WIPO Negotiations for an International Legal Instrument on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources
By Nirmalya Syam
Over the past few years, Member States of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) have engaged in negotiations for concluding an international legal instrument on intellectual property and genetic resources. While developing countries have a major interest in securing through this instrument a mandatory requirement for applicants of IP rights over innovations that utilize genetic resources or associated traditional knowledge to disclose their source or origin, certain developed countries that are major markets for such products are absolutely opposed to recognizing the disclosure requirement as an objective of the legal instrument under negotiation. Other developed countries are agreeable to a disclosure requirement with a narrow scope, broad exceptions, and weakened remedies against non-compliance. This Policy Brief analyses the current state of play in the negotiations considering the different positions as reflected in the draft negotiating text, as well as a proposal by the Chair of the WIPO intergovernmental committee where the negotiations are taking place, to bridge the difference and take the negotiations forward. This brief concludes that any meaningful international legal instrument on IP and GRs in WIPO must recognize the fundamental issue of misappropriation of GRs through the IP system that should be resolved through a mandatory disclosure requirement as the principal mechanism. It would also be critical to ensure that the WIPO instrument is coherent with other related international legal instruments such the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Nagoya Protocol on access and benefit-sharing; specialized instruments like the FAO Plant Treaty as well as related mechanisms or fora like the WHO (on use of pathogens as a genetic resource) and the United Nations Convention for the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) negotiations on marine genetic resources beyond areas of national jurisdiction.
The Nagoya Protocol International Access and Benefit Sharing Regime
By Viviana Munoz Tellez
The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity entered into force in October 2014. Ten years have now passed since the adoption of the Protocol by the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, now with 129 Parties. The Protocol requires countries to set up access and benefit sharing rules and procedures for the Protocol’s implementation at the national level. This policy brief describes the main characteristics of the Protocol and makes recommendations for countries to advance in its implementation. Importantly, the Protocol’s language empowers countries with considerable policy space for the design of domestic access and benefit-sharing rules.
Is the right to exclusivity a Hamlet question?
By Justice Prabha Sridevan
Today the judicial authority may be faced with balancing patent rights and patients’ rights or right to life. It shall use all the tools at its command and innovate if necessary, but shall rule in favour of life.
Digital Sequence Information (DSI) and national measures: approaches and perspectives
By Jorge Cabrera Medaglia
Digital sequence information (DSI, or genetic sequence data) is an emerging aspect of synthetic biology which involves certain functional genetic sequences being shared by different means. The genetic sequences from plants, animals or micro-organisms could be used to support conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, to develop and commercialize new products and processes, or for other purposes. The regulation of the use of DSI for both commercial and non-commercial entities may have huge implications for the access and benefit-sharing (ABS) regimen established in the international instruments, ongoing processes and regional and national legislation that implement these conventions. International guidance is needed to promote a coordinated approach to secure fair and equitable sharing of benefits while avoiding a negative impact on the non-commercial benefits arising from the genetic data.
Comments by the South Centre on the CESCR Draft General Comment on science and economic, social and cultural rights Art. 15: 15.1.b, 15.2, 15.3 and 15.4
The South Centre welcomes the opportunity to submit its comments on the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Right (CESCR) Draft General Comment on science and economic, social and cultural rights Art. 15: 15.1.b, 15.2, 15.3 and 15.4 and commends the Secretariat of the CESCR for this initiative. We recognize the paramount importance of the ESCR and of Art. 15, which is a crucial element to ensuring other rights and the development of all countries. We further acknowledge and reinforce the importance of the draft text to address multiple emerging and long-established issues, such as the risks and promises of the 4th Industrial Revolution and the relation of science and the right to food as two examples.
The IP Negotiations Monitor summarizes the latest developments in multilateral and regional fora where intellectual property negotiations are taking place, and informs on upcoming meetings and events.
(Covering period: January – March 2018)
The TRIPS and WTO Negotiations: Stakes for Africa
This paper discusses the current negotiation issues in the context of the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and the position the African Group has taken in these negotiations. (more…)
Title: Panel Discussion on “Designing Sui Generis Plant Variety Protection System in Developing
Countries and the Role of WIPO”
Date: 7 October 2016, 13:00-15:00
Venue: WIPO New Building, Room 0.107
Organizer: The South Centre, The Third World Network (TWN) and and the Association for Plant
Breeding for Benefit of Society (APBREBES)
The Nagoya Protocol: Main Characteristics, Challenges and Opportunities
The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity entered into force in October 2014. Its provisions clearly reflect the need for countries to set up access and benefit sharing rules and procedures for the Protocol’s implementation at the national level. (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…)
The Nagoya ABS Protocol and Pathogens.
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…)