WIPO Members Approve New Treaty on Genetic Resources and Associated Traditional Knowledge | Practical Law

WIPO Members Approve New Treaty on Genetic Resources and Associated Traditional Knowledge | Practical Law

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) member states approved the new WIPO Treaty on Intellectual Property, Genetic Resources and Associated Traditional Knowledge.

WIPO Members Approve New Treaty on Genetic Resources and Associated Traditional Knowledge

by Practical Law Intellectual Property & Technology
Published on 28 May 2024USA (National/Federal)
World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) member states approved the new WIPO Treaty on Intellectual Property, Genetic Resources and Associated Traditional Knowledge.
On May 24, 2024, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) member states reached consensus approval of the new WIPO Treaty on Intellectual Property, Genetic Resources and Associated Traditional Knowledge, which includes key provisions intended to protect the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities.
The product of more than two decades of WIPO negotiations, this is the first WIPO treaty to:
  • Address the interface between intellectual property, genetic resources, and traditional knowledge.
  • Include provisions specifically for Indigenous Peoples as well as local communities.
Under its provisions, parties to the treaty must impose additional disclosure obligations on patent applicants claiming inventions that are based on either:
  • "Genetic resources," broadly defined in the treaty to mean non-human genetic material (that is, material of plant, animal, microbial, or other origin containing functional units of heredity) of actual or potential value.
  • "Traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources," meaning knowledge about genetic resources held by Indigenous Peoples and local communities.
Specifically, parties to the treaty must require applicants claiming inventions based on:
  • Genetic resources to disclose the country of origin or source of the genetic resources.
  • Traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources to disclose the Indigenous Peoples or local community who provided the traditional knowledge.
The treaty is not retroactive and goes into effect three months after ratification by at least 15 member states.