Innovation policies, together with environmental laws, play a key role in addressing many global environmental issues. Intellectual property rights, as temporary privileges over the products of intellectual activity, determine who controls information and technology.

Intellectual property rules fundamentally affect the quality and availability of innovative ideas and products, and are therefore extremely important in achieving sustainable development, ensuring human health, and protecting the environment. The level and scope of intellectual property protection influences the flow of technologies between industrialized and developing countries. These standards also impact the control communities have over their traditional knowledge, their access to medicines and education, as well as other such issues fundamental to sustainable development.

CIEL aims to enhance the participation and influence of developing countries and civil society in regional, bilateral, and multilateral institutions addressing intellectual property. We work to develop and strengthen policies support innovation and transfer of knowledge and technology, respond to the interests and needs of both producers and users of knowledge and technology, and ensure equity among developed and developing countries.

Campaign Update

Big Secrets Benefit Big Industry

Trade secrets: the fuzzy line between freedom of information and intellectual property rights In late November 2013, the European Commission released its proposed directive...

Campaign Update

Protecting Traditional Knowledge: Ayahuasca Patent Dispute

In March 1999, CIEL filed a legal challenge against a US patent claimed on the “ayahuasca” vine, Banisteriopsis caapi, which is native to the...