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WIPO Treaty on Intellectual Property, Genetic Resources and Associated Traditional Knowledge Approved

After 15 days of intense and complex negotiations, more than 190 countries approved, this Friday, 24/05, the new and historic WIPO Treaty on Intellectual Property, Genetic Resources and Associated Traditional Knowledge. “We demonstrated that the intellectual property system can continue to encourage innovation, while evolving in a more inclusive way, responding to the needs of all countries and their communities”, stated, at the end of the work, the director general of WIPO, Daren Tang.

In the struggle between developed and developing countries, common sense prevailed, said the coordinator of the ABPI Bioeconomy and Sustainability Studies Commission, Luiz Ricardo Marinello, representative of ABPI at the WIPO Diplomatic Conference, in Geneva, from 13 to 24 May of this month. According to him, there was an appeasement of interests between patent holders, governments, indigenous peoples and traditional communities. “Everyone wins: society, original and indigenous peoples and the preservation of forests”, he assessed.

The Treaty’s objectives are to combat biopiracy and ensure that an invention is truly innovative and compensates traditional communities. Upon entry into force, a patent filed based on generic resources or associated traditional knowledge will have to indicate the country of origin of the resources and the suppliers of this knowledge.

The Treaty refers only to the patent system. It is not retroactive and will only be valid when ratified by the signatory countries. “Before applying assessments for possible non-compliance with this standard in each country, it will be necessary to create means of offering correction opportunities to the depositor. But the cancellation of the patent will only occur if there is proof of fraud or bad faith”, explained Marinello.

In one of its 22 articles, the Treaty provides that countries will be able to create a database on genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge with the participation of the guardians of this knowledge to support local patent offices.

You can see the approved document here on the ABPI website