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Which countries have introduced special disclosure requirements for patent applications involving genetic resources? What do such requirements cover?
Ivan Hjertman, Chairman of Q94

The issue of special disclosure requirements for patent applications involving genetic resources has been debated for many years in the CBD, in the WTO TRIPS Council and in WIPO. Recent developments are the CBD Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing which was agreed in October 2010, the accelerated WTO negotiations in 2011 for a conclusion of the Doha Round which includes the TRIPS/CBD/disclosure issue, and the mandate given to the WIPO Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore to submit texts for an international legal instrument to the WIPO General Assembly in 2011.

In parallel moves, a number of countries have introduced, or are considering the introduction of such special disclosure requirements in their national legislation, or in regional legislation.

AIPPI Special Committees Q94 WTO/TRIPS and Q166 Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore, have by a Questionnaire in 2010 collected factual information on the extent of national requirements concerning such special disclosure requirements. Questions raised include whether such legislation exists or is under consideration, what sanctions may apply for non-compliance, if the requirement is retroactive, what triggers a special disclosure requirement, what applies to traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources, and what the experiences are from existing legislation. The findings from the 34 responses received are available in a Summary Report with three annexes(Annex 1, Annex 2 and Annex 3). The individual responses are also available on the AIPPI website, under Special Committee Q94 and Special Committee Q166.