Berliner Boersenzeitung - UN nears landmark deal on combatting biopiracy

EUR -
AED 3.985014
AFN 77.867561
ALL 100.40975
AMD 420.238869
ANG 1.95399
AOA 920.431634
ARS 966.428532
AUD 1.635077
AWG 1.955632
AZN 1.843369
BAM 1.955918
BBD 2.189113
BDT 127.16766
BGN 1.955254
BHD 0.408936
BIF 3112.102187
BMD 1.084955
BND 1.463942
BOB 7.491451
BRL 5.575715
BSD 1.084205
BTN 90.113135
BWP 14.73043
BYN 3.548145
BYR 21265.124859
BZD 2.185412
CAD 1.482386
CDF 3048.724854
CHF 0.992279
CLF 0.035632
CLP 983.207988
CNY 7.857256
CNH 7.875593
COP 4193.070339
CRC 555.853974
CUC 1.084955
CUP 28.751317
CVE 110.274183
CZK 24.646604
DJF 193.038744
DKK 7.461694
DOP 63.8462
DZD 145.954755
EGP 50.883971
ERN 16.27433
ETB 62.294849
FJD 2.417502
FKP 0.863732
GBP 0.851722
GEL 2.940138
GGP 0.863732
GHS 15.774023
GIP 0.863732
GMD 73.532834
GNF 9319.90497
GTQ 8.421779
GYD 226.824708
HKD 8.47457
HNL 26.792602
HRK 7.572941
HTG 144.143996
HUF 384.171294
IDR 17431.977608
ILS 3.974137
IMP 0.863732
INR 90.133643
IQD 1420.185542
IRR 45649.496765
ISK 149.929765
JEP 0.863732
JMD 169.676476
JOD 0.769125
JPY 170.106884
KES 144.027677
KGS 95.428007
KHR 4422.429421
KMF 494.360114
KPW 976.459486
KRW 1480.864244
KWD 0.332995
KYD 0.903454
KZT 480.178923
LAK 23205.253247
LBP 97088.727387
LKR 324.781537
LRD 210.020206
LSL 20.05008
LTL 3.203591
LVL 0.656279
LYD 5.25351
MAD 10.814151
MDL 19.233868
MGA 4804.466517
MKD 61.620699
MMK 2276.821081
MNT 3743.095712
MOP 8.724485
MRU 43.11671
MUR 50.201119
MVR 16.773526
MWK 1879.782528
MXN 18.096893
MYR 5.108514
MZN 68.948252
NAD 20.050208
NGN 1593.21395
NIO 39.903875
NOK 11.472909
NPR 144.182
NZD 1.770273
OMR 0.417534
PAB 1.084165
PEN 4.053044
PGK 4.213409
PHP 63.026681
PKR 301.608486
PLN 4.253527
PYG 8154.791836
QAR 3.950862
RON 4.976041
RSD 117.176246
RUB 99.409067
RWF 1425.73844
SAR 4.069233
SBD 9.195197
SCR 14.866069
SDG 652.057901
SEK 11.560009
SGD 1.464408
SHP 1.370787
SLE 24.788303
SLL 22750.972231
SOS 619.509821
SRD 35.016387
STD 22456.385228
SVC 9.486571
SYP 2725.982708
SZL 19.932936
THB 39.646428
TJS 11.687104
TMT 3.808193
TND 3.383705
TOP 2.563261
TRY 34.958113
TTD 7.362443
TWD 34.908422
TZS 2810.0345
UAH 43.517226
UGX 4125.267488
USD 1.084955
UYU 41.723859
UZS 13782.766658
VEF 3930307.752755
VES 39.601678
VND 27626.218076
VUV 128.808058
WST 3.041231
XAF 656.0207
XAG 0.035197
XAU 0.000463
XCD 2.932146
XDR 0.81898
XOF 656.0207
XPF 119.331742
YER 271.618044
ZAR 19.964317
ZMK 9765.898848
ZMW 28.93681
ZWL 349.35518
  • SCS

