Intellectual Property & Patents

The term "intellectual property" refers to a group of laws-such as patents, Plant Breeders' Rights, copyright, trademarks and trade secrets - that are intended to protect inventors and artists from losing control over their intellectual creations-their ideas. Intellectual property has become a powerful tool to enhance corporate monopoly and consolidate market power. Monopoly control over plants, animals and other life forms jeopardizes world food security, undermines conservation and use of biological diversity, and threatens to increase the economic insecurity of farming communities. The ETC Group opposes exclusive monopoly control over living organisms and biological processes. The World Trade Organization (WTO), WIPO and UPOV are among the intergovernmental bodies that administer multilateral agreements or Conventions on intellectual property.