Intellectual property and biological resources: an overview of key issues and current debates.
The paper starts by outlining the background and evolution of intellectual property rights. It then provides two case studies on how intellectual property rights affect biodiversity and traditional knowledge. In the main part, the paper examines the international governance of biodiversity and intellecutal property rights, especially focussing on:
- the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD)
- the World Intellecutal Property Organization (WIPO)
- the World Trade Organization with its Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellecutal Property Rights (TRIPS)
However it also sheds light on the increasing impacts of bilateral agreements that govern intellectual property rights in conjunction with the plurilateral International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), and it analyses their relationship with the FAO International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture and the CBD. The paper finishes by sketching out ideas for a way forward.