DE ORTUZAR Maria Graciela
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Informe sobre Biotechnology and Intellectual Property: reinventing the commons
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Biotechnology holds the promise of addressing significant human health and nutrition, agricultural and environmental concerns. When appropriately calibrated, the intellectual property (IP) system – the body of laws, business practices, governmental practices and institutions in a nation or region that creates or limits exclusive rights over new knowledge - can help to realize the benefits of biotechnology. It can do so by determining who has exclusive rights over what knowledge, how knowledge is distributed, at what cost, and who makes the decisions. In making these determinations, IP systems try to manage the competing needs and desires of those who produce and make use of new knowledge as well as those who buy products and services made through the use of this knowledge. Balancing these conflicting interests is not easy: it requires constant review and analysis to keep up with changes in knowledge and new technology. Failure to manage conflicting interests may result in a system rife with inefficiencies, injustices and conflict. Furthermore, in attempting to achieve this balance, IP systems also interact with existing national and international polices for innovation, health and agriculture to produce certain economic and social outcomes. These interactions have not been well explored and are therefore poorly understood. As a result, policy makers do not have the information they need to adjust and implement IP systems so that they achieve desired social, scientific or economic outcomes in biotechnology. The Intellectual Property Modeling Group (IPMG), an international and transdisciplinary team of researchers1  based at the Centre for Intellectual Property Policy at McGill University, has undertaken a multi-year project to address the deficiency in understanding about IP systems. The ultimate goal is to help policy makers around the world calibrate IP systems to achieve desired policy goals in biotechnology that benefit society. As part of this undertaking, the IPMG convened a workshop for policy makers of the Americas on September 25-27, 2005, in Montreal, Canada. The workshop explored creative approaches to IP systems such as open science initiatives and examined ways that the academic and policy communities can work together in the area of biotechnology IP. The IPMG invited a distinguished group of international decision-makers from Canada, the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean who occupy positions of responsibility in the policy world, such as members of the judiciary, government ministry officials and science agencies. This diversity of background and opinions allowed for a conversation that moved beyond traditional discipline based assumptions that often characterize and skew discussions related to the IP system. Biotechnology and Intellectual Property: Reinventing the Commons September 25-27, 2005, Montreal Canada-Global IP Policy Initiatives   Argentina: Dr. Lino Barañao     Australia: Ms Dianne Nicol     Brazil: Dr. Maristela Basso       Canada: Dr. Tania Bubel       Peru: Dr. Javier Verastegui Lazo       United States: Mr. John King -  From the Tower to the Hill:  Moving ideas and research into the policy                    Andy Burness-  Hilary Greene  BIoechnology and IP Partnerships in South America            Mr. Jorge Alberto Cabrera Medaglia    Open Science: From ideas to implementation                         Mr. David Bollier                                   Strategies for International Cooperation: Delivery and Access to                                          Biotechnology                          Strategies for International Cooperation: Delivery and Access to                                          Biotechnology (discussion)                           Biotechnology and IP: Issues in South America                         Group discussion