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WIPO Announces Life Sciences Symposia

by Ulrika Lomas, for LawAndTax-News.com, Brussels

30 August 2007


The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) announced on Thursday that it is organizing a series of symposia over the coming months at its Geneva headquarters, to clarify the intellectual property (IP) dimension in the life sciences.

The symposia will be addressed to a wide range of stakeholders, including international policymakers, government agencies, legislators, delegates, private sector and civil society actors.

The first life sciences symposium on bioethics will be held on Tuesday, September 4, 2007. It will cover a wide range of ethical questions that arise in the debate over biotech IP rights, including:

  • The ethical aspects of a life sciences technology as such (e.g. should research on embryonic stem cells or human cloning be permitted)?
  • The ethical aspects of a national authority granting exclusive IP rights over a technology (e.g. should patents be granted for DNA sequences or for genetically modified mammals)?
  • The ethical aspects of an individual, a firm or an institution choosing to seek exclusive IP rights over a technology (e.g. should a publicly funded agency patent its research results on a new vaccine production technique)?
  • The ethical aspects of how an IP right holder chooses to exercise its exclusive rights over a technology (e.g. should the holder of a patent over a basic research tool license it in a broad or restrictive way)?

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