Data Commons for Food Security

 Posted by on August 1, 2017  1 Response »
Aug 012017

Jeremiah Baarbé, Meghan Blom, Jeremy de Beer
Proceedings of the 2017 IASC Conference
Open AIR Working Paper No. 7/17
Full text on SSRN

Executive Summary: Agricultural and nutritional data is an increasingly vital resource in the advancement and innovation of farmer organizations, food production, value chain development, and provision of services (Jellema, Meijninger, and Addison, 2015). Modern farmers rely on computational and precision agriculture to inform decisions. Datasets such as weather data, market price data, and agricultural inputs fuel these tools, which range from simple graphs to emerging artificial intelligence networks (GODAN, 2015). Access to and use of such data can play a key role in addressing global food insecurity by “enabling better decision making, transparency and innovation” (Open Data Charter, 2016). With this growing recognition however, is the understanding that ownership rights remain a major factor in the access to and use of data, distinct from yet, as important, as the availability of education, skills, technology, infrastructure, and finances (de Beer, 2016). Continue reading »


UCT IP Unit co-publishes IP, Innovation and Development paper authored by Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz et al.

 Posted by on July 25, 2017  Comments Off on UCT IP Unit co-publishes IP, Innovation and Development paper authored by Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz et al.
Jul 252017

[University of Cape Town IP Unit Press Release, Link] Together with two institutions in India and Brazil, UCT’s IP Unit has just co-published a paper with the title ‘Innovation, Intellectual Property and Development: A Better Set of Approaches for the 21st Century.’ The paper is authored by Dean Baker, Associate Professor Arjun Jayadev and Nobel Prize winner and former Chief Economist of the World Bank Professor Joseph E. Stiglitz. It is part of a series of arguments from AccessIBSA: Innovation & Access to Medicines in India, Brazil & South Africa, a project supported by the Shuttleworth Foundation.

In the paper’s introduction, the authors state that “[i]f the knowledge economy and the economy of ideas is to be a key part of the global economy and if static societies are to be transformed into ‘learning societies’ that are key for growth and development, there is a desperate need to rethink the current [intellectual property] regime and to allow for a much less restrictive flow of information and knowledge. Moreover, if we are considering questions of ethics, the current regime is deeply regressive and inefficient.” Continue reading »


A Comparative Analysis of the Secondary Liability of Online Service Providers

 Posted by on July 21, 2017  Comments Off on A Comparative Analysis of the Secondary Liability of Online Service Providers
Jul 212017

Author: Graeme Dinwoodie

Abstract: This Chapter analyzes the secondary liability of online service providers from a comparative perspective, drawing on national reports on the question submitted to the Annual Congress of the International Academy of Comparative Law. The Chapter highlights two different approaches to establishing the circumstances when an intermediary might be liable: a “positive” or “negative” definition of the scope of liability. The former flows from the standards for establishing liability; the latter grows out of the different safe harbour provisions that immunize intermediaries operating in particular ways, although there can obviously be connections between the standard for liability and the conditions for immunity. Continue reading »


Patent Nonuse: Are Patent Pools a Possible Solution?

 Posted by on July 17, 2017  Comments Off on Patent Nonuse: Are Patent Pools a Possible Solution?
Jul 172017

Author: Alireza Chavosh

Abstract: Studies have depicted that the rate of unused patents comprises a high portion of patents in North America (35% Non-use on average), Europe (37% Non-use on average) and Japan (64% Non-use on average). The importance of the issue of patent non-use is also highlighted within the literature on strategic patenting, IPR policy and innovation economics and in this regards, the literature has paid particular attention to blocking patents. Continue reading »

Jun 282017

Authors: Ellen F.M. ‘t Hoen, Pascale Boulet and Brook K. Baker

Abstract: The challenge of providing access to high-priced patented medicines is a global problem affecting all countries. A decade and a half ago the use of flexibilities contained in the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, in particular compulsory licensing, was seen as a mechanism to respond to high-price medicines for the treatment of HIV/AIDS in low- and middle-income countries. Today a number of upper-income European Union (EU) Member States are contemplating the use of compulsory licensing in their efforts to reduce expenditure on pharmaceutical products. Continue reading »


Monopoly v. Openness: Two Sides of IP Coin in the Pharmaceutical Industry

 Posted by on June 26, 2017  Comments Off on Monopoly v. Openness: Two Sides of IP Coin in the Pharmaceutical Industry
Jun 262017

