Three major international organizations recently announced the second in a series of symposia on medical patents.
The Access to Medicines, Patent Information and Freedom to Operate symposium will be held on February 18, at the World Health Organization in Geneva. The event is being organized by the WHO, together with the World Intellectual Property Organization and the World Trade Organization.
The symposium will address a number of issues related to intellectual property and international medicine, including technology transfers, research priorities, freedom to operate and procurement of medicines. The event will also highlight the centrality of reliable patent information for ensuring access to medicines.
According to the symposium's organizers, the event will give particular attention to the importance of easy access to patent information.
The event will be opened by the directors general of the WHO, WTO and WIPO and forms part of an ongoing trilateral cooperation between the three organizations.
According to the WIPO, the patent system is intended to promote innovation while also ensuring the fruits of that innovation are accessible to society. In the context of medicine and public health, the organization aims to promote a balance between the rights of patent owners, who create innovations that improve health conditions, and the needs of the public.