From November 20th to 26th, 2021, IP Justice participated in the World Intellectual property Organization (WIPO) Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP)’s Twenty-Seventh Session.

The WIPO General Assembly established CDIP in 2008 to convene all WIPO member states, NGOs/IGOs, and observers such as IP Justice to discuss intellectual property (IP) transfer and address the IP rights imbalance between wealthy countries and the developing/least developed countries (LDCs).  Additionally, the Committee created a work program for implementing the 45 adopted Development Agenda recommendations from member countries. 

The adopted recommendations are listed in the following clusters: Cluster A: Technical Assistance and Capacity Building; Cluster B: Norm-setting, flexibilities, public policy, and public domain; Cluster C: Technology Transfer, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), and Access to Knowledge; Cluster D: Assessment, Evaluation and Impact Studies; Cluster E: Institutional Matters including Mandate and Governance and Cluster F: Other Issues. 

These recommendations are essential to ensuring that IP development in wealthy countries also benefits the developing nations and the least developed countries. Strong IP protection has to be balanced with the growth of the less developed countries in mind.  There has been a deeply rooted inequality in access to technology and a knowledge gap between the wealthy nations and the global south.  Putting developing and least-developed countries’ development in the IP protection equation will enhance the international economy and create a globally healthy environment for intellectual property rights.  Therefore, there is an urgent need to “integrate development dimensions into policymaking for intellectual property protection.”

This year’s CDIP discussed several key topics to promote, inter alia, the legal, commercial, cultural, and economical use of intellectual property in these countries.  The Committee discussed Intellectual Property Management and Transfer of Technology; Promoting the Effective Use of Intellectual Property in Developing Countries; Identifying and Using Inventions in the Public Domain; Empowering Small Businesses through IP; and most importantly, the role of IP in the Field of Green Technology and addressing the challenges in Green Innovation in Developing Countries.

The panelists and members states examined several case studies and focused on using IPR as an enabler for technology transfer.  The panelists also proposed creating different IP models at market diffusion, especially in supporting infrastructure and intermediaries, technology-sharing platforms, and standard licensing schemes to overcome information bias.  It is also critical to incentivizing businesses to reflect the sustainability impact of IPR to include IPR in sustainability reporting standards, in circular economy directives and design guidelines, in research and start-up funding.  Finally, the panel raises awareness of the sustainability impacts and benefits of different licensing and IP sharing models. 

IP Justice made a statement at the meeting and urged WIPO to continue prioritizing developing countries and least developed countries’ access to IP technology transfer in IP protection.  IP Justice also explicitly commented on the importance of Green Energy Equity and opening up training data for supporting the use of AI in building essential models to assist health diagnostics, wildfire mapping, food preservation, etc., in developing/least developed countries. 

If you wish to see the complete statement of IP Justice at WIPO CDIP’s 27th Session, please click here.