The year is coming to a close so it is always interesting to look back at important moments in intellectual property. One particularly interesting event was the Marrakesh VIP Treaty came into force. Originally signed in June 2013, the treaty aims to improve access to books, designed for blind or visually-impaired individuals, via loosening copyright laws pertaining to said books. Currently, 79 countries have ratified the treaty.
More general concerns and controversies are highlighted by this treaty including improving accessibility to goods while also protecting a inventor’s idea. One area where this has been especially prevalent is drug patents in the developing world. Developing countries have frequently argued for less stringent patent policies. It will be interesting to see if this treaty leads to the proliferation of other treaties that allow exceptions to IP laws to improve accessibility.