30 November 2007

Trumping Intellectual Monopolies

Some misguided people seem to think that intellectual monopolies are "sacred" - probably because they insist on calling them "intellectual property", and property, as we all know, is totally sancrosant. But it seems that some are realising there may be higher imperatives - like saving the planet:

Intellectual property rules should be reshaped to ensure that they do not hinder developing countries from gaining access to technology considered vital for addressing climate change, the European Parliament has declared.

Members of the Parliament (MEPs) on 29 November approved a report that urges examination of the possibility of revising the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). TRIPS may need to be amended, the report suggests, in order to allow for the compulsory licensing of environmentally-friendly technology that is patented.

Amending TRIPS? Now there's an interesting idea.

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