The World Health Organization's Working Group on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property (IGWG) meeting in Geneva is designed to develop a global strategy for speeding cures to people worldwide. Especially poor people.
Among the proposals are a global treaty on research and development, a "prize fund" to reward innovation, commitments to buy products at agreed prices, and "patent pools" to bundle technology for licensing.
The group was formed last year after release of a report saying intellectual property issues were not a big factor in contributing to innovation in developing countries.
A McGill University think tank says one proposed treaty draft "introduces general principles that put health above commercial interests."
It's a clash of vision and practicalities, concludes Intellectual Property Watch, and that's true. Advanced countries feel they're paying the cost of innovation, while developing nations feel they're being asked to pay too much as well, and getting too little.
But how long can this status quo hold before reformers become so strident they really do become Marxists, as the industry fears?
The political winds in the West are starting to blow against the industry, and the best time to compromise is when you're strongest.