WIPO to Host Symposia on Life Sciences and IP

Geneva, August 30, 2007
MA/2007/31

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is organizing a series of symposia in the coming months, at its Geneva headquarters, to clarify the intellectual property (IP) dimension in the life sciences. The symposia are addressed to a wide range of stakeholders, including international policymakers, government agencies, legislators, delegates, private sector and civil society actors. 

The first life sciences symposium on bioethics will be held on Tuesday, September 4, 2007. It will cover a wide range of ethical questions that arise in the debate over biotech IP rights:

(i)         What are the ethical aspects of a life sciences technology as such (e.g. should research on embryonic stem cells or human cloning be permitted)?
(ii)        What are the ethical aspects of a national authority granting exclusive IP rights over a technology (e.g. should patents be granted for DNA sequences or for genetically modified mammals)?
(iii)       What are the ethical aspects of an individual, a firm or an institution choosing to seek exclusive IP rights over a technology (e.g. should a publicly funded agency patent its research results on a new vaccine production technique)?
(iv)       What are the ethical aspects of how an IP right holder chooses to exercise its exclusive rights over a technology (e.g. should the holder of a patent over a basic research tool license it in a broad or restrictive way)?

The program and information on the full series of the WIPO Life Sciences Symposia is available at https://www.wipo.int/patentscope/en/lifesciences/. The event is free of charge and open to the general public. Anyone interested in attending the meeting is requested to complete the on-line registration form at https://www.wipo.int/meetings/en/2007/lifesciences/sym_bioethics/registration.html.

For further information, please contact the Media Relations Section at WIPO:
  • Tel: (+41 22) 338 81 61 / 338 72 24
  • Fax: (+41 22) 338 81 40
  • E-mail