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Intellectual Property and Climate Change from a Trade Perspective

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Author(s): Ilona Cheyne

Journal: Nordisk Miljörättslig Tidskrift
ISSN 2000-4273

Volume: 2010;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 121;
Date: 2010;

Keywords: climate change | intellectual property rights | technology transfer

ABSTRACT
Intellectual property rights are often accused of being a barrier to the dissemination of climate change technologies. The Trade-Related Intellectual Property Agreement (TRIPS) is particularly criticised because it obliges WTO Members to protect intellectual property rights and is enforceable through a powerful dispute settlement system. The purpose of this article is to consider whether TRIPS might constrain or assist WTO members in transferring climate change technologies. A review of the provisions of TRIPS suggests that WTO members retain significant discretionary powers which may assist climate change technology transfer. Indeed, TRIPS may be positively beneficial by promoting confidence through balance and predictability.
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