A Sustainable Development Agenda for the World Intellectual Property Organization: Networked Governance and Public–Private Partnerships
Bannerman, Sara. "A Sustainable Development Agenda for the World Intellectual Property Organization: Networked Governance and Public–Private Partnerships." Chapter 8 in The Cambridge Handbook of Public-Private Partnerships, Intellectual Property Governance, and Sustainable Development. Edited by Mar
19 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2019
Date Written: Sept 1, 2018
The adoption of the United Nation (UN)’s sustainable development goals (SDGs) in 2015 signals a way forward not only for the UN more broadly, but also for the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a UN agency. The SDGs offer a revised vision of development for the UN, and they also suggest that partnerships, including public-private partnerships (PPPs), will play a key role in meeting the SDG targets. This chapter considers WIPO’s use of PPPs through the lens of networked governance, and links it to current and on-going deliberations and initiatives on intellectual property (IP) and development efforts at the organization.
The first part of this chapter reviews the history of networked governance and PPPs at WIPO and asks whether, and how, public-private partnerships at WIPO can best be structured to work for sustainable development. The second part of this chapter evaluates the WIPO Development Agenda project entitled Specialized Databases’ Access and Support (Phase I and II) as a case study of PPPs, as they currently operate in WIPO. The chapter concludes that WIPO partnerships, to date, do not conform to participatory nor egalitarian ideals of networked governance. It argues that, if WIPO is to adopt a sustainable development agenda in which partnerships play a major role , consistent with the intent of the SDGs, it must adopt higher standards for public-private partnership governance.
Keywords: WIPO, intellectual property, sustainable development, SDGs, public-private partnerships, ppps
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