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Archived updates for Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Benefit Sharing from the Use of Biological Resources and Associated Traditional Knowledge

On November 1, 2004, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) released a study that "identifies and explores the role of intellectual property rights in the sharing of benefits arising from the use of biological resources and associated traditional knowledge."

According to WIPO's press relase, "the study highlights the need, when genetic resources are first accessed, for a clear understanding of intellectual property issues. Agreement on how intellectual property derived from access is used and how the benefits are shared is an important part of the exercise of prior informed consent, and an important, practical way of ensuring that access and benefit-sharing is fruitful, equitable and mutually agreeable, and becomes a true partnership between custodian and user of the genetic resource. The study investigates the potential for achieving this, but underscores the practical and legal obstacles that traditional communities have encountered in the three cases discussed in the study."
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