Spotlight

IP & Natural Resources

For more than two decades, WIPO Member States have been discussing the contours of an international agreement that would set out a patent disclosure requirement (PDR) for those inventions that rely on natural resources, or “genetic resources”, and associated traditional knowledge.

The WIPO negotiations center on safeguarding biodiversity and protecting the knowledge of indigenous communities, while also preserving incentives for innovation and deployment of new technologies. They take place in the WIPO Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore, referred to simply as the “IGC”.

Member States have agreed that a Diplomatic Conference will take place in May 2024 in Geneva, where they may finally sign the international PDR agreement. This page contains resources that relate to the topic of IP and Natural Resources, and, more specifically, to the WIPO IGC negotiations.

As of end-2023, the IGC negotiating text, called the “Chair’s text”, establishes an initial playing field. However, it still contains numerous brackets. There is substantial work still to be done before the May 2024 Dip Con. The resources on this page feature the perspectives of certain innovators on the text and overall talks, based on their experiences commercializing inventions that use genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge, and also based on their interactions with the various PDR regimes that exist in national laws.

 

Analysis of IP and Natural Resources

Innovation Council Analysis on IGC talks at WIPO

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National Regulations for Patent Disclosure in Select WIPO Member States

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Innovation Council Q&A with Julia Spencer of MSD

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Innovation Council Q&A with Syngenta Seeds

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Innovation Council Q&A with Syngenta Seeds

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Innovation Council Q&A with Dr. Axel Braun

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Is an International Agreement on IP, Genetic Resources and Associated Traditional Knowledge Finally in Sight?

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Nagoya Protocol and ABS – Simply explained

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ABS Fact Sheet and Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

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WIPO Website on The Intergovernmental Committee (IGC)

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PDRs: Relationship with Other Instruments

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WIPO Background Brief on the IGC

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WIPO Background Brief on IP Issues Surrounding Genetic Resources

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WIPO Table of Disclosure Requirements

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Executive Summary: Chair's Text on Genetic Resources and Associated Traditional Knowledge

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PDRs: Subject Matter

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PDRs: Triggers

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PDRs: Objectives

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Considerations for an International Disclosure Requirement

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IFPMA Guidelines on Access to Genetic Resources: Position Paper

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Economic Impact of DRs for GRs

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Concerns About Patent Disclosure of Origin Requirements and the Chair’s Text

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Innovation Council brings the stories and experiences of small and large innovators, across fields of technology and geographies, to policymakers in Geneva and beyond. We advocate for policy environments that foster innovation, technology transfer, and economic and social development. We share the perspectives of our members and partners on IP and natural resources in order to raise awareness and contribute to the IGC talks. We consider it important that the IGC instrument give rise to legal certainty and avoid creating undue burdens for organizations using patents to bring new technology solutions to society.