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WIPO TREATY:THE SIGNIFICANCE for INDIA AND THE GLOBAL SOUTH



  May 30, 2024

WIPO TREATY:THE SIGNIFICANCE for INDIA AND THE GLOBAL SOUTH



On May 24, 2024, a historic treaty was concluded at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) headquarters in Geneva, marking a significant achievement for India and the Global South. This treaty focuses on the protection of genetic resources (GRs) and associated traditional knowledge (ATK), providing a robust safeguard against their misappropriation by developed countries and multinational corporations.

KEY HIGHLIGHTS OF THE TREATY

1. Protection of Genetic Resources and Traditional Knowledge: The treaty provides a framework to protect the genetic resources and traditional knowledge of countries like India, which are rich in biodiversity and traditional wisdom. This protection is crucial in preventing the unauthorized use of these resources by foreign entities.

2. Global Recognition: For the first time, the treaty inscribes the system of traditional knowledge and wisdom into the global intellectual property (IP) system. This recognition establishes a connection between local communities and their genetic resources and traditional knowledge, acknowledging their contributions to global biodiversity.

3. Mandatory Disclosure Obligations: The treaty mandates patent applicants to disclose the country of origin or source of genetic resources when their inventions are based on these resources or associated traditional knowledge. This requirement aims to increase transparency in the patent system and protect the resources from being misappropriated in countries without such obligations.

4. Inclusivity and Innovation: By creating global standards for disclosure of origin obligations, the treaty fosters a more inclusive IP system that responds to the needs of all countries and their communities. This approach balances the incentivization of innovation with the protection of biodiversity.

5. Implementation and Enforcement: The treaty requires contracting parties, including developed countries, to amend their legal frameworks to enforce disclosure of origin obligations effectively. This change ensures that the protection of genetic resources and traditional knowledge is upheld globally.

BENEFITS FOR INDIA

• Enhanced Protection: The treaty offers added protection to India’s genetic resources and traditional knowledge, which are currently at risk of misappropriation in countries lacking disclosure obligations.

• Support for Biodiversity: By safeguarding biodiversity, the treaty aligns with India’s long-standing commitment to preserving its rich natural heritage.

• Strengthened IP System: The treaty strengthens the IP system by incorporating provisions that protect the interests of provider countries, promoting fairness and equity in the use of genetic resources.

• Global Leadership: India’s leadership in championing this treaty reinforces its role as a global advocate for sustainable development and biodiversity conservation.

This treaty marks the beginning of a journey towards collective growth and a sustainable future, fulfilling a cause that India has supported for centuries.



SRIRAM’s



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