Geneva, 1 December 2005
Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights
ANALYSIS OF POTENTIAL CASES OF BIOPIRACY
Communication from Peru
Document number: IP/C/W/458 07 November 2005 (05-5212)
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The following communication, dated 19 October 2005, is being circulated at the request of the delegation of Peru. It was distributed in advance of the Council's meeting in October 2005.
The Case of Camu Camu (Myrciaria Dubia)
1. In recent years, Peru has made it clear that the protection of its genetic resources (part of its biological resources) and of the related traditional knowledge of the indigenous peoples of Peru is one of its major concerns in view of the growing trend towards using such resources - without the consent of their owners and without giving them any compensation - in order to develop inventions it is ultimately intended to protect under the patent system.
2. In this respect, as mentioned in document IP/C/W/441 (submitted to the meeting of the Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) of the World Trade Organization (WTO), held in March 2005), Peru has adopted a series of measures, policies and rules to combat biopiracy.
3. One of the measures adopted was the creation of the National Anti-Biopiracy Commission, whose basic task is to develop actions to identify, prevent and avoid acts of biopiracy which involve biological resources of Peruvian origin and traditional knowledge of the indigenous peoples of Peru. Initially, this intersectoral commission focused on identifying potential cases of biopiracy of six biological resources of Peruvian origin, i.e. looking for pending patent applications or patents granted abroad that seek to protect inventions apparently obtained from or developed on the basis of these biological resources and/or the traditional knowledge of Peru's indigenous peoples.
4. In order to highlight the progress made and the problems encountered by Peru in combating biopiracy and also to support its position in various international forums, the results of the first stage of this work were presented to the meeting of the TRIPS Council of the World Trade Organization (WTO) held in March this year, and to the Eighth Session of the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), held in June 2005.
5. The Commission has now started to analyse each of the cases identified during the first stage of the search for potential cases of biopiracy. It has benefited from the support of an expert in each of the resources - who has collected information on each resource (background, characteristics, related traditional knowledge, inter alia) - and of a patent examiner - who has examined compliance with the criteria of novelty and an inventive step for each of them, taking into account the information collected.
Outline of the problem