[Ip-health] [A2k] WTO TRIPS Council (June 2014) - India's intervention on Intellectual Property and Innovation: Innovation Incubators

Norbert Bollow nb at bollow.ch
Thu Jun 12 00:16:59 PDT 2014

Marc Perlman <marc_perlman at brown.edu> wrote:

> This looks to me like a tactical error on the part of India:
> > On Wednesday, 11 June 2014, India delivered a statement at the WTO
> > TRIPS Council on"Intellectual Property and Innovation: Innovation
> > Incubators"; Chinese Taipei (WTO speak for Taiwan) and the United
> > States proposed this agenda item.
> >  While there was collaboration,
> > openness and informal exchange of information and knowledge between
> > these firms in Silicon Valley, the culture in Route 128 was of
> > closure and secrecy. ...
> > Thus innovation cannot be promoted
> > through *the culture of secrecy propounded by the IP regime* but
> > through open collaborative models, free exchange of information etc.
> In my mind's ear I already hear the US & Taiwan delegates rehearsing
> their comeback:
> "Aside from trade secret law, the IP regime is entirely compatible
> with a culture of openness and the free sharing of information.  In
> fact, patent law is biased *against* secrecy, in that it requires
> disclosure of the invention in return for protection.

Well the reality is that when the patents system creates (for some
categories of companies) a need to have patents, those companies have to
keep heir ideas secret long enough to avoid the risk of early public
disclosure weakening their patent applications and/or the eventual

This is incompatible with a culture of open sharing of ideas and

> But throwing out a
> phrase like "culture of secrecy"--though it has a nice ring to it--is
> like throwing red meat to sharks.  In the resulting feeding frenzy
> the waters churn and froth so much that the deeper issues can get
> obscured.

Are you saying that we are at a point where disagreeing with a certain
“intellectual property” ideology should be avoided because it's going
to be so strongly defended that even a country like India cannot afford
to challenge it?

Democratic discourse is possible only when such ideologies can be
disagreed with.

Otherwise we're living in a system that has similarities to a monarchy,
with the difference that the human monarch has been replaced by an
ideology. I call that kind of situation an ideologarchy.


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