4-Patents: Rockefeller Foundation promotes "IP policies fairer to poor people"
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TITLE: Rockefeller Foundation initiative to promote intellectual property
(IP) policies fairer to poor people
SOURCE: Rockefeller Foundation, USA
DATE: Nov 4, 2002
------------------ archive: http://www.gene.ch/genet.html ------------------
Rockefeller Foundation initiative to promote intellectual property (IP)
policies fairer to poor people
NEW YORK, November 4, 2002 - Recognizing that emerging international
intellectual property (IP) policies do not adequately reflect or respond to
the concerns of poor people and developing countries, the Rockefeller
Foundation (www.rockfound.org) has begun a multi-year initiative to support
the emergence of fairer, development-oriented IP policies. As part of this
new initiative the Foundation is launching this week a three-year series of
meetings at its international conference center in Northern Italy to focus
attention on neglected development perspectives on IP policy.
The Foundation will support the call for a more balanced international IP
policy framework by supporting initiatives to deepen analysis of the range
of possible IP policy options, demonstrate innovative practical approaches
to IP, build leadership among developing countries, NGOs and community
groups, and broadening participation in international IP policymaking.
Improving lives and livelihoods
"Through the work of our grantee organizations, the Foundation will pursue
IP policies that protect poor consumers against rising costs of vital
technologies," said Gordon Conway, president of the Rockefeller Foundation.
"Technologies, such as new drugs and improved seed varieties, are crucial
to combating disease, alleviating hunger and reducing poverty. But the poor
can only benefit from these technologies if they are affordable. This
depends on removing the restrictions imposed by current Intellectual
By working for IP policies that defend the sharing of knowledge,
information, and research among scientists, inventors, farmers, and
creators, Rockefeller Foundation grantees will help sustain a vital
precondition for innovation. A component of the work will target
marginalized constituencies, supporting efforts to protect poor rural
farmers, indigenous communities and developing-country scientists from
unauthorized or unfairly compensated use of their knowledge. The
Rockefeller Foundation hopes that its efforts will contribute to maximizing
the flexibility of developing countries to devise national IP policies that
advance their sustainable development objectives.
Fostering a pro-poor IP policy agenda
To complement its grantmaking efforts, the Rockefeller Foundation is also
launching a three-year series of consultations and workshops, the Bellagio
Series on Development and Intellectual Property Policy. The Bellagio Series
will provide a venue for developing country policymakers, scientists, and
civil society groups to share and critically examine neglected development-
oriented IP policy options, develop political strategies, and review
broader approaches to promoting development and innovation. By providing
opportunities for historically marginalized actors and promising new
entrants to engage in strategic discussion of IP policy (such as indigenous
peoples and emerging IP policy leaders from developing countries), the
Foundation'sstrategy is to strengthen and broaden the community of pro-
poor, development-oriented IP analysts, advocates and policymakers.
The Series will be convened at a newly-restored 17th century Capuchin
friary on the grounds of the Foundation'sBellagio Study and Conference
Center on Lake Como in Northern Italy. Held over several contiguous weeks,
each annual series will consist of several intersecting meetings, some
hosted by external organizations and some directly by the Foundation,
depending on strategic priorities, needs and policy opportunities. The
Bellagio IP Series is not designed to produce a specific, single report or
set of conclusions.
2002 Bellagio IP Series meetings
The 2002 Bellagio IP Series is the first installment in the three-year
series of meetings and will feature the following five core meetings.
Towards development-oriented IP Policy: Setting an Agenda for the Next Five
30 October-2 November.
This meeting gathers a group of approximately 20 leading development and IP
analysts and developing country government experts with the aim of
identifying policy recommendations and actions required in the next five
years to rebalance the current terms of international engagement on IP
policy. Organized by the International Center for Trade and Sustainable
Development and the UN Conference for Trade and Development
Empowering New IP Policy Leadership.
This meeting will draw together a group of leading organizations,
academics, and a group of emerging IP experts from developing countries to
help design a strategy for mentoring a next generation of public-interest
oriented IP policy leaders from developing countries. Organized by the
Queen Mary Intellectual Property Research Institute
Workshop on Technology Transfer for Human Development.
A small group of experts will meet to explore the relative importance of IP
policy within the broader scope of policy and capacity needs related to
technology transfer and development, and identify priorities and policy
options in the context of ongoing WTO discussions on technology transfer.
Organized by the Rockefeller Foundation
Collective Management of IP: Tackling the Anti-Commons.
This meeting will draw together experts with experience in alternative,
collective approaches to IP, such as the open source movement, "creative
commons", and IP pooling mechanisms, to explore the concepts, potentials
and problems of knowledge/technology trusts. Organized by the Rockefeller
Call of the Earth Circle: Indigenous Peoples' Dialogue on IP.
Launching an indigenous peoples network to articulate the varying
perspectives of indigenous peoples in international IP policy processes.
Organized by an Ad Hoc Steering Committee of Indigenous Peoples.
About the Rockefeller Foundation
The Rockefeller Foundation is a knowledge-based global foundation with a
commitment to enrich and sustain the lives and livelihoods of poor and
excluded people throughout the world. Through its grantmaking, an
important focus of the Foundation is to help broaden the benefits and
reduce the negative impacts of globalization for vulnerable communities.
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