18.05.15 - Why Does Intellectual Property Matter? Technologies for Development in Emerging Economies.

On April 29, 2015 CODEV organized its first EssentialTalk of the year. Ms. Anja von der Ropp, our guest speaker from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), talked about intellectual property and technologies for development in emerging economies.

The EssentialTalk attracted as many as 40 participants from diverse backgrounds and subjects, including EPFL engineers and scientists working on intellectual property, technology transfer and management, essential technologies for development, and information and communications technology, and students from computer science and electrical engineering.

Dr. Silvia Hostettler, Deputy Director of CODEV, introduced the talk’s topic and guest speaker, Ms. Anja von der Ropp. Ms. von der Ropp defined intellectual property (IP), presented main arguments for the development and use of IP systems and the elements of an effective IP system. She also explained the role of IP in innovation, access and technology transfer and development. She used examples from the clean technology field to illustrate the information provided. She also presented WIPO’s objectives and program.

The audience had the opportunity to ask many relevant questions. Some of these questions included:

  • What is the state of patents in developing countries and emerging economies? For example, how many countries in Africa or Southeast Asia have a patent system in place?
  • How is an effective patent system defined?
  • Are there regional agreements such as the European Patents allowing an inventor to file a patent valid for several countries in, for example, Africa?
  • What mechanisms exist for developing countries to ensure access to essential technologies (or drugs) despite patents pending?
  • What are the fundamental arguments why patents would be important for development?
  • Is there a proved link between a strong domestic IP system and domestic innovation and development in developing countries?

More detailed information on this talk can be found here.

Author:Marina CraccoSource:Cooperation