Monday, 5 May 2008

TRIPs amendment in favour of disclosures gathers support

It seems that a majority of WTO members now supports the proposal to amend the World Trade Organization's TRIPs Agreement so as to include a disclosure requirement for patent applications relating to genetic resources and traditional knowledge, according to this item in AllAfrica. The main advocates of the disclosure proposal (including India and Brazil) have reiterated their position at a regular TRIPs Council meeting at the WTO.

The proposal is for an amendment to the TRIPS Agreement so that it would be mandatory for countries to have in their national patent laws a requirement for patent applicants to disclose the countries of origin of biological materials and traditional knowledge used in their inventions, as well as evidence of prior informed consent and benefit sharing arrangements with the countries of origin and relevant local communities.


Mary Ellen Field said...

This is a very important issue. We cannot criticize the developing world for not helping itself to progress if the rich countries continue to plunder the natural resources of the poor and then use our legal systems to prevent these countries from profiting from their own resources

Dave Cochrane said...

South Africa has recently enabled legislation to combat biopiracy and to ensure that indigenous communities share equally and equitably in the benefits flowing from bioprospecting and indigenous knowledge by way of the Biodiversity Act. The SA Patents Act has also been amended recently to require applicants for a patent to disclose whether or no biological resources or traditional knowledge from SA was used in the development of the invention. More details can be found here: