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Warwick hosts conference on Socially Responsible Licensing

13 June 2011

A conference which addresses the issues of how intellectual property licensing can bring increased benefits to the world’s poorer countries will be held at the University of Warwick in November.

Hosted and facilitated by the University of Warwick, in partnership with Boston University, and supported by Warwick Ventures Ltd, the event will examine current practices and discuss the limitations and possibilities of the current intellectual property framework.

A particular focus will be the issue of voluntary licensing, in which an intellectual property holder voluntarily relinquishes their monopoly by licensing their innovation to one or more third parties who are in a better position to address the needs of under-privileged groups.

Mark Barnett, of Research Support Services, University of Warwick, said: “We are aiming to build momentum for the principle of voluntary licensing mechanisms which, if more widely adopted, have the potential to solve issues of affordable access to life-saving medicines in the developing world.

”Other healthcare topics to be discussed during the conference will include the role of patent pools in genetic testing and delegates will also learn about the new HIV Patent Pool, an initiative designed to improve access to affordable and appropriate HIV medicines in developing countries.

In addition, the conference will address:- intellectual property in agriculture, and ask whether the Merck-INBio deal, struck between a global pharmaceutical company and the National Biodiversity Institute of Costa Rica is still the best model for responsibly accessing, capturing and rewarding biodiversity; and- whether clean energy requires special intellectual property treatment.

The conference will take place over three days, from 18 – 20 November 2011. Special rates are offered to student delegates and a limited number of scholarships are available to assist participants from the developing world with costs.Boston University and the University of Warwick are currently seeking sponsors to help support the conference. Please contact the conference organisers Ashley Stevens ( or Mark Barnett ( directly to discuss and develop a sponsorship plan that meets your needs.

For more information, or to register your place at the conference, please go to: