An ad hoc group called the International Expert Group on Biotechnology, Innovation and Intellectual Property has released a report, “Toward a New Era of Intellectual Property: from Confrontation to Negotiation,” that is available at the website of The Innovation Partnership. It seems that the core movers behind the report come from McGill University’s Centre for Intellectual Property.
Unsurprisingly perhaps, the 40-page report, seven years in the making, calls for a reform of the IP system to return it to its root purpose of supporting innovation. An Executive Summary is available in PDF.
What strikes me is the number of organizations involved in this research and how they span the range from academic through private to government (the study was funded in part at least by the SSHRC). So far as I can tell, the International Expert Group on Biotechnology, Innovation and Intellectual Property was created for this project and will cease to exist now that the project is completed. This use of somewhat amorphous coalitions is, I suppose, emblematic of the problem of IP itself, where development requires the various participation of many institutions if only because of the fractioned nature of the patents involved. But for me things would have been clearer if there’d been a chart illustrating the nature and relationships of the various groups involved (rather than a list of the hundreds of individuals involved in one way or another).