Author: Olga Gurgula

Abstract: The pharmaceutical industry extensively relies on the patent system. It actively lobbies for the strengthening of patent protection of its medical products and the results of its efforts may be found in the majority of bilateral and multilateral agreements, including the TRIPS and the most recent TPPA, augmented by private patent strategies pursued by pharmaceutical companies. However, some recent developments show the emerging tendency of implementing different business models by pharmaceutical companies that may mark the beginning of transformation of this industry. Among these developments is an ‘open innovation’ model, which has increasingly been followed by some research institutions and pharmaceutical companies aiming at facilitating the creation of new and affordable medicines, as well as providing transparency in order to enhance safety and efficacy of drugs. This article will discuss these two current developments in the pharmaceutical industry, i.e. strong IP protection against open innovation. Continue reading »

Jun 222017

Tomasz Kasprzak, Olga Jurkowska, Alek Tarkowski and Anna Buchner
Communia Association (CC-0) |  Full Report (PDF)

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:  We asked thirty teachers from five European countries about copyright in schools. Our respondents included teachers implementing education innovations and actively using new technologies. These are our study’s key findings:

The best way for teachers to gain familiarity with copyright is to become creators of educational materials. Such creators have two options: either use copyright to protect their work or share it using a Creative Commons license. Continue reading »


The Global Innovation Index 2017: Innovation Feeding the World

 Posted by on June 16, 2017  Comments Off on The Global Innovation Index 2017: Innovation Feeding the World
Jun 162017

The 2017 Global Innovation Index has been jointly published under a Creative Commons license by WIPO, Cornell University and INSEAD. The WIPO press release on its publication is here.  The “Key Findings” section is reproduced below.  Click here for the full report.

Key Findings

From the Global Innovation Index 2017, devoted to measuring the innovation performance of 127 economies and the theme ‘Innovation Feeding the World’, six messages emerge. Many of these messages are concerned with innovation as a driver of growth generally. One is concerned specifically with the role of innovation as a way to address the growing need for advances in agriculture and food value chains. Continue reading »


Fair Use in the U.S. Economy: The Economic Contribution of Industries Relying on Fair Use

 Posted by on June 11, 2017  Comments Off on Fair Use in the U.S. Economy: The Economic Contribution of Industries Relying on Fair Use
Jun 112017

Computer & Communications Industry Association, Fair Use in the U.S. Economy: Economic Contribution of Industries Relying on Fair Use (CCIA: 2017), available online at

Executive Summary:  In 2007, CCIA released a report prepared by Capital Trade, Inc. that was the first comprehensive study quantifying the U.S. economic contribution of industries relying on fair use and related legal provisions. The current report is the third update of the size and performance of the fair use economy. This study finds that in 2014, value added by fair use industries was 16 percent of the U.S. economy, employing 1 in 8 U.S. workers, and contributing $2.8 trillion to U.S. GDP. Meanwhile, the combined value added by industries that are the most reliant on fair use and other limitations and exceptions to copyright protections has more than tripled in size over 2002. From 2012 to 2014, the real output of these primary core industries accounted for 6.7 percent of real GDP growth, six times their current weight in the U.S. economy. Continue reading »


Internet Intermediary Liability: WILMap, Theory and Trends

 Posted by on June 5, 2017  Comments Off on Internet Intermediary Liability: WILMap, Theory and Trends
Jun 052017

Author: Giancarlo F. Frosio

Abstract: To better understand the heterogeneity of the international online intermediary liability regime—with the collaboration of an amazing team of contributors across five continents—I have developed and launched the World Intermediary Liability Map (WILMap), a detailed English-language resource hosted at Stanford CIS and comprised of case law, statutes, and proposed laws related to intermediary liability worldwide. Continue reading »


Norms-Shifting on Copyright and Fair Use in the Visual Arts Community

 Posted by on May 22, 2017  Comments Off on Norms-Shifting on Copyright and Fair Use in the Visual Arts Community
May 222017

Authors: Patricia Aufderheide, Aram Sinnreich, Louisa Imperiale and Carolyn Silvernail

Abstract: This study tracks changes in behavior and attitude among visual arts professionals after the development of a code of best practices in the copyright doctrine of fair use. A survey of 2,400 professionals fielded only months after its publication demonstrated broad awareness of the code, informing practice and inspiring efforts to spread awareness. The greatest degree of awareness and change was among editors, several of whose publications altered their copyright policies. Continue reading »

May 112017

Jeremy de Beer, Jeremiah Baarbé, Caroline Ncube
Open AIR Working Paper #4; LINK

Innovation policy is important for economic growth and human development.[1] Countries across Africa are, therefore, developing policy to encourage innovation.[2] Measures that address intellectual property (IP) in a locally relevant way are integral to the broader innovation landscape.

IP policy is complex and controversial because it seeks to balance protection of, and access to, knowledge. Policy that leads to either an absence or overabundance of proprietary IP rights may discourage innovation.[3] Domestic policymakers may look to research showing that strict IP protection economically advantages developed countries while disadvantaging developing countries.[4] Similarly, they may be presented with research supporting a contrary view.[5] Evidence-based IP policy-making is, therefore, not always easy.[6] Continue reading »