Intellectual Property and Sustainable Development: Development Agendas in a Changing World

Date period
1 June 2010


In response to many requests, the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) is pleased to make available an information note which summarizes the key findings of its recent book “Intellectual Property and Sustainable Development: Development Agendas in a Changing World”, which was launched on 27th April 2010, at a side event during the last session of WIPO Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP).

The book, edited by Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz and Pedro Roffe, was inspired by the dialogues and events sponsored by ICTSD globally since 2001, many of which were held in collaboration with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in the context of their joint project on intellectual property rights and sustainable development.

It brings together a selected number of papers by recognized experts in the field of IP and development initially produced for these dialogues, as well as those authored by rising scholars and policy-makers. The book’s ability to unite a diverse range of voices on issues that occupy a central space in today’s global policy debates is part of what sets it apart as a unique contribution to this field.

From a development perspective, a number of new and emerging IP issues are examined in this book as well. Case studies and experiences from Africa, Asia, and Latin America analyse the impact of IP on the pharmaceutical sector, the protection of life forms and traditional knowledge, geographical indications, access to knowledge, and the role of competition policy. Challenges developing countries face in the TRIPS-plus world are also addressed. The experiences revealed, as well as cyclical attitudes toward IP, show that there is ultimately no universal model of IP protection.