Francois Gurry made headlines with his suggestions the world would be a better place if the web had been patented. Gurry chairs the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in Geneva, a UN body which administers international IPR agreements and is responsible for relaying international patent applications. I am unsure the member states of WIPO would like to endorse his suggestion.
But let’s be fair to the UN diplomat. Boing-Boing links the video stream of the session. Gurry had been challenged by the panel views from Lynn St Amour (Internet Society) and Rolf Heuer (CERN). They claimed the web as an example of disruptive innovation, innovation from basic research that was not patented and not expected. Heuer added a provocative notion it was developed around the corner of Gurry’s Geneva UN institution WIPO. Boing Boing:
After the head of CERN and the CEO of the Internet Society spoke about how important it was that the Web’s underlying technology hadn’t been patented, Francis Gurry, the Director General of the UN’s World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), took the mic to object.
What panelist Gurry said may be a result of frustration and perception it was necessary to add more “balance”. The report presented, Globalinnovationindex is freely downloadable. The first foreword is by COE of Alcatel-Lucent. Title: The World Needs Open Innovation.
These days smart phone markets and html5 deliberations at W3C illustrate how difficult it gets in a patent carpet to innovate. Under the looming financial and debt crisis commercial risk reduction is gaining more and more attention.
Disclaimer: The author observed WIPO negotiations for a German NGO.