Thursday, October 4, 2007

Increased IP protection can have negative impact on Innovation and Knowledge Creation

Dr. Xuan Li, Lead Economist and Acting Coordinator, Innovation and Access to Knowledge, South Centre expressed her concerns on increasing standards of IP protection and the negative implications it can have on the process of innovation and knowledge creation. Dr. Li shared this view as a panelist on the "Review of progress in the implementation of the Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2001-2010" convened by the UNCTAD on 4 October.

Dr. Li cited clear examples from TRIPS and other regional agreements and emphasised that the boundaries and objectives of innovation policy must be very clear. This would have a tremendous impact, especially on the flexibilities which LDCs would enjoy and the implication on knowledge creation.

She recommended that public interest theory must be considered a priority. This means appropriate measures must be taken at the level of TRIPS, WIPO and the World Customs Organisation. At the national level it will require striking a balance on different policy issues, namely between IP and competition.

The Panel was organized by UNCTAD under its ongoing Trade and Development Board Session.