Friday, 16 February 2018

Access to Genetic Resources: Peru persistent monitoring body

The Peruvian National Institute for the Defense of Free Competition and the Protection (INDECOPI) has a crucial office called The National Commission against Biopiracy. This body recently reported that during 2017 they identified 11 new cases of biopiracy, in different patent offices abroad. The respective oppositions are in process.

The report acknowledges that they are managing the respective oppositions in order to prevent the application from becoming patents (here). In order to do so, first the office needs to identify the application by monitoring work in the patent offices of the world. For the office to do so it has to allocate first national biological resources (Peruvian origin) and monitor this periodically.

For instance, INDECOPI reported that in 2017 it identified 13577 patent documents in which it observed the use of national biological resources. From this it could identify the 11 cases of biopiracy which relates to: Maca, Sacha Inchi, Tara, Aguaje, Huanarpo macho and Chuchuhuasi. The applications have taken place in China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the Philippines. The one opposed in Taiwan, the IPO has already rejected the application.
For your information, the National Commission against Biopiracy continuously publish a monthly bulletin called ‘BioPat Peru’. This bulletin identifies developments in the use of the Peruvian biological resources in the world. Moreover, the practice of this body is shared internationally (in India, Mexico, Brazil, Switzerland and Vietnam).

The Andean countries has harmonized the law in regards to Biopiracy i.e. DECISION 391- Common Regime on Access to genetic resources. Peru has also LAW N ° 27811- which establishes the regime of protection of collective knowledge of indigenous peoples linked to biological resources. In general, these regulations establish that the “Peruvian State has sovereign rights over its genetic resources. Indigenous peoples have rights over the collective knowledge they have created, developed and preserved over the centuries, about the resources of the biodiversity of their environment.”

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