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Role of Intellectual Peoperty Rights in the Benefit Sharing Arrangements: The Case of Bio-resources Development and Conservation Program in Nigeria

Anil K. Gupta

No WP2002-08-03, IIMA Working Papers from Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Research and Publication Department

Abstract: The subject of this case study is the role of intellectual property rights in the benefit-sharing arrangements surrounding the work of the Bio-resources Development and Conservation Programme (BDCP) as a part of the International Cooperative Biodiversity Group (ICBG) in the field of traditional medicine. In particular the role of patents, trade secrets and trademarks are discussed. The case examines, inter alia, a national patent and an "international" patent application under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), with claims over TK-based pharmaceutical inventions related to the work of the ICBG. Copies of these patents are attached in Annexes 3.4.3 and 3.4.4. Based on these examples, the availability of patent protection is identified as a key requisite for generating benefits to be shared with local practitioners of traditional medicine from pharmaceutical research based on their knowledge. The central role of a Trust Fund established by BDCP for sharing these benefits in monetary and non-monetary form is highlighted. The case study also illustrates the difficulty of balancing the input of various local stakeholders of TK and biological resources, such as traditional healers associations vis-à-vis local community representatives. This is a part of WIPO sponsored study on the role of intellectual property rights in the sharing of benefits arising from the use of biological resources and associated traditional knowledge.

Date: 2002-08-03
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