WIPO TREATY (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Economy/Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     20th June 2024        
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Context: A recently adopted global WIPO treaty on intellectual property, genetic resources, and traditional knowledge is expected to benefit both India and multinational companies relying on the country’s indigenous knowledge for innovation.


WIPO Treaty

  • About: This is the first WIPO Treaty to address the interface between intellectual property, genetic resources and traditional knowledge 
  • First WIPO Treaty to include provisions specifically for Indigenous Peoples as well as local communities.

oThis is the 27th treaty under WIPO and the first in the last 10 years.

  • Importance to India: The treaty is important to India as the country holds 7-8% of global biodiversity and a rich repertoire of knowledge based on these genetic resources.
  • Key provisions

oIt will establish in international law a new disclosure requirement for patent applicants whose inventions are based on genetic resources and/or associated traditional knowledge. 

oBroadly, where a claimed invention in a patent application is based on genetic resources, each contracting party shall require applicants to disclose the country of origin or source of the genetic resources.

o Where the claimed invention in a patent application is based on traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources, each contracting party shall require applicants to disclose the Indigenous Peoples or local community, as applicable, who provided the traditional knowledge.

  • Current Status: At present, only 35 countries have some form of disclosure obligations, most of which are not mandatory and lack appropriate sanctions or remedies for effective implementation.

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

  • About: It is the global forum for intellectual property (IP) services, policy, information, and cooperation.
  • Formation: 1967.
  • Members: 193 members.
  • Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland.
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