    0.1300

    13.18

    +0.99%

  • BCC

    4.6500

    141.11

    +3.3%

  • BCE

    -0.2200

    33.57

    -0.66%

  • GSK

    -0.0300

    45.12

    -0.07%

  • NGG

    -1.0300

    60.69

    -1.7%

  • AZN

    0.3600

    78.54

    +0.46%

  • CMSC

    0.1200

    24.24

    +0.5%

  • CMSD

    0.0000

    24.09

    0%

  • BTI

    -0.1100

    30.62

    -0.36%

  • RIO

    0.4300

    71.85

    +0.6%

  • JRI

    0.0250

    11.395

    +0.22%

  • RELX

    0.5300

    44.69

    +1.19%

  • BP

    0.3000

    36.72

    +0.82%

  • RBGPF

    -1.8300

    55.21

    -3.31%

  • RYCEF

    0.1020

    5.65

    +1.81%

  • VOD

    -0.0300

    9.33

    -0.32%

UN nears landmark deal on combatting biopiracy
UN nears landmark deal on combatting biopiracy / Photo: Yuri CORTEZ - AFP

UN nears landmark deal on combatting biopiracy

The fight against biopiracy -- plundering genetic resources and the traditional knowledge surrounding them -- could soon be based on an international treaty which is being finalised at negotiations that began on Monday.

Text size:

"Let me be candid -- negotiations will not be easy," warned Daren Tang, head of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), as the diplomatic conference began in Geneva.

After more than 20 years of talks on the subject, WIPO's more than 190 member states are meeting at the agency's Geneva headquarters until May 24 for negotiations on finalising a treaty.

The United Nations agency dealing with patenting and innovation will try to conclude an agreement by consensus.

Tang said countries were on "the cusp of a truly landmark agreement".

"There is no contradiction between a robust and predictable IP regime -- one that incentivises innovation, attracts investments and drives game-changing research -- and one that responds to the needs of all countries and their communities everywhere, including those from Indigenous peoples, as well as from local communities," he said.

The draft treaty text says patent applicants would be required to disclose from which country the genetic resources in an invention came, and the indigenous people who provided the associated traditional knowledge.

"It's about fighting biopiracy -- that's to say the use of traditional knowledge or genetic resources without the agreement of those who held them and without them being able to benefit from them," said Christophe Bigot, who is leading the French delegation.

However, Kenya, speaking on behalf of African countries, said the treaty needed to be more comprehensive and include "mandatory disclosure requirements".

"We are acutely aware of how our communities have often been marginalised and excluded from the benefits derived from the commercialisation and use of their knowledge and resources," said Kenya.

- Medicines, seeds, cosmetics -

While natural genetic resources -- such as those found in medicinal plants, agricultural crops and animal breeds -- cannot be directly protected as international property, inventions developed using them can be patented.

These resources are increasingly used by companies in everything from cosmetics to seeds, medicines, biotechnology and food supplements.

As it is currently not mandatory to publish the origin of innovations, many developing countries are concerned that patents are being granted that either circumvent the rights of indigenous people, or are issued for existing inventions.

Such cases can end up in lengthy legal battles.

Opponents of the treaty fear it will hamper innovation.

But proponents say an additional disclosure requirement would increase legal certainty, transparency and efficiency in the patent system.

It would "help ensure that such knowledge and resources are used with the permission of the countries and/or communities from which they originate, enabling them to benefit in some way from the resulting inventions", according to Wend Wendland, the director of WIPO's traditional knowledge division.

Disagreements persist, notably on setting up sanctions, and the conditions for revoking patents.

"The text has been narrowed down a lot in order to arrive at some potential compromise," expert Viviana Munoz Tellez of the South Centre, an intergovernmental think-tank representing the interests of 55 developing countries, told AFP.

But at least, the proposed treaty has "symbolic value", said Munoz Tellez.

- Overcoming North-South clashes -

More than 30 countries have such disclosure requirements in their national laws.

Most of these are emerging and developing economies, including China, Brazil, India and South Africa, but there are also European states, such as France, Germany and Switzerland.

However, these procedures vary and are not always mandatory.

"It is important to get beyond clashes that are too sterile" between the global North and South, said one diplomat, on condition of anonymity.

"Several countries in the North have genetic resources, like Australia or France, and several countries in the South have very large laboratories and companies that use genetic resources, like India or Brazil," the source added.

Two years ago, countries unexpectedly agreed to convene a diplomatic conference in 2024 to conclude an agreement.

Only the United States and Japan officially dissociated themselves from the decision, without however opposing the consensus.

Neither were opposed to the idea of establishing a treaty.

But US ambassador Sheba Crocker insisted that her country "will strive for an outcome that improves transparency and that does not undermine the policy goals or rationales of the patent system."

Japan's mission in Geneva told AFP it hoped the outcome of the conference would be "clear, reasonable and practical to apply".

(O.Joost--BBZ)