Is it Fair?
Edited by Justin Malbon and Charles Lawson
The European Patent Oﬃce recently released its report Scenarios for the Future addressing how intellectual property regimes might evolve by 2025 (European Patent Oﬃce 2007). While there seems little doubt that intellectual property is now entrenched as a policy instrument intended to promote creativity, invention and innovations that contribute to economic development, the form and content of how this should be attained remains contested. This edited collection enjoins the global intellectual property debate by oﬀering a range of perspectives about how the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) is and should be interpreted and implemented. Like the Scenarios for the Future report, the collection takes a broader view of TRIPS’ interpretation, recognising that to attain legitimacy and public trust and support TRIPS implementation must accommodate a broad spectrum of views and deliver real and meaningful economic developments to a wider global community. According to the European Patent Oﬃce Report, the patent system must accommodate multiple players and stakeholders from diﬀerent cultures and ‘with diﬀerent worldviews and aspirations who are working towards diﬀerent goals within a global environment’ (European Patent Oﬃce 2007, p. 11). The challenge, the Report notes, is to ﬁnd ways of meeting the speciﬁc developmental requirements of disparate nations at a global level, ‘because a system that blocks the access of poor people to essential drugs or food will eventually lose its credibility’ (European Patent Oﬃce 2007, p. 11). The Report also...