Reviewed by: Christine Oka, Research & Instruction, Northeastern University Libraries, Boston, MA
WIPO Magazine is published bi-monthly by the World Intellectual Property Organization and freely accessible in English, French, and Spanish. The magazine’s mission is “to help broaden public understanding of intellectual property and of WIPO’s work.” However, it is not an official document of WIPO, therefore “views expressed in articles and letters do not necessarily reflect those of WIPO.”
The current issue has an introduction promoting “World Intellectual Property Day 2015: Get Up, Stand Up. For Music.” Intellectual property rights became a huge issue when technology revolutionized the way music was “produced, distributed and consumed.” The message from WIPO Director General Francis Gurry is: “It is essential for a vibrant culture that creators, composers, songwriters and performers are able to enjoy a decent economic existence through deriving economic value from their music. . . . do not take music for granted; value it. Today is a day to ‘get up, stand up, for music’ – to ensure that our musicians get a fair deal, and that we value their creativity and their unique contribution to our lives.”
Less familiar intellectual property issues cover innovative use of technology, such as “3D printing is here to stay!” which is about “the world’s first live concert featuring a band playing 3-D-printed instruments. . . a drum, keyboard and two guitars.” Pictures of these colorful .instruments are included in the article and Olaf Diegel, who has made 12 guitars, notes “They sound every bit as good as conventionally made wooden guitars.” While this technology has the potential to fast-track innovation and product development, there are questions about how intellectual property (IP) rights for technical, software and systems solutions are protected. “Much as we have overcome the same problems with music, through systems such as iTunes, we all need to find similar mechanisms for protecting 3-D print data in the future.”
How can IP rights make medicines accessible? The article, “Tackling muli-drug resistant tuberculosis: lessons in technology transfer” is an interview with Iain Richardson, Senior Director of Global Diabetes Manufacturing at Eli Lilly and Company, who describes some of the key issues in the project to transfer the pharmaceutical technology for producing two second-line therapies to treat multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDr-TB) to middle and low income countries. As a result of the 12-year process, “the pharmaceuticals giant was able to take IP rights and pricing out of the access equation. . . to ensure a sustainable local supply of their drugs.”
WIPO Magazine articles combine news along with discussion of IP rights issues. The possible solutions presented in the articles are thought-provoking and make the magazine a useful resource for academic, special, and public libraries.