World Intellectual Property Organization

Symposium on Intellectual Property and Life Sciences Regulation

organized by the World Intellectual Property Organization in cooperation with the Stockholm Network

November 16, 2007

Rapid evolution in the life sciences – in biomedical research, in agricultural biotechnology – has spurred two related trends, of relevance to policymakers: sharp increases in patenting activity, and strong public interest in ensuring appropriately rigorous regulation of new biotechnologies. And the interaction between intellectual property protection and regulatory mechanisms in the life sciences has itself become a concern for policymakers, from the point of view of innovation policy, public interest regulatory interventions, and trade and economic relations.

This symposium takes place within a series of policy symposia that are intended to identify and clarify the intellectual property dimension in the life sciences. They are addressed to a wide range of stakeholders, including international policymakers, government agencies, legislators, delegates, and civil society actors. The symposium offers an open forum for exchanging information and experiences in relation to the interaction between life sciences innovation and the intellectual property system. It is explicitly not aimed at assessing or influencing discussions in any other forum and will not produce any formal outcome.

The forms of interaction between IP and regulation of life sciences that will be surveyed include:

  • the IP dimension of protection of regulatory data,
  • exceptions to patent rights for regulatory processes
  • the grant of patent term extensions to compensate for regulatory requirements
  • the challenge of new technologies – biological pharmaceuticals
  • diverse approaches to linking patent protection with regulatory approval

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