Global Intellectual Property Center

US Senate Letter Urges IP Rights In Climate Talks

US Senate Letter Urges IP Rights In Climate Talks

A bipartisan group of 42 of the 100 United States senators sent a letter to US negotiators in global climate talks in Barcelona this week urging the protection of intellectual property rights over any technologies developed to address climate change. In the 2 November letter, available here [pdf], they cautioned against allowing developing countries to obtain technologies to address climate problems without recognising intellectual property rights, which grant a monopoly to their owners. However, longstanding international trade rules allow governments to decide for themselves when it is necessary to create exceptions to intellectual property rights. In the letter, the senators argued that strong IP rights are necessary to incentivise innovation that will lead to American jobs and economic growth. The private-sector US Chamber of Commerce issued a statement praising the letter.