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Stimulating Innovation in Developing Countries: the role of Utility Models

ICTSD-UNCTAD Roundtable
Geneva, Switzerland, 3 March 2006

Description | Programme | Participants| Documents

Place: Conference Centre Varembé, Room B, Geneva
Friday, 3 March, 2005 from 13h00 to 15h00

Description

Many factors influence the creation and preservation of systems of innovation in a country, including education policies, its technological absorptive capacity, its general institutional base to promote domestic research and development, and the legal and economic incentives particularly in terms of adequate intellectual property (IP) and investment regimes. In the field of IP there are various instruments that can be of assistance in promoting the type of innovation that developing countries can generate, among them the so called ‘utility models’ or ‘petty patents’.

Utility models, which offer patent-like protection for minor or incremental innovations, have played a key role in the industrial development of countries like Germany and Japan, as well as South Korea and India. They encompass special features including reduced examination and protection standards and low administrative costs, making them an appropriate instrument for promoting innovations in developing countries.

In this context, various international discussions including the WIPO’s Development Agenda and the Patent Agenda have pointed to the need to expand the body of empirical evidence on the role of utility models and other IP instruments in fostering innovation and sustainable development.

This event, therefore, will provide an opportunity to exchange views on the role of utility models for promoting innovation in developing countries, to review recent experiences in developing countries and to explore the policy options that various stakeholders could take into account when designing or implementing their own national utility model systems. We will be tabling a paper by Uma Suthersanen, who has undertaken a review of relevant country experiences in this field.

© ICTSD 2004 - Last Update: 05-Oct-2009