Five Decades of Intellectual Property and Global Development
WIPO Journal, Vol. 8, pp. 1-10, 2016
11 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2016 Last revised: 12 Jan 2017
Date Written: November 19, 2016
The 2016-2017 biennium marks the historical milestones of several major pro-development initiatives relating to intellectual property law and policy. These important milestones include the Intellectual Property Conference of Stockholm in 1967, the adoption of the Declaration on the Right to Development (UNDRD) in 1986 and the establishment of the WIPO Development Agenda in 2007.
On January 1, 2016, the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) also came into force. Adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2015, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development featured 17 SDGs and 169 targets. Prominently mentioned in Target 3.b of SDG 3 are the WTO TRIPS Agreement and the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health.
When all of these developments are taken together, the past five decades have seen the launch of a wide variety of pro-development initiatives relating to intellectual property law and policy. Written for a special issue on intellectual property and development, this article aims to take stock of these important yet diverse initiatives and to think ahead about the varied ways to harness our intellectual property system to better promote global development.
This article begins by looking back at the various contributions of the Stockholm Conference. The article then examines the present efforts to realize the SDGs in the intellectual property arena, bringing to the discussion insights drawn from the development of the UNDRD. This article concludes by offering four general observations that aim to advance the debate on intellectual property and global development.
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