Emerging Governance

How to Make IP Work Better for Development in the Era of Innovation and Creativity?

17 December
13:30 - 15:00


TDS LIVE | How to Make IP Work Better for Development in the Era of Innovation and Creativity?

Session objectives 

In today’s globalised world, Intellectual Property (IP) is an integral part of the international trading system. The IP system is generally considered to promote innovation and technology transfer. However, its role in development has been a controversial matter particularly in terms of its impact on the ability of developing countries and least developed countries (LDCs) to pursue broader societal interests

One of the main pillars of the international IP system, the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (“TRIPS”), provides a framework to strengthen the global protection and enforcement of IP, with significant implications for developing and LDCs. Moreover, the proliferation of preferential trade agreements dealing has presented these countries with new challenges to innovation, creativity and dissemination of knowledge. Twenty years after the adoption of TRIPS, these challenges continue to persist. While emerging economies continue to play a role in shaping the future of the IP system, the role of Africa and of the developing world remains to be better explored.

In the above context, the panel discussion, jointly organised by Research and Information Systems for Developing Countries (RIS) and Pro Humano Genere, is structured around few key issues. The discussion attempts to explore ways forward to make the IP system work better for development. The discussion seeks to focus specifically on the following four issues:

  • The integration of developing countries, particularly LDCs in the international trading system: their role in shaping the future of the IP system;
  • Has the uniform minimum duration of patent protection of 20 years constituted a positive or detrimental factor to innovation and technology transfer and dissemination in the post TRIPS period?: Suggesting a way forward;
  • The role of copyright in access to knowledge to developing country with particular focus in the developing world;
  • Examination of related questions in the post-TRIPS period: recent trends in mega regional agreements.


  • President of the Board at Pro Humano Genere and partner at Corporación Legal EC
  • Director General, Research & Information System for Developing Countries
  • Chief, Technology and Innovation Report Series, Division on Technology and Logistics, UNCTAD
  • IP Expert, Former Executive Director, The Kenya Copyright Board