Report warns of IPR damage to developing countries

September 16, 2002

Brussels, 13 Sep 2002

The commission on intellectual property rights has published a report stating that poverty reduction in developing countries will be hindered if intellectual property rights (IPR) are expanded without taking into account the individual circumstances of poor nations.

The IPR commission comprises experts in science, law, ethics and economics from both developed and developing countries. The group was set up in order to examine how IPR could work better for developing countries.

'Developed countries often proceed on the assumption that what is good for them is likely to be good for developing countries,' said John Barton from Stanford University and chair of the commission. 'But in the case of developing countries, more and stronger protection is not necessarily better.'

Recently, the use of patents has been encouraged as part of the process of globalisation, on the basis that they are essential if companies are to get back their investment in developing products. They have, however, also been criticised as a major obstacle to improvements in public health and food security in poor regions. People in developing countries could face higher prices for medicines and seeds.

The report argues that, rather than adopt a standard international form of intellectual property protection, developing countries need to draw up IP laws that promote more general development. They should also award more importance to reconciling their commercial self-interest with the need to reduce poverty in developing countries, it claims.

For further information:

The final report of the Commission on IP Rights

CORDIS RTD-NEWS/© European Communities, 2001

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns