Sun, 18 Jul 2004 19:47:18 GMT

“Universities have obligations to developing countries”. Ronald Phillips and three co-authors, Intellectual Property Rights and the Public Good, The Scientist, July 19, 2004. Excerpt: “For developing countries, access to new products, particularly drugs and seeds, is often a question of life and death. The market power inherent in intellectual property may restrict access by poorer consumers. Furthermore, coordination problems and the transaction costs involved in negotiating terms of access to patented innovations invariably raise the cost of producing and distributing inventions in developing nations. One example is 'golden rice,' which is enhanced for beta carotene (provitamin A). It provides hope for alleviating the severe vitamin A deficiency that causes blindness in a half-million children every year. Extensive patenting has hampered delivery of this rice to those in need; forty organizations hold 72 patents on the technology underlying its production. Problems with access to golden rice and essential medicines have stimulated debate on the obligations of American universities to facilitate the provision of goods for the public benefit. A recent symposium at the University of Minnesota addressed this question.” [Open Access News]


interesting argument……