The adoption of a Development Agenda in the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in October 2007 provides developing countries with a rare and unprecedented opportunity to reshape the international intellectual property system in a way that would better advance their interests. This paper, released on the eve of the 2008 General Assembly of WIPO in Geneva on September 22-30, argues that developing countries can improve their influence in international negotiations around intellectual property by coordinating their efforts and building coalitions. Establishment of such Intellectual Property Coalitions for Development (IPC4D) could reduce the push by the European Community and the United States to ratchet up global intellectual property standards in the face of opposition from many developing countries. If successful, such efforts could enlarge the policy space that these countries need for the development of their intellectual property, trade and public health policies.

  • Peter K. Yu holds the Kern Family Chair in Intellectual Property Law and is the founding director of the Intellectual Property Law Center at Drake University Law School in Des Moines, Iowa. He is also a Wenlan Scholar Chair Professor at Zhongnan University of Economics and Law in Wuhan, China. In the summer, he serves as Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law.