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Impacts of the Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) Rules on Sustainable Development - (IPDEV)

EU Sixth Framework Programme Research on Intellectual Property Rights


Impacts of the Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) Rules on Sustainable Development (IPDEV) is a Sixth Framework Programme project that is directed towards Priority 8.1 (Policy oriented research) and responds to the call for research in area 3.1 – ‘to assess the impact of IPR rules on economic growth (including investment), environmental protection (including biodiversity) and social goals (including rural development) through quantitative and qualitative analysis’. The project is coordinated by Queen Mary Intellectual Property Research Institute, University of London, and has the following collaborators – Ecologic , Universidad de Alicante , IP Bulgaria , the Royal Institute of International Affairs (i.e., Chatham House) and the Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation at the University of Warwick.


There are two over-riding scientific and technological objectives:

1. To identify IPR-related policies which the European Commission and the EU and its member state governments might consider implementing in support of sustainable development in Europe and elsewhere.

2. To provide data and analysis useful especially to EU candidate countries and also to developing countries seeking to take maximum advantage of the provisions of TRIPS in pursuit of their sustainable development objectives.


The research proceeds with an appreciation of the growing complexity of (intellectual property) IP laws and the comprehensive global harmonisation of the basic standards of IP rules. The 1994 Agreement on Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (‘TRIPS’), which is administered by the World Trade Organization (WTO), is of special importance in that it establishes enforceable global minimum (and high) standards of protection for all the main IP rights in one single agreement. To make the policy environment even more challenging, especially for the countries in the Global South, the increasingly complex global IPR architecture includes not only TRIPS but a growing array of multilateral, regional and bilateral agreements.

To address these concerns the project undertakes a number of Work-packages. These are devised specifically to improve policymaking in particular areas of IPRs and sustainable development where such policymaking is currently hampered by a lack of reliable data. CSGR leads the research under Work-package 6. Here, the objective is to assess the effectiveness of the regulatory measures employed to implement the TRIPs Agreement obligations with respect to protection of plant varieties (cf. Article 27.3b). The research combines field-work based country case studies with economic and legal analysis. Details about this research are available here.

The project ended in October 2006 with a conference in London organised by Chatham House where the research results of the work-packages were presented and discussed. Details about the workshop are available here. The final report of the project along with research for each of the different work-packages is available at the project website

For further information, please contact Dwijen Rangnekar.