06 June 2007

Winds of Change at the WTO?

OK, this might not seem much, but the fact that it's being discussed at all is something of an achievement:

The proposal for a new five-paragraph Article 29bis to the WTO’s 1994 TRIPS agreement, aims at protecting biodiversity particularly found in developing countries by making it mandatory for patent applicants to reveal where they obtained the biological resources or traditional knowledge in question, and to ensure fair and equitable benefit-sharing of commercial uses, as well as legal requirements in the providing country for prior informed consent to access the resources.

Now we need to move further by turning the WTO into a forum not about protecting intellectual monopolies, but about balancing them with various kinds of intellectual commons.

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