TRIPS, Patents and Innovation: A Necessary Reappraisal?

Brief
Date period
15 July 2014

Implemented jointly by ICTSD and the World Economic Forum, the E15Initiative convenes world-class experts and institutions to generate strategic analysis and recommendations for government, business and civil society geared towards strengthening the global trade and investment system for sustainable development. The Expert Group on Innovation is co-convened with the Evian Group @IMD and IMD.

It examines the issue of patents and innovation in the light of both the TRIPS Agreement and the available evidence. After reviewing the raison d'être of the TRIPS Agreement, it focuses on what can be done within the confines of the WTO to ensure that patent protection stimulates innovation, and that the benefits are in balance with social costs. Towards this, it explores four alternatives to the status quo that would place innovation at the core of the TRIPS Agreement. The think piece concludes with recommendations that should be part of a long-term vision to promote innovation, but emphasizes that the discussion and research for this should begin today.