Intellectual Property and Sustainable Development
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Intellectual Property and Sustainable Development

Development Agendas in a Changing World

Edited by Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz and Pedro Roffe

This comprehensive book considers new and emerging IP issues from a development perspective, examining recent trends and developments in this area. Presenting an overview of the IP landscape in general, the contributing authors subsequently narrow their focus, providing wide-ranging case studies from countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America on topical issues in the current IP discourse. These include the impact of IP on the pharmaceutical sector, the protection of life forms and traditional knowledge, geographical indications, access to knowledge and public research institutes, and the role of competition policy. The challenges developing countries face in the TRIPS-Plus world are also explored in detail.
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Chapter 9: Genetic Use Restriction Technologies and Sustainable Development in Eastern and Southern Africa

Patricia Kameri-Mbote and James Otieno-Odek


Patricia Kameri-Mbote and James Otieno-Odek INTRODUCTION Many eastern and southern African (ESA) countries have had to revisit their intellectual property rights regimes in response to the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) of the World Trade Organization (WTO). This has coincided with the development of new technologies that necessitate changes in domestic laws for the protection of new inventions. The dearth of human and resource capacity in both intellectual property (IP) and emerging technologies has constrained the ability of these countries to consider and respond to the growing needs of their national development agendas. The ESA countries have therefore engaged in legislative changes at the domestic level purely as a legal requirement without analysing the impacts of the changes on the countries and the region as a whole. The protection of genetic use restriction technologies (GURTs) through intellectual property rights (IPRs) could, for example, have a significant impact on access to technology by farmers in the region. This has not, however, been explicitly addressed in the IP legislation. The ambivalence of this legislation to GURTs can, in some instances, be misinterpreted as support for IPRs’ protection of GURTS. This chapter looks at the interface between GURTs and IPRs on sustainable use of agro-biodiversity and food security. The research stems from a particular concern that IPRs will have a negative impact on agriculture, which is the largest source of employment and also a significant contributor to the economies of ESA countries. This chapter examines the role of IPRs...

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