Further Observations by Switzerland on its Proposals Regarding the Declaration of the Source of Genetic Resources and Traditional knowledge in Patent Applications (link)

November 1, 2004

Geneva, 29 Oct 2004

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  • In May 2003, Switzerland submitted a proposal regarding the declaration of the source of genetic resources and traditional knowledge in patent applications to the Working Group on Reform of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) (see document PCT/R/WG/4/13 and, with identical contents, document PCT/R/WG/5/11). In this proposal Switzerland suggested to amend the Regulations Under the PCT in order to explicitly enable the national legislator to require the declaration of the source of genetic resources and traditional knowledge in patent applications. Document PCT/R/WG/5/11 was subsequently made available to the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore ("the Committee") at its fifth session in July 2003, for the information only of the Committee.

  • In order to further advance the discussions of the Working Group on PCT - Reform, Switzerland submitted additional comments on its proposals to the sixth session of the Working Group on PCT-Reform in May 2004 as document PCT/R/WG/6/11. These comments concern the use of terms, the concept of the "source" of genetic resources and traditional knowledge, the scope of the obligation to declare this source in patent applications, and the possible legal sanctions for failure to disclose or the wrongful disclosure of the source.

  • In a letter dated October 18, 2004, the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (IPI) transmitted a communication by Switzerland for submission to the PCT Reform Electronic Forum, which had been established to facilitate the work concerning PCT reform and enables the submission of comments on matters concerning PCT reform (available at http:///www.wipo.int/pct-reform-eforum). This submission contained further observations on the Swiss proposal and was posted on the Electronic Forum on October 18, 2004. 1

  • The above-mentioned letter of IPI also requested that this latest submission be circulated to the Committee for its information only. It is accordingly provided as the Annex to this document. The letter also requested that document PCT/R/WG/6/11 be brought to the attention of the Committee, also for its information. It is expected that these further submissions will be considered substantively by the Working Group on PCT - Reform at its next meeting.

  • The Committee is invited to take note of this document and the Annex to it, and of document PCT/R/WG/6/11, for its information only.
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