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Gemeinsam die Allmende verteidigen?! Ansätze und Formen des Widerstands gegen die Ausdehnung geistiger Eigentumsrechte in den Bereichen pflanzengenetische Ressourcen und Software

Christiane Gerstetter, Gregor Kaiser

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Defending the Public Domain together?! Approaches to and Forms of Protesting against the Extension of Intellectual Property.

Rights on Plant Genetic Resources and Software In this article, the authors trace parallels between different areas in which IPR are currently in the process of being extended to what was before part of the public domain. The focus is on a particularly important form of IPR: patents. The issue areas compared are patents on plant genetic resources and software. Firstly, two major current projects of extending patents are analysed, the negotiations of a Substantive Patent Law Treaty in the framework of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the (for the time being, failed) attempt to enact a software patent directive within the European Community. Secondly, parallels concerning the driving forces between the extension of patents in the different areas and their effects on the public domain are described. Special focus is put on the effects of stricter IPR protection on developing countries. The third and central part of the text is dedicated to strategies and approaches used by actors from the so called civil society in their struggle against the extension of IPR. Again, a comparative approach between the areas is taken. Major points of comparison are the main actors and their protest forms as well as goals in the respective areas.