On Friday, 15 July 2022 Knowledge Ecology International delivered the following opening statement at the 2022 WIPO General Assembly.
The COVID pandemic illustrates flaws in the intellectual property system. In a public health crisis, no company should have a monopoly of essential inventions, data, biologic resources and manufacturing know-how needed for countermeasures.
Countries can regulate or eliminate monopolies, and some do. As countries wrestle with affordability issues, they can seek technical assistance from WIPO in order to use lawful pathways to ensure treatments are affordable and widely available — including through the granting of compulsory licenses and/or through the use of competition law or other means to remedy excessive prices. To this end we request the WIPO secretariat to organize a technical workshop on state practice involving the compulsory and voluntary licensing of medical technologies, including the application of TRIPS Articles 30, 31 and 44.
KEI opposes any further work on a broadcast treaty, given confusion over objectives of the treaty, and proposals to provide effective perpetual rights to broadcasters for content that they do not create, own or license.