Global pact on genetic resources, associated traditional knowledge big win for India: Govt

Global pact on genetic resources, associated traditional knowledge big win for India: Govt

Global pact on genetic resources, associated traditional knowledge big win for India: Govt

Qries


New Delhi: India on Sunday touted a new global treaty on intellectual property, genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge (ATK) as a “significant win” for countries of the global South and for itself.Members of the Geneva-based World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) have concluded an agreement that creates a mandatory disclosure requirement on the patent applicant, when a claimed invention is based on genetic resources.Countries would need to make changes in their existing legal framework for enforcing disclosure of origin obligations on patent applicants.The treaty will provide additional protection for Indian genetic resources and traditional knowledge besides safeguarding and protecting biodiversity and increasing transparency in the patent system.“The treaty also marks a big win for India and the global south which has for long been a proponent of this instrument,” the commerce and industry ministry said in a statement Sunday.The extant patent legislation does not have a mandatory provision requiring patent applicants to disclose the country of origin or source in case where the invention is based on genetic resources making them prone to misappropriation in countries, which do not have disclosure of obligations.“After two decades of negotiations and with collective support this treaty has been adopted at the multilateral fora, with a consensus among more than 150 countries,” it said.At present, only 35 countries have some form of disclosure obligations, most of which are not mandatory and do not have appropriate sanctions or remedies in place for effective implementation.For the first time the system of knowledge and wisdom which have supported economies, societies and cultures for centuries are now inscribed into the global IP system, according to the statement.Genetic resources (GRs) are present in medicinal plants, agricultural crops and animal breeds. While GRs themselves can’t be directly protected as intellectual property, inventions developed using them can, most often through a patent.Some genetic resources are also ATK through their use and conservation by indigenous peoples as well as local communities, often over generations. This knowledge is sometimes used in scientific research and, as such, may contribute to the development of a protected invention.

Qries


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