Sui Generis protection for plant varieties and traditional knowledge in biodiversity and agriculture : the international framework and national approaches in the Philippines and India
Antons, Christoph 2010, Sui Generis protection for plant varieties and traditional knowledge in biodiversity and agriculture : the international framework and national approaches in the Philippines and India, Indian journal of law and technology, vol. 6, pp. 89-139.
Law and Technology Committee of the Student Bar Association, National Law School of India University
Place of publication
The so-called ‘biotechnology clause’ of Article 27.3(b) of the WTO-TRIPS Agreement requires from member states protection for plant varieties either via the patent system or via an ‘effective sui generis system’ or by a combination of the two. Many developing countries prefer forms of sui generis protection, which allow them to include exceptions and protection measures for traditional agricultural practices and the traditional knowledge of farmers and local communities. However, ‘traditional knowledge’ remains a vaguely defined term. Its extension to biodiversity has brought a diffusion of the previously clearer link between protected subject matter, intellectual property and potential beneficiaries. The Philippine legislation attempts a ‘bottom-up’ approach focusing on the holistic perceptions of indigenous communities, whereas national economic interests thus far receive priority in India’s more centralist approach. Administrative decentralisation, recognition of customary rights, disclosure requirements, registers of landraces and geographical indications are discussed as additional measures, but their implementation is equally challenging. The article concludes that many of the concepts remain contested and that governments have to balance the new commercial incentives with the biodiversity considerations that led to their introduction, so that the system can be made sufficiently attractive for both knowledge holders and potential users of the knowledge.
Reproduced with the kind permission of the copyright owner.
Field of Research
189999 Law and Legal Studies not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective
970118 Expanding Knowledge in Law and Legal Studies
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