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Presentation at WTO of Trade in Ideas Pilot-study: Next Steps

What is the economic potential of trade in ideas?

Chile, El Salvador, Peru, Kenya, Azerbaijan, South Africa and Uganda are participating in a forward-looking study to inform a new economic development policy based on leveraging the human capital formation of developing nations through markets in patents (licensing). A first pilot-study consisting of surveys of inventors on cross-border licensing practices and prices and video-workshops with inventors and policy makers from these countries were reported on Nov 26. The event was organised by WTO with introduction by Deputy Director General Mr. Yi and moderated by Mr. Koopman, chief economist at WTO.


The next steps to inform a national and international policy discussion were presented, including an already started statistics framework study – a key to measure the impact of such a policy.

A key initiative is to create a LDC package with the least developed countries (47 in 2018), providing everything needed to being licensing of their patented technology to the world, leveraging their human capital formation. Some of these inventor-companies may have the potential to become “economic locomotives” for these countries, creating opportunities for their nations.

The Foreign Office of the Kingdom of Sweden funded the pilot and the statistics study.

A recording of the presentation and discussion as well at PPT and communications by four participating countries can be found here, introduction here and powerpoint here.


Eskil Ullberg


Documents from presentation and full program:
– Introduction: text
– Web-cast presentation: watch recording here. 
– Powerpoint: Presentation

WTO Working Group on Trade and Transfer of Technology

On October 26, 10-12, a presentation of the Trade in Ideas Program took place at the WTO for the Working Group on Trade and Transfer of Technology (WGTTT). El Salvador, a participant in the Trade in Ideas Pilot-study, had asked the EC, through Sweden, the funder of the pilot-study, to give an overview of the principle and program in eluding some early results.

If any additional information about the program is desired, please email: eskil@ullberg.biz

Enclosed is the powerpoint from the meeting. See: Powerpoint for WGTTT, 2018-06-27

WGTTT: https://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/devel_e/dev_wkgp_trade_transfer_technology_e.htm

ABC RN (Australia) Interview on “A Global Patent Market”

ABC RN in Australia interviewed on “A Global Patent Market” as a consequence of the Op-Ed together with Edmund Phelps, Columbia.

Should there be a global patent market?

A new report argues that now ‘more than ever the world needs a framework of trade rules to facilitate the exchange of ideas across borders.

Eskil Ullberg is the co-author of that report and he believes that a cross -border technology exchange based on patent protection and enforcement mechanisms could release the creativity of both developed and developing countries.

So what would have to happen for this to work and does the WTO agree?

Hear interview can be listened to here.


Re-publ.: The world is turning its back on the inventor. This is what needs to change

Re-published op-ed with the World Economic Forum.

The world is turning its back on the inventor. This is what needs to change

The Need for a Global Patent Market*

The Need for a Global Patent Market

Opinion editorial

“The Need for a Global Market in Patents” by Edmund Phelps and Eskil Ullberg in Project Syndicate

Trade in Ideas Program Presentation and Discussion at WTO

On Feb 26, 20+ developing and developed countries joined a presentation and discussion of the new Trade in Ideas Program. The program aims at facilitating trade in ideas – based on markets in patent – between “North” and “South” as a new development policy.

Understanding the forces that are at play in such trade is the purpose, in order to inform economic policy, in particular for developing countries. Such policy will then leverage the human capital formation taking place at a breathtaking speed in many developing countries, through markets in patents.

After a presentation of the concept, a discussion was held with the countries present to get a sense of what key issues are today. These issues will be put into the program, by theme. A first follow-on project was announced: Trade in Ideas Statistics Framework planned for 2018.

The event was held at WTO with invitation by Sweden, who also is funding the pilot-study and plan to fund the first follow-on study to the pilot-study reported in another blog entry.

Presentation from event can be found here: WTO Lunch Presentation of Program.

A link to SwedenGeneva and Twitter @SwedenGeneva (March 1).

Please feel free to follow Twitter @EskilUllberg, for updates and news on this program!

Trade in Ideas as New Development Policy: Multi-country Pilot-study funded by Sweden on Economic Potential for Developing Nations Licensing Own Patents

How do can you leverage the recent human capital formation that has taken place in many developing countries in the last two decades?

This pilot-study will investigate the economic potential of markets in patent as instrument of development, leveraging national inventors, licensing to the world markets.

16 countries with high human capital formation, some patenting, royalty licensing and “open access economy”, have been invited to join this pilot. Chile, Azerbaijan and Kenya have now joined and several others are discussing with their governments to join.

A video-workshop will be held with 10+ companies and 2-3 policy making agencies following a survey of the actual terms-of-trade achieved for technology from “the south”. This will be a first indication of the economic potential of such trade between developed and developing nations alike. A level playing field is the goal allowing a third leg of development activity; product, services and ideas, protected by the patent system, creating trade in ideas as new development policy.

The study is funded by Sweden.

Please find enclosed some background information on the study and links to the patent offices in the nations participating in the study. The study began in 2017 and is planned to end by June 2018.

If you are interested in participating in this study please contact at: eskil@ullberg.biz


Presentation of study by Chile’s IP Office


Azerbaijan Patent Office

Kenya IP Office




Background Document: Presentation of Pilot Study & Invitation