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.

  • 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. 

  • WIPO SCP paper on TRIPS flexibilities

    In a paper prepared for the WIPO Standing Committee on the Law of Patents, law professors Pamela Andanda of South Africa and Andrew Christie from Australia consider constraints faced by developing countries and least developed countries seeking to enact IP rules that advance domestic policy objectives while also being compliant with international treaty obligations. The authors examine administrative and legal challenges, along with challenges related to lack of technical and manufacturing capacity that cannot be solved by setting aside patent rights. Having determined, based on their review, that "no meaningful empirical studies have been published to date that would allow credible conclusions to be drawn about the impact of constraints to the full use of patent flexibilities on access to affordable and especially essential medicines in developing countries and LDCs", the authors call for more work to be done in this area.



  • South Africa: Survey on IP Management and Tech Transfer of Public Research

    A group of public and private organizations has just released the results of the South African National Survey of IP Management and Technology Transfer at Publicly Funded Research Institutions, which relates to the years 2008 - 2014. The survey is one instrument the government is using to assess the performance of the South African National Innovation System. Following the 2009 IPR Act, which provided a unified framework for IP management and tech transfer of publicly funded research outcomes, NIPMO and partners continue to work to enhance the effectiveness of TTOs within the network of universities and public research institutes. The ultimate goal is to support the transformation of public research into offerings that improve the lives of South African citizens, while fostering public-private research collaborations and building absorptive capacity.  

  • US Supreme Court: Sale Exhausts Patent Rights

    The US Supreme Court has ruled in the Lexmark case (Impression Products, Inc. vs Lexmark International, Inc.) that the sale of a patented product exhausts all patent rights, domestically as well as internationally. This case is of particular relevance for innovators seeking to use patent laws to manage competition in secondary markets for patented offerings. Here is an overview of the ruling from IP Watchdog. 

  • Berlin Declaration by G20 Health Ministers

    For the first time, on May 19 - 20, 2017, the health ministers of the G20 countries met, under the G20 leadership of Germany. They agreed the Berlin Declaration, entitled "Together Today for a Healthy Tomorrow", which underscores the need for concerted action to address pressing global health challenges such as epidemics and anti-microbial resistance (AMR). The Declaration underlines the ministers' commitment to strengthening health systems, ensuring global support for WHO, fostering R&D preparedness including through new partnerships and approaches, improving health outcomes in difficult contexts such as conflicts, and providing leadership in ensuring the global health community can respond quickly and effectively to health crises.

  • Save the Date: Conference in Honor of Pedro Roffe

    The University of Minnesota Law School and the University of Geneva Law School will jointly sponsor a conference on June 15 in honor of Pedro Roffe, a longstanding and distinguished member of the Geneva IP and development community. IP Watch has posted a "save the date" announcement for this event, which will take place at the University of Geneva.   

  • Public versus Private Research Spending

    Farhad Manjoo has published an interesting piece in the New York Times about the impact of public versus private research spending, against a backdrop of likely cuts in US Government spending on scientific research under the current administration. He observes that, in the US context, it is technology giants rather than the Government that are investing in the research that will drive advancement in critical areas, notably AI. Unless the government vastly increases its own research investments in such technologies, he warns that it will be up to the private companies to decide how to deploy them. He notes that companies like Google are spending billions to develop AI solutions and to apply them across the economy to improve delivery of key services like transport and public health. And, according to annual reports, Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft are on track to collectively spend more than USD 60b this year on R&D, compared to the 2015 US Government research budget of USD 67b (for all nondefense-related scientific research).