Institute for Legal Informatics News
WIPO Conference on Genetic Resources and Traditional Knowledge

WIPO Conference on Genetic Resources and Traditional Knowledge

© Tim W. Dornis

Humans have always depended on the genetic resources in their environment for subsistence and development. These resources were and are building blocks for many inventions in the natural sciences, especially pharmacy and medicine. Their use has led to major improvements in health, climate and food security. However, this directly touches on the topic of patents: WIPO member states have been intensively discussing intellectual property issues in connection with genetic resources, in particular with regard to patent protection, for over 20 years. The negotiations have now entered their final phase, an international agreement that will regulate, inter alia, whether patent applicants have to disclose the origin of the genetic resources used for their inventions and the associated traditional knowledge. The aim is to achieve an appropriate sharing of the benefits of resource-based inventions.

From May 13 to 24, 2024, UN member states are discussing a new international legal instrument at a diplomatic conference at WIPO headquarters in Geneva. Professor Dornis represents GRUR in the negotiations as an observer and advisor.

More information can be found here: