Improved Patent Information Disclosure and Access for Incremental Innovation
Chapter 8: Improving developing countries’ capacity to utilise patent information for development
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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