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Intellectual Property Rights on Genetic Resources and the Fight Against Poverty

Intellectual Property Rights on Genetic Resources and the Fight Against Poverty

Developing countries are the main providers of genetic resources and traditional knowledge. Conversely, most intellectual property rights (IPRs) on seeds and medicines are concentrated in developed countries. This has some disadvantages for developing countries. Thus, patents on seed or pharmaceutical products sometimes make the access to such products for the poor more difficult and expensive; there are hardly any positive effects of IPRs on fighting poverty by contrast. This is the result of a study for the European Parliament that Ecologic Institute helped to write. The study, which was written by Ecologic Institute (Christiane Gerstetter, Christine Lucha, Katriona McGlade and Elizabeth Tedsen) and Vrije Universiteit Brussel is available for download.

Genetic resources, in the form of seed, are the basis for agriculture and thus world food security. Equally, genetic resources in the form of medicinal plants and the associated knowledge are an important input for new pharmaceuticals. Traditionally, food crops and medicinal plants have been developed by local and indigenous communities and farmers all over the world. In recent decades, research institutions and private companies have, however, taken an increasing interest in genetic resources; in parallel, legal frameworks on intellectual property rights (IPR) have been expanded to afford stronger IPR protection for seed and pharmaceuticals. The study Intellectual Property Rights and Fighting Poverty [pdf, 1 MB, English] was commissioned by the European Parliament and is carried out by the Institute for European Studies (link is external) (Brussels) and the Ecologic Institute.

The study is available for download.


Citation

Oberthür, Sebastian et al. 2011: Intellectual Property Rights on Generic Resources and the Fight against Poverty. European Parliament, Brussels.

Language
English
Author(s)
Sebastian Oberthür (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)
Justyna Pozarowska (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)
Florian Rabitz (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)
Funding
Publisher
Year
2011
Dimension
64 pp.
Project ID
2610-20
Table of Contents

1. INTRODUCTION
2. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS, GENETIC RESOURCES AND DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
3. THE NAGOYA PROTOCOL IN THE INTERNATIONAL REGULATORY FRAMEWORK
3.1 THE CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY AND ITS NAGOYA PROTOCOL
3.2 THE WORLD TRADE ORGANISATION (WTO) AND THE WORLD INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ORGANISATION (WIPO)
3.3 FOOD AND AGRICULTURE: THE UPOV CONVENTION AND THE FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANISATION (FAO)
3.4 THE WORD HEALTH ORGANISATION (WHO)
3.5 THE UN CONVENTION ON THE LAW OF THE SEA (UNCLOS) AND THE ANTARCTIC TREATY SYSTEM
4. SECTOR-SPECIFIC DISCUSSIONS: AGRICULTURE AND HEALTH
4.1 AGRICULTURE
4.2 HEALTH
5. CASE STUDIES: INDIA, BRAZIL, SOUTH AFRICA
5.1 INDIA
5.1.1 Regulatory framework on ABS
5.1.2 IPRs and genetic resources
5.2 BRAZIL
5.2.1 Regulatory framework on ABS
5.2.2 Legal status of indigenous communities and recognition of their rights
5.2.3 IPR and genetic resources
5.3 SOUTH AFRICA
5.3.1 Regulatory framework on ABS
5.3.2 IPRs and genetic resources
6. RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS AND LOCAL COMMUNITIES AND TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE
6.1 INDIGENOUS RIGHTS IN THE INTERNATIONAL LEGAL ORDER
6.2 IPRS AND TK
7. IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NAGOYA PROTOCOL
8. RECOMMENDATIONS
REFERENCES

Keywords
intellectual property, Nagoya Protocol, agriculture, pharmaecuticals, access and benefit sharing, indigenous peoples, South Africa, India, Brasil