Symposium on Public Policy Patent Landscaping in the Life Sciences

Geneva, March 7, 2008

The fourth in a series of public symposia on intellectual property as it relates to the life sciences will take place on April 7 and 8, 2008 at the Geneva headquarters of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and will address how patent landscaping may be used within the life sciences for public policy purposes. The event is taking place within the context of a cooperation program between the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and WIPO on patent landscaping for policy makers.

The symposium will discuss how patent data and analyses of patenting trends can serve the interests of public policymakers. A key question is how to match patent information, tools and methodologies for analyzing patents with the information needs and current concerns of policymakers in the life sciences, in particular in relation to food and public health. Patent landscapes shed light on what is actually patented, where and by whom.

The Symposium will bring together experts from a wide range of backgrounds who will present and review patent landscaping projects on key food crops, the influenza virus and neglected diseases. They will analyze the use of patent data and patenting trends and will discuss how this information can best support public policymakers in their work. The event is expected to stimulate discussion on future directions for effective cooperation on public policy patent landscaping in the life sciences. 

The first day of the event will include a full peer review of the FAO-WIPO patent landscaping project and will consider ways in which public policy-makers may use patent information in the future. The second day of the Symposium will focus specifically on a review of WIPO supported public policy landscaping in other fields of the life sciences, with a particular emphasis on public health. 

WIPO’s Symposia on Life Sciences and Intellectual Property Policy aim to enhance understanding of topical issues of concern to policymakers by providing a forum for stakeholders (including international policymakers, government agencies, legislators, delegates, civil society and the private sector) to exchange information and ideas on intellectual property as it relates to the life sciences. They are designed to promote better understanding of the role and practical importance of the intellectual property system to the life sciences and its potential in supporting the development of public policy within this rapidly evolving field. 

Information on the full series of WIPO Life Sciences Symposia is available at The event is open to the general public and is free-of-charge. Anyone interested in attending the meeting is requested to complete the on-line registration form.

For more information, please contact the News and Media Division at WIPO:
  • Tel: (+41 22) 338 81 61 / 338 72 24
  • E-mail