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Requirement of indicating the source and/or country of origin of genetic resources and traditional knowledge in patent applications

by Yusuke Inui (Assistant Reporter General of the Standing Committee on TRIPS)

AIPPI’s Standing Committee on TRIPS, chaired by Catherine Mateu (France), and Standing Committee on IP and genetic resources / traditional knowledge, chaired by Konrad Becker (Switzerland), have jointly drafted a questionnaire on the topic “Requirement of indicating the source and/or country of origin of genetic resources and traditional knowledge in patent applications.” The National and Regional Groups and Independent Members (collectively, NRGs) are invited to submit responses to the questionnaire by 17 October 2016, and a summary report will be prepared based on the responses from the national groups.

This questionnaire is a follow-up to the study that was jointly conducted by the two Standing Committees in 2010 entitled “The requirement of indicating in patent applications the source or country of origin of genetic resources and traditional knowledge involved in the making of the invention” (see http://aippi.org/committee/page/2/?committee_type=19&status=Active). The 2010 study collected information from the NRGs as to whether and how their national laws implemented the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Since then, there has been important progress in this area. In particular, the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the CBD (Nagoya Protocol) was adopted in 2010 and entered into force in 2014.

In light of this progress, the purpose of this questionnaire is to conduct a follow-up study on this topic and to collect from the NRGs any information on their current (and any proposed) laws and regulations and any updates that have occurred since the 2010 study. Further, the questionnaire will collect information on any practical experience with the application of such laws and regulations (including the cost to applicants of any disclosure requirement and any benefit to third parties), as well as impact of the Nagoya Protocol.