Patents In Cosmetics: Disclosure Of Origin Arduous, Report SaysPublished on 14 October 2010 @ 7:18 pm
Intellectual Property Watch
A growing number of patents are being filed on plant-based ingredients for use in cosmetics, according to a new report from the Geneva-based Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT). Biodiversity is providential for the cosmetics industry, but the increasing use of defensive patenting strategies in the sector raise questions such as the equitable sharing of benefits, according to a UEBT press release [pdf].
The UEBT has commissioned an analysis of the patent landscape for natural ingredients in the cosmetics sector and is publishing four information notes on the subject. The second one of those notes, “Patents, plants countries of origin,” aims at “identifying references to species in patent documents for ingredients and extracts within cosmetics and perfumes.” The note presents research conducted by Paul Oldham, research associate at the ESRC Centre for Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics (CESAGen) at Lancaster University, on behalf of UEBT. The note shows limitations to existing species databases, making difficult the search on the origin of the biodiversity for access and benefit sharing and disclosure purposes, in particular in the case of patents covering multiple-origin material. The first of those information notes was published in September.