Patent Geography : Global Applications & Regional Protection

Total world patent filings topped 2.88 million in 2015 – a 7.8% increase over 2014 (1). This explosive growth, coupled with increased complexity and geographically distributed R&D, invention, and innovation, continues to pose challenges for the patent offices responsible for managing the system, as well as to patentees and their competitors.

To explore these issues, this panel brings together senior international-policy executives from four patent offices (EPO, JPO, USPTO, and INPI) and academic representatives to discuss policy responses aimed at lowering costs and reducing uncertainty in this increasingly complex system. Panelists will discuss challenges, such as the transaction costs imposed on patentees operating in global markets, and possible solutions. These include, among others, the Global Dossier Initiative, a set of business services being developed by the IP5 Offices (USPTO, EPO, JPO, KIPO, and SIPO) to modernize application procedures for applicants using the international patent system. The continuous expansion of PCT and the increasing efforts of European integration will also be discussed in the same perspective. The moderator will end the panel by leading an active and informed discussion among the assembled panelists, and the audience at large.

(1) World Intellectual Property Organization (2016). WIPO IP Facts and Figures 2016, Geneva

Stuart Graham (Chair)


Dr. Stuart Graham is Associate Professor of Strategic Management at the Scheller College of Business, Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, Georgia, USA) (…)

Laurence Joly

Laurence Joly joined the French Industrial Property Office (INPI) as an economist in 2001. Since 2010, she is the chief economist and head of the Observatory fort Intellectual Property (…)

Yoshiaki Kodachi

Matsuo Nonaka is director of the Examination Policy Planning Office of the Japan Patent Office (JPO) since January 2016 (…)

Gerard Owens

Gerard (Ged) Owens, European Patent Office, Munich  –  Coordinator for IP5 including the Global Dossier; and “Patents and Standards” (…)

Mark Powell

Mark Powell is the Deputy Commissioner for International Patent Cooperation for the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).  (…)

Bruno van Pottelsberghe

Bruno van Pottelsberghe has been Dean of the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management (SBS-EM), at Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) since April 2011.  (…)


IP and access to medicines

The debate over the role of IP in access to medicines and incentives for innovation continues, particularly as payers confront the introduction of new treatments with very high list prices. At the same time, the industry can point to therapeutic breakthroughs in cancer and Hepatitis C as well as increasing R&D costs as evidence that strong IP is essential and effective. In recent years, the tension between access and innovation has concerned not only developing countries, which have historically resisted the introduction of stronger IP rights as conditions for trade agreements, but high income countries as well.

This panel will discuss and debate the questions below:

a) Is the use of differential pricing and/or voluntary licensing sufficiently widespread to achieve access to patented medicines in the developing world?

b) How should rich and poor economies incentivize innovation in product markets such as antibiotics, vaccines, and new treatments for pandemics, where patents plus market incentives are insufficient?

c) Should policies differ for large molecule or biotech drugs?

d) How do NGOs see the involved between access and innovation in global market for medicines?

e) How important are parallel imports in helping or hindering access? What does this imply about national policies on IP exhaustion?

f) How important are counterfeit or substandard products in global drug markets, and what effect does enforcement of IP have?

Chirantan Chatterjee (Chair)

Chirantan Chatterjee

Chirantan Chatterjee joins the Indian School of Business as an assistant professor in economics and public policy in April 2017. He will also be affiliated as a Max Research Fellow in Healthcare and Bharti Research Fellow in Public Policy at ISB’s Mohali campus (…)

margaret kyle

Margaret Kyle (PhD, MIT Economics) studies innovation, productivity and competition. She has a number of papers examining R&D productivity in the pharmaceutical industry, specifically the role of geographic and academic spillovers; the firm-specific and policy determinants of the diffusion of new products; generic competition; and the use of markets for technology (…)

Ellen ‘t Hoen

Ellen ‘t Hoen, LLM. is a lawyer and public health advocate with over 30 years of experience working on pharmaceutical and intellectual property policies. From 1999 until 2009 she was the director of policy for Médecins sans Frontières’ Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines (…)


The Changing Geography of Geographical Indications

Current international agreements contain a two-tier protection system for Geographical Indications (GIs), with GIs playing a role mainly in the wines and spirits trade of a number of European countries.
The system looks increasingly under pressure, as several forces push for extending GIs in several directions:

  • Geographical, with many countries outside Europe now interested in adopting GIs and discussing harmonization along with trade agreements.
  • Substantive, with GI-protection increasingly reclaimed in almost any product category (agro-alimentary, textiles, handicrafts, carpets, ceramics, watches, etc.)
  • Legal, with national legislations now providing or planning to provide sui generis protection also to non-agricultural products

This intense dynamics is reflected by the extension of WIPO’s Lisbon Agreement in 2015 (Geneva Act) and the multiplication of debates in multilateral fora such as WIPO or the WTO, as well as in academic journals.

The roundtable will discuss the foreseeable impact of GI extension on international trade and economic growth, via ongoing institutional and legal changes at the national level, and their reception by international treaties. This could be of particular relevance for developing countries, to the extent that GIs can be seen as a tool to facilitate both access to market and the activation of cooperation projects. But it is also relevant for emerging and advanced economies, where the potential benefits of GI protection have also to be discussed in light of their interplay with more established IP rights.

Irene Calboli (Chair)

Irene Calboli is Lee Kong Chian Fellow, Visiting Professor and Deputy Director of the Applied Research Centre for Intellectual Assets and the Law in Asia, Singapore Management University, School of Law (…)

Felix Addor

Felix Addor

Felix Addor serves as the Deputy Director General, General Counsel and Director of the Legal and International Affairs Division at the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (Swiss Ministry of Justice), the federal agency in charge of all intellectual property matters in Switzerland (…)

Alexandra Grazioli

Alexandra Grazioli, a national of Switzerland, is currently Director of the Lisbon Registry in the Brands and Designs Sector of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) (…)

Justin Hughes

Justin Hughes is the Hon. William Matthew Byrne Professor of Law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, where he teaches international trade and intellectual property courses (…)