Welcome to the home page of our Multilateral Matters series of blog posts written and curated by Adjunct Professor Wend Wendland.
Multilateral Matters believes that significant global policy challenges – existing, emerging and future – are best identified, discussed and resolved through multilateral coordination and collaboration.
The blog briefly analyzes multilateral processes, negotiations and developments related to intellectual property, development and public policy (“intellectual property” (IP) includes intangible assets such as innovations, creations, brands, data and confidential information).
Each blog post aims to explain – in an accessible, informal and conversational manner – an ongoing multilateral negotiation on an unresolved IP policy issue and why it matters.
What are the substantive issues at stake? What form do the negotiations take? Who participates in them? Which legal, political and process challenges might there be? What are the prospects for an agreed outcome?
And, which new issues are on the horizon that may require multilateral attention? What is the future of the intellectual property system as we know it today? Which emerging technological, commercial, societal and environmental developments are likely to disrupt current regulatory frameworks, institutions and business models related to the production, use and sharing of intangible assets?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and also here: @WendWendland
- Multilateral Matters #1: Achieving Positive Outcomes in International Intellectual Property Negotiations
- Multilateral Matters #2: Biopiracy on the high seas? Countries launch negotiation towards a new international legally binding instrument on marine genetic resources in areas beyond national jurisdiction (Part One)
- Multilateral Matters #3: Copyrighting Culture? Challenges and opportunities regarding the international protection of traditional cultural expressions.
- Multilateral Matters #4: Intellectual Property Norm-Building: Some Reflections on the Interplay between the National and International Dimensions
- Multilateral Matters #5: The Protection of Country Names and its Contribution to Development: A Brief Introduction to the Intellectual Property Issues
- Multilateral Matters #6: What Can African Countries Do To Make Sure They Have AffordableAccess to a COVID-19 Cure?
- Multilateral Matters #7: Intellectual Property Rights in the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA): Initial Observations
- Multilateral Matters #8: Intellectual Property and Indigenous Names, Words and Symbols: Getting it Right for Communities, Companies and Consumers
- Multilateral Matters # 9: The Marrakesh Treaty and the Accessible Books Consortium: What Lessons for Successful Intellectual Property Multilateralism?
- Multilateral Matters # 10: A Sea of Possibilities: Intellectual Property Considerations in the BBNJ Negotiations (Part Two)
- Multilateral Matters #11: “Consensus” in Multilateral Negotiations: What does it Mean and Does it Produce Effective, Wise and Durable Agreements?
- Multilateral Matters #12: COP 26 on Climate Change: Reflections on Technology and Intellectual Property Issues
- Multilateral Matters #13: What happened to the IP Waiver? Reflecting on the shortcomings of pro-access initiatives for COVID-19 healthcare
- Multilateral Matters # 14: WIPO Decides to Hold Two Diplomatic Conferences no later than 2024
Additional readings, relevant documents and new materials
On multilateralism and international organizations generally
John Gerard Ruggie, “Multilateralism: The Anatomy of an Institution”, International Organization, Vol 46, 3, Summer 1992, pp. 561-598
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
MM#2 Biopiracy on the High Seas? Negotiations on Marine Genetic Resources in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction
MM#3: Copyrighting Culture? Protection of Traditional Cultural Expressions
Kariuki, Francis, Notion of ‘Ownership’ in IP: Protection of Traditional Ecological Knowledge vis-a-vis Protection of TK and Cultural Expressions Act, 2016 of Kenya, Journal of Intellectual Property Rights, Vol 24, May-July 2019, pp 89-102
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 & Arts, 23, 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 USA, 47, 265
Hicks, L., & Holbein, J. (1997). Convergence of national intellectual property norms in international trading agreements. Am. UJ Int’l L. & Pol’y, 12, 769
Okediji, R. (2001). TRIPS Dispute Settlement and the Sources of (International) Copyright Law. J. Copyright Soc’y USA, 49, 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 #5: The Protection of Country Names and its Contribution to Development
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
“WHO Launches initiative for equitable access to COVID-19 tools”, SUNS #9109, 28 April 2020
“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
Multilateral Matters # 8
Multilateral Matters # 9: The Marrakesh Treaty and the Accessible Books Consortium: What Lessons for Successful Intellectual Property Multilateralism?
Multilateral Matters #11: “Consensus” in Multilateral Negotiations: What does it Mean and Does it Produce Effective, Wise and Durable Agreements?