Intellectual Property & Sustainable Development: How Sustainable is IP?

Event date
12 May 2023
Event time
12:00 - 13:30
Oxford week
TT 3
St. Hilda's College (Lady Brodie Room)

Professor Jacques de Werra, Digital Law Center, University of Geneva.

Sustainable development constitutes a major societal challenge. It is also a key driver of policy action that can infuse many sectors and particularly impact the intellectual property (IP) ecosystem. The presentation will discuss how sustainable development is reflected in IP laws and policies and how it could be further developed. It will focus on selected issues spanning the life cycle of IP from the “birth” of IP rights (i.e. how can the conditions of IP protection reflect sustainability?) to the “death” of IP infringing products (i.e. must they be destroyed if they could be recycled?). The presentation will also discuss the circulation of IP-protected goods (and the application of the exhaustion doctrine to the upcycling of goods / the circular economy), the legal treatment of greenwashing (under unfair competition law), as well as the sustainable commercialisation of IP rights (e.g. the use of so-called “patent pledges” that purport to make eco-friendly patented inventions freely available to interested third parties).

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