Studies on Industrial Property
In the context of WIPO’s assistance to Member States, the WIPO Secretariat has commissioned a number of studies on aspects of public policy. Upon completion, these will be made available to Member States to help them to obtain information about the availability of choices involving IP standards and national strategies.
So far, the following areas for studies have been identified:
The management of IP assets by private-public partnerships (PPPs). Private-public partnerships (PPPs) have been recognized as a useful tool for addressing the lack of medicines for orphan diseases. This study aims to assess whether PPPs have been successful in managing IP and, if not, to identify the causes and possible solutions.
The relationship between IP law and antitrust law. The purpose of this study is to clarify the relationship between IP and potentially anti-competitive practices, with a view to preventing the abusive use of IP assets.
The extent to which developing countries have used TRIPS flexibilities as regards access to pharmaceutical products. This study aims to produce a factual survey of the different IP-related solutions that developing countries have resorted to in order to facilitate access to pharmaceutical products. Have developing countries adopted new and creative solutions so as to use IP in a flexible manner? If yes, could some of those solutions be communicated to other WIPO Members or are they country-specific?
The extent to which developing countries have used certification marks. The WIPO Secretariat has provided advice to developing country Member States on the adoption of rules concerning certification marks. Because the Paris Convention does not refer to certification marks (but rather to collective marks, which are a different institute), is it advisable to continue providing assistance in that regard? Have developing countries really used those marks? Are consumers in developing countries aware of their importance? Have they made their choices based on those marks? The study is expected to provide a factual survey that answers this sort of questions.
A number of additional studies is being considered. What is important to note is that those studies are not expected to have an academic nature. They have been designed to provide inputs for WIPO’s legislative assistance, so as to help identify new creative approaches to the use of IP as a strategic tool for economic development.
Meetings on flexibilities as regards access to pharmaceutical products
In 2006 the WIPO Secretariat started organizing regional and sub-regional fora on IP and access to pharmaceutical products. Those fora were designed to be strictly informal and thought-provoking. For that purpose, WIPO has invited representatives of the IP offices and of the Ministries of Health of a number of relevant countries to attend a three-day meeting in which they could share their views and their common experiences. In 2006, WIPO organized a forum in La Habana, Cuba, for Latin American Countries, and another in Amman, Jordan, for Arab countries.
In 2007, one additional forum took place in Muscat, Oman, in early April, with the participation of delegates representing the IP offices and the Ministries of Health of the six GCC countries, plus Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Morocco.