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Intellectual property rights on biological resources: Benefiting from biodiversity and people’s knowledge

Utkarsh, Ghate and Gadgil, Madhav and Rao, Sheshagiri PR (1999) Intellectual property rights on biological resources: Benefiting from biodiversity and people’s knowledge. In: Current Science, 77 (11). pp. 1418-1425.


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The Indian Patent Act is being amended, in part, because of our commitments under General Agreement on Trade and Tariff (GATT). Similar considerations have prompted us to formulate a Protected Plant Varieties Act. At the same time, a National Biological Diversity Act is also on the anvil in response to our commitments to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The CBD has advanced beyond the conventional intellectual property rights (IPR) regime to accept the sovereign rights of nations over their biodiversity resources, and the need thereof to share benefits of commercial applications of traditional knowledge of sustainable uses of biodiversity resources with local communities. It is important for India to benefit from these provisions and create a legislative framework that would be a model for other developing countries as well. Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) are now being extended to biological resources, beyond the conventional domain of mechanical and chemical innovations. On this new biological frontier, considerable pertinent knowledge and resources already exist in the public domain, and CBD has clearly accepted the need to respect and share its benefits with these public-domain resources. These considerations must be reflected in the Amended Patent Act. It is also vital that we ensure a proper harmonization of the provisions of the new Patent Act, Protected Plant Varieties Act, and the Biological Diversity Act. In this article we discuss measures for disclosure of country of origin, relevant public knowledge or agreements in the IPR applications under these acts.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Current Science
Publisher: Indian Academy of Sciences
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Indian Academy of Sciences
Keywords: Biodiversity;Government and Law
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2007
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 04:40
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/12041

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