IGC 42: KEI statement on access and benefit sharing in relation to IP and genetic resources

On Tuesday, 1 March 2022, Knowledge Ecology International delivered the following statement at the 42nd session of the WIPO Intergovernmental Committee on Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge, and Folklore.

KEI would like some clarifications regarding how regimes proposed in the IGC impact the economics of stewardship, curation and sharing of genetic resources.

KEI opposes the creation of exclusive rights that can block innovations and access to knowledge and materials, in the context of traditional knowledge or genetic resources.

Benefit sharing does not require the granting of exclusive rights. Liability rule approaches seem to offer a better model.

KEI recommends the IGC consider approaches modeled after the EU Directive in Biotechnology, that creates a mandatory cross licensing regime between sui generis plant breeder rights and patents, when either one uses the other’s innovations. Aspects of this EU directive are relevant to the challenges in implementing benefit sharing when associated TK or GR are involved.