Intellectual Property and Sustainable Development Goals

Intellectual Property and Sustainable Development Goals
Photo by Riccardo Annandale / Unsplash


Our developed, developing and interconnected populations need novel ways to establish many social, economic and environmental challenges ascertained by UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Innovation is one of the solutions that will assist us in rethinking how to overcome hunger, poverty, how to combat climate change, how to provide access to health, how to optimize the use of artificial intelligence (AI), how to conserve our natural world etc. This can be achieved by working with governments, businesses, individuals and civil society worldwide to create a balanced and effective Intellectual Property system that gives innovation and create value. Intellectual Property Rights are supported by the global IP systems to boost the inventiveness that drives economic progress and assist in fulfilling the needs and aspirations. This chapter will highlight how Innovative technologies and Intellectual Property fosters and promotes United Nation Sustainable Development Goals socially (including rural development), economically (including investment) and environmentally (including biodiversity) through a balanced and effective IP system. The chapter will also assess the initiatives taken, programs organized, expenditures incurred by the World Intellectual Property Organization to achieve and accelerate sustainable development goals. The chapter will also analyze different types of Intellectual Property that are directly/indirectly linked to the development goals.


The discussion around development in the 1960s-70s and in the last two decades have a significant impact on sustainability while animating a re-articulation of the roles and mandates of international intellectual property institutions. Intellectual property has a significant impact on social, environmental and economic objectives because it adds value to any innovation or creation which indirectly affects the development goals. The key to achieve UN sustainable development goals by 2030 is an innovation that addresses new ways to tackle the challenges which we face today. Intellectual Property plays a vital role because it creates an enabling environment for innovation while encouraging creators and inventors to create and innovate while assuring access and benefit-sharing around the globe. Innovation is an essential ingredient to meet the sustainable development goals that provide an ambitious roadmap for human progress and development.

A specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) which is The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) exists to enable innovation and creativity. WIPO works with governments, civil society, businesses, individuals worldwide to create a balanced and effective intellectual property system that gives innovation and creates value.

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