Book I: Knowledge Management
The current Intellectual Property Law upholds a legal regime whose central purpose is the protection of private rights based upon what is essentially a mercantilist approach to the use and distribution of resources. This legislation contains various elements that have higher standards of protection than the minimums established in primary international instruments, especially the Agreement on Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) of the World Trade Organization, the major international treaty concerning intellectual property.
The above-outlined type of protection, commonly known as ‘TRIPS plus’, provides a number of enhanced rights for holders which promote the excessive monopolization of intangible commercial goods and hinders the diffusion of technological knowledge and endogenous scientific and technological development.
Most patent holders are foreign companies. On average, only 1.97 % of patent applications are Ecuadorian. Ecuadorian universities request, on average, 1.3 patents per year (source IEPI 2013).
Additionally, there are inadequate protections for inventions developed by Public Research Institutes and Institutions of Higher Education. The lack of strategic use of intellectual property rights threatens to hinder Ecuador’s research efforts.
In response to this, the new intellectual property model we propose seeks to build a knowledge management system that enhances creative activity and social innovation, facilitates the transfer of technology, and opens up access to knowledge and culture, thereby breaking Ecuador’s current cognitive dependency.
The proposed legislation on copyright and other related intellectual property rights recognizes cultural and artistic expressions to be the result of a social construction. It seeks to combine protection for both authors and rights owners, while ensuring the broadest possible access to culture for society.
In terms of industrial property, the proper management of knowledge is articulated in relation to the areas of science, technology, innovation and traditional knowledge. Incentives for research are established, as well as guidelines for the access to knowledge and the guarantee of the basic needs of the population.