Kenyan Community Benefits From Its Genetic Resources

Bogoria Geyser

In Kenya, residents living around Lake Bogoria in Baringo County have received Kenya shillings 2.3 million, about USD 26,000, as royalties paid by a Danish bio-enzyme company.

African IP Body Steps Up Regional Effort To Adopt Plant Protection Protocol

Sorghum - Flickr -  Cyndy Sims Parr

The African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO), with the help of the United States and an international plant variety organisation, is working to grow regional support for a controversial draft law. The draft protocol would boost protection for new plant varieties, despite concerns of local civil society that it would not be in the best interest of ARIPO members’ food security due to its potential impact on small farmers. ARIPO held a regional workshop on the issue in recent weeks in part to build support for a treaty negotiation to lock in these protections.

US: WIPO Plan To Negotiate Higher GI Protection Sets “Deeply Troubling Precedent”

GIs JIPO

The United States is accustomed to having a strong say in multilateral negotiations, but in the case of a move by a small number of World Intellectual Property Organization members to negotiate higher protection for geographical indications without the full participation of the US and others, the US government is particularly fuming. Now it has questioned the very validity of the move.

Geographical Indications At WIPO: Members Dissent On Participation In Treaty Talks

Franco American Alliance Treaty of Amity and Commerce 1778

Members of a World Intellectual Property Organization treaty protecting appellations of origins who are seeking to revise that treaty to include geographical indications were opposed this week by several WIPO member states seeking to have a say in the adoption of the revision. The issue has raised a question for WIPO about participation in treaties and agreements.

Draft Revision To Provide Higher Protection To GIs Fine-Tuned At WIPO

Tequila - Flickr - ebifried

The contracting parties of the agreement protecting appellations of origin at the World Intellectual Property Organization are meeting this week to fine-tune a draft revision of this agreement to include geographical indications. The end of the week is scheduled to be devoted to a preparatory committee of a high-level negotiating meeting in 2015 to adopt the revision.

The TPP’s New Plant-Related Intellectual Property Provisions

Public Citizen logo 2

The newly-released Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) intellectual property (IP) chapter would help seed conglomerates like Monsanto prevent farmers from saving and using seeds that contain patented plant materials, even when such use is for their own personal consumption. The TPP language would also prevent breeders from using plants seeds that contain patented plant materials to research and develop new varieties. Most plant variety protection (PVP) systems allow farmers to save and reuse seeds (for noncommercial purposes) and permit breeders to use protected plant varieties to research and develop new varieties. In contrast, patents on plant-related inventions, as outlined in the TPP, may have few exceptions. This new text constitutes a huge step in the wrong direction, changing the plant IP regimes of many of the negotiating countries to the detriment of their populations, writes Public Citizen.

Preparations Begin For Lisbon Revision At WIPO; Procedural Question Raised

AO - Brie de Meaux - Flickr - Leo Reynolds

The 28-member Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration is en route to being revised to include geographical indications and allow international organisations to join the agreement. But some other member countries of the World Intellectual Property Organization, which oversees the agreement, are raising procedural questions and intend on having a say on the revision. [Update: new proposal now available]

EU Legislation On Nagoya Protocol Becomes Effective; What Effect On Indigenous Peoples’ Rights?

Indigenous Community - Flickr - United Nations

The entry into force of an international treaty facilitating access to genetic resources and ensuring the fair sharing of potential commercial benefits has prompted the applicability of a European Union regulation relating to the treaty. This led a researcher to call on the treaty members to ensure its implementation protects the rights of indigenous and local communities.

Nagoya Protocol Enters Into Force, Will Be Tested In Months To Come

Rain Forest - Flickr - Sue Bowen

The Nagoya Protocol, a treaty expected to ensure greater access to genetic resources and a mandatory fair benefit-sharing of the benefits that could be derived from those resources, will enter into force on 12 October, almost four years after it was agreed.