World Intellectual Property Organization

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The Treaty on Intellectual Property, Genetic Resources and Associated Traditional Knowledge was adopted at the Diplomatic Conference held under the aegis of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) at its headquarters in Geneva.

About World Intellectual Property Organization

  • It is a specialized agency of the United Nations, located in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • It was established by the WIPO Convention in 1967.
  • Mission: Its mission is to lead the development of a balanced and effective international intellectual property (IP) system that enables innovation and creativity for the benefit of all.
  • Members: WIPO currently has 193 member states.
  • It provides a global policy forum, where governments, intergovernmental organizations, industry groups and civil society come together to address evolving IP issues.
  • Its member states and observers meet regularly in a variety of standing committees and working groups.
    • In these bodies, members negotiate the changes and new rules needed to ensure that the international IP system keeps pace with the changing world, and continues to serve its fundamental purpose of encouraging innovation and creativity.

Key points about Treaty on Intellectual Property, Genetic Resources and Associated Traditional Knowledge

  • The Treaty mandates that, where a patent application involves genetic resources, the applicant must disclose the country of origin or source.
  • If traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources is involved, the applicant must disclose the Indigenous Peoples or local community that provided it.
  • Genetic resources, found in entities such as medicinal plants and agricultural crops, are often utilized in patented inventions, although they themselves cannot be patented.
  • Once ratified by 15 contracting parties, the Treaty will establish an international legal framework requiring patent applicants to disclose the origin of genetic resources and the associated traditional knowledge used in their inventions.

Q1: What is Intellectual Property Rights?

The term "intellectual property" (IP) refers to any original work of the human mind, including those in the arts, sciences, literature, technology, or other fields.

Source: WIPO concludes new treaty to protect genetic resources, traditional knowledge; India plays key role