Patents for Development

Patents for Development

Improved Patent Information Disclosure and Access for Incremental Innovation

Nefissa Chakroun

This book investigates whether it is possible to execute the disclosed technologies just by reading the patent application. Nefissa Chakroun argues that while TRIPS Agreement obliges inventors to disclose full and complete disclosure, patent information users lack the capacity to fully utilise such information for their economic development. The book offers a critical analysis of the disclosure requirements of the patent system as well as an in-depth examination of the ways in accessing and retrieving patent information. Chakroun articulates proposals for strengthening the disclosure and methods for enhancing retrieval and exploitation of the technological knowledge, including an integrated policy on how patent information could be better utilised for development

Chapter 8: Improving developing countries’ capacity to utilise patent information for development

Nefissa Chakroun

Subjects: development studies, law and development, law - academic, intellectual property law


While the main hypothesis of this book is premised on patent information users – particularly those in developing countries – lacking the capacity to exploit technologies contained in patent documents for their development, this chapter further makes the argument that technical assistance from international organisations in terms of developing the patent search infrastructure and related services might not suffice if developing countries do not develop their own users’ skills of retrieving and exploiting patent information. Adopted in 2007, the Development Agenda has radically transformed WIPO’s mandate and has impacted the whole international intellectual property system. Established ‘to promote the protection of intellectual property throughout the world’, for a long time WIPO has favoured ‘the upward harmonisation of intellectual property laws’ and their strict enforcement in both developed and developing countries alike. With the advent of the ‘New International Economic Order’ the maximalist approach adopted by WIPO has fundamentally changed in response to calls for compulsory transfer of technologies. Under these circumstances, the WIPO mission focuses on ‘promoting creative intellectual activity and facilitating the transfer of technology related to industrial property to the developing countries in order to accelerate economic, social and cultural development’. The recognition of this role has evolved to reach its most recent form as expressed in the current WIPO Development Agenda, whereby the organisation posits that strengthening intellectual property protection may not consistently enhance creativity, facilitate technology transfer and accelerate development.

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