Towards a More Coherent International Legal System on Farmers’ Rights: The Relationship of the FAO ITPGRFA, UPOV and WIPO
This Policy Brief outlines some key areas of interrelation among the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA), the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). (more…)
South Centre Statement on Coming into Force of Nagoya Protocol
The following is a Statement by the South Centre on the coming into force of the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization. (more…)
Pathogens are clearly within the scope of the Nagoya Protocol (NP). Preamble 16 of the NP makes clear that pathogens are within the scope of the NP. Further the preamble does not exclude the application of the benefit sharing provisions of the NP. (more…)
The Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing of Genetic Resources: Analysis and Implementation Options for Developing Countries.
As is common knowledge, the Nagoya Protocol was rushed through in the final hours of COP10 in an attempt to secure a binding instrument on ABS. As a result the Protocol represents, at best, a partially negotiated instrument. In the process, transparency, legal certainty and balance seem to have been sacrificed. (more…)
Mandatory Disclosure of the Source and Origin of Biological Resources and Associated Traditional Knowledge under the TRIPS Agreement.
The discussion on TRIPS and CBD in the WTO demonstrates the growing convergence on content, scope, relevance and effectiveness of an international mandatory obligation on disclosure of source and country providing biological resources and traditional knowledge. (more…)
Protection and Promotion of Traditional Medicine – Implications for Public Health in Developing Countries
Traditional medicine (TRM) includes knowledge and practices either codified in writing or transmitted orally. TRM serves the health needs of the vast majority of people in developing countries, where access to “modern” health care services and medicine is limited by economic and cultural factors. TRM is broadly used in such countries, often being the only affordable treatment available to poor people and those in remote communities. In a context of persisting poverty and marginalization and, in particular, in view of the high prices generally charged for patented medicines, the relevance of TRM in developing countries may, in the future, increase. TRM has been recognized in western science as a valuable source of products and treatments for health care. It often provides leads for the development and commercialization of new pharmaceutical products. However, western intellectual property systems have regarded TRM, as well as other components of traditional knowledge (TK), as information in the “public domain”, freely available for use by anybody. This has meant that TRM and other traditional knowledge has been exploited in Western contexts without any recognition, moral or economic, to those who originated or held the relevant knowledge. Further, diverse components of TRM have been appropriated under intellectual property rights (IPRs) by researchers and commercial enterprises, without any compensation to the knowledge’s creators or holders. While all these forms of ‘protection’ are important, this paper focuses on issues relating to protection of TRM in the context of IPRs, both as a defensive and offensive strategy. Its main purpose is to try to clarify the extent to which IPRs may be used in relation to TRM, and what the implications of such use may be for public health.