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Lobbying by US government and business interests has shot down a planned meeting of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) to explore 'open' models of innovation.

The proposal, initially welcomed by WIPO, would have covered a wide range of areas including research-sharing and drug development. But it met a wave of opposition, particularly from software companies, which pressed the US government to oppose the meeting. It now appears that the meeting is unlikely to take place.

The US Patent and Trademark Office say that WIPO should protect intellectual property rights. But the international group of scientists and economists who made the proposal say that industries should not prevent discussion of this issue.

Link to news story in Nature

Reference: Nature 424, 984 (2003)