Sean Flynn

This session is designed to feed into two sections of the declaration: one on “consumer protection” and one on “public participation.”

Consumer Protection:

The creation of monopolies through intellectual property rights is aimed at increasing consumer interests through the availability of new creations and innovations. But legal monopolies may be abused, and the market power created by intellectual property rights may need to be regulated to best promote the public interest. Although achieving balance and regulating abuses may be promoted through doctrines internal to intellectual property, such as through limitations and exceptions to rights, consumer interests may also be furthered through the interaction of intellectual property with other regulatory systems, including consumer protection and competition law. This section of the Declaration, like the session that informs it, will discuss:

  • What principles do we learn from best practices about the beneficial uses of consumer protection, competition and other regulatory regimes to regulate intellectual property rights and promote public interest and consumer protection goals?
  • Where have positive policies been implemented, and what were the experiences?
  • What social science or legal research is needed to ground and justify positive policies?

Public Participation

The internationalization of intellectual property poses a challenge to democratic accountability concerns as decision making is moved to forums where many stakeholders and groups impacted by norm setting decisions are inadequately represented. The problems caused by lack of representation in norm setting forums is becoming more acute as international negotiations move to new “plurilateral” forums governed by procedural rules that are highly consultative for some segments of stakeholders, especially large industry, but closed to large groups of other stakeholders, particularly consumers, creators and other diffuse interests. This section of the Declaration and the session that informs it may discuss:

  • How do participatory norm setting processes benefit the public interest?
  • How are intellectual property norm setting processes serving or thwarting public participation in its processes?
  • How should intellectual property norm setting processes change to better promote public participation in its processes, and what principles should guide this reform?