Multilateral Matters

Welcome to the home page of our Multilateral Matters series of blog posts written by Adjunct Professor Wend Wendland.

The Multilateral Matters blog briefly analyzes international negotiations and developments related to intellectual property, innovation, development and public policy.

Each blog post aims to explain – in an accessible, informal and conversational manner – an ongoing multilateral negotiation on an unresolved policy issue and why it matters.

What are the substantive issues at stake? What form do the negotiations take? What process challenges might there be?

This page assembles all the blogs posted so far. It also provides a non-exhaustive selection of additional readings and new materials beyond those cited in each blog.

Feedback and comments may be sent to and also here: @WendWendland

Additional readings, relevant documents and new materials

On multilateralism and international organizations generally

Faizel Ismail, WTO Reform and the Crisis of Multilateralism – A Developing Country Perspective, South Centre, 2020

John Gerard Ruggie, “Multilateralism: The Anatomy of an Institution”, International Organization, Vol 46, 3, Summer 1992, pp. 561-598

David M. Malone and Rohinton P. Medhora “International Cooperation: Is the Multilateral System Helping”, CIGI Papers No. 218, June 2019

Barnett, M. and Finnemore, M., The Politics, Power and Pathologies of International Organizations, International Organization 53, 4, Autumn 1999, pp. 699-732

MM#1 Achieving Positive Outcomes in International IP Negotiations

Wend Wendland, ‘International Negotiations at WIPO on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions: Analysis of the Process So Far and Thoughts on Possible Future Directions’ (2018) 114 Intellectual Property Forum 31

Wend Wendland, “Protecting Indigenous Knowledge: A Personal Perspective on International Negotiations at WIPO”, WIPO Magazine, December 2019.

MM#2 Biopiracy on the High Seas? Negotiations on Marine Genetic Resources in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction

Bonfanti, A and Trevisanut, S “TRIPS on the High Seas: Intellectual Property Rights on Marine Genetic Resources”, 37 Brook.J. Int’l. (2011)

President’s Aid to Negotiations December 2018

MM#3: Copyrighting Culture? Protection of Traditional Cultural Expressions

Vezina, B., “Curbing Appropriation in the Fashion Industry”, CIGI Papers 213, April 2019

Frederiksson, Martin “Between Intellectual and Cultural Property: Myths of Authorship and Common Heritage in the Protection of Traditional Cultural Expressions”, Cultural Analysis, Vol 17, 2019

Osaretin Oriakhogba, Desmond, Empowering Rural Women Crafters . . .SALJ 2020-1

Musiza, Charlene, “Museums and Women’s Empowerment in Zambia”, IP Unit, UCT

MM#4: Intellectual Property Norm-Building: Some Reflections on the Interplay between the National and International Dimensions

Cheek, M. (2000). The limits of informal regulatory cooperation in international affairs: A review of the global intellectual property regime. Geo. Wash. Int’l L. Rev.33, 277

Dinwoodie, G. (1999). The integration of international and domestic intellectual property lawmaking. Colum.-Vla JL & Arts23, 307

Dinwoodie, G. (2001). The architecture of the international intellectual property system. Chi.-Kent L. Rev.77, 993

Dreyfuss, R. (2014). Intellectual Property, Lawmaking, Global Governance, and Emerging Economies. In Okediji, R., & Bagley, M. (Eds.), Patent Law in Global Perspective (pp. 53-84). Oxford University Press

Ginsburg, J. (2000). International copyright: from a bundle of national copyright laws to a supranational code. J. Copyright Soc’y USA47, 265

Hicks, L., & Holbein, J. (1997). Convergence of national intellectual property norms in international trading agreements. Am. UJ Int’l L. & Pol’y12, 769

Okediji, R. (2001). TRIPS Dispute Settlement and the Sources of (International) Copyright Law. J. Copyright Soc’y USA49, 585

Ruse-Khan, H. G. (2009). Time for a Paradigm Shift-Exploring Maximum Standards in International Intellectual Property Protection. Trade L. & Dev.1, 56

MM #6: What Can African Countries Do To Make Sure They Have Affordable Access to a COVID-19 Cure?

South Africa,  Intellectual Property and the Public Interest: Beyond Access to Medicines and Medical Technologies Towards a More Holistic Approach To TRIPS Flexibilities, submission to the TRIPS Council, July 17, 2020

Guide for the Granting of Compulsory Licenses and Government Use of Pharmaceutical Patents, South Centre, Research Paper 107, April 2020

Gurry, Francis, “Some Considerations on Intellectual Property, Innovation, Access and COVID-19”, April 25, 2020

“The COVID-19 Pandemic: R&D and Intellectual Property Management for Access to Diagnostics, Medicines and Vaccines”, South Centre, Policy Brief 73, April 2020

“WHO Launches initiative for equitable access to COVID-19 tools”, SUNS #9109, 28 April 2020

WHO, WIPO, WHO, “Promoting Access to Medical Technologies and Innovation – Intersections between Public Health, Intellectual Property and Trade”, 2013

Video remarks by Antonio Gutteres, UN Secretary General, April 24, 2020

“Uniting Behind A People’s Vaccine Against COVID-19”, May 14, 2020, letter signed by Presidents of Pakistan, South Africa and many others

“US stays away as world leaders agree action on Covid-19 vaccine”, The Guardian, April 24, 2020

Multilateral Matters #7: Intellectual Property Rights in the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA): Initial Observations

Nathalie Munyampenda, “Recalibrating innovation: science at the center of Africa’s development”, WIPO Magazine, December 2019