterly, Danielle Renwick reviews the low numbers of female participation in tech endeavors in Brazil. Ms. Renwick reports that while women account for 60 per cent of university students in Brazil, just 15 per cent of computer science students are female. She presents stereotypes and attitudes in Brazil - similar to those elsewhere, including Silicon Valley - that can hold women (especially women of color) back in relation to STEM studies and employment. The article reviews the range of public and private initiatives - including education centers, advocacy campaigns, and innovation challenges with cash prizes to support further development of promising ideas - that are aimed at expanding female participation in the tech sector, particularly in tech entrepreneurship. 

  • EU: Citizens' Attitudes Towards IP

    The EU IP Office (EUIPO) has updated its 2013 survey about European attitudes towards intellectual property. The findings of the EUIPO's extensive survey reveal that 97 per cent of Europeans believe that IP should be respected, and that inventors, creators, and performing artists need to be adequately remunerated for their work. The full report, entitled “European Citizens and Intellectual Property: Perception, Awareness and Behavior”, is based on over 26,000 interviews of people across all 28 EU member States about their perceptions of IP.



  • US "Compulsory Licenses"

    In this article L. Scott Burwell and Amanda Lutz explain why the denial of injunctive relief by US courts is not akin to the issuance of compulsory licenses (CL).  The authors note that while, post-eBay, injunctive relief against infringers is no longer a virtual certainty, the courts continue to regularly award injunctive relief to patentees practicing their invention against direct, active competitors.  The authors enumerate the distinctions between courts' denial of injunctive relief under certain circumstances, on the one hand, and government decisions to intervene to alter market dynamics by issuing CL, on the other hand.  They also review forms of government use other than CL that are available in the US, noting that some have never been used and all are constrained to use in narrow circumstances.  The authors examine the courts' assessments of the public interest, including the perceived public interest in IP protection. 

  • UN Commission Underlines Importance of Science, Tech, Innovation

    Following its twentieth meeting, in May 2017 in Geneva, the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development (a subsidiary body of ECOSOC) has affirmed the critical contribution of science, technology and innovation to development and improvements in human welfare. The Commission called for increased investments in these areas, along with redoubled efforts to build scientific and technical capacity in developing countries. The members of the Commission underscored in particular the transformative impact of ICTs and the need to create enabling conditions for e-commerce. And they noted the importance of collaboration among different types of stakeholders - including firms - in ensuring that technological advancement contributes to sustainable development. Private sector investments in R&D and commercial channels for technology diffusion are critical to not only ensuring that technology solutions exist and can be deployed where needed, but also to building local absorptive capacity. 

  • Updates from the WIPO TISC Program

    In 2009 WIPO membership requested that the organization establish platforms to enhance access to technical information for innovators in developing countries. Three years later, WIPO began establishing Technology and Innovation Support Centers (TISC) in order to help such innovators to more effectively access and use technical information, manage their IP rights, and exploit their innovative potential. Today there are 519 TISC worldwide. The TISC network provides opportunities for innovators to share experiences and also to engage with IP experts online, via "Ask the Experts" chats; ideally, the transcripts of these discussions will eventually be posted online so that the general public can benefit. Recently WIPO published information about the achievements of the TISC program in a TISC Annual Report that covers activities since 2009, with special emphasis on achievements during 2016. The TISC program will soon expand to India, where the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) and World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) have signed an agreement to establish Technology and Innovation Support Centres (TISC) in India

  • New ITIF Research: Joining WTO ITA Benefits Developing Countries

    To celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA), the WTO has organized an ITA Symposium in Geneva featuring speakers, panel discussions, and presentation of new research inluding a new paper from the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF) in Washington, D.C. that describes the benefits that would accrue to six develpoing countries were they to join the ITA. Building on an earlier (2012) ITIF paper on the same topic, the 2017 ITIF paper is written by Dr. Stephen Ezell and Dr.  Wu. The authors argue  that tariff liberalization under the ITA would spur increased use of ICT goods, which in turn would generate important productivity and economic growth while deepening enterprises’ participation in global value chains. Their analysis looks in particular at the impact of joining ITA (and ITA2) on Argentina, Cambodia, Chile, Kenya, Pakistan, and South Africa. Dr. Ezell and Dr. Wu conclude that joining these agreements would boost economic growth for each of these countries, and that tax revenues from new economic growth following accession would largely offset income loss from tariff elimination.

  • New Strategic Plan for WIPO Re:Search

    WIPO has released the strategic plan for the next five years for WIPO Re:Search, an initiative launched in 2011 to accelerate the development of diagnostics and treatments for neglected diseases, along with TB and malaria. WIPO Re:Search, which is implemented in partnership with BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH) in the United States, promotes innovation collaborations, knowledge and IP exchange, and capacity-building for researchers in developing countries. The new plan builds on earlier successes, for instance in relation to scientist training, while introducing a more targeted approach to building partnerships, focused on priority disease areas and targeted at efforts most likely to result in the development of new offerings. It also proposes new activities, such as the provision of support to improve IP management by research institutions in developing countries.

  • U.S. Supreme Court on Biologics Market Access

    Now that the Supreme Court has issued its decision in the case of Sandoz v. Amgen, relating to certain aspects of the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009, IP Watchdog has posted a series of reactions to the ruling. The posting first summarizes the outcome of the case then provides insights from experts in the industry as to its implications.