Intellectual Property and Biodiversity

Intellectual Property and Biodiversity: Rights to Animal Genetic Resources by Michelangelo Temmerman is to be published on 19th December.
This is a significant resource at 320 pages. This book covers:

    the continuing applicability of trademarks, geographical indications, copyright, and trade secrets;
    patentability rules and exclusions;
    the extension of patent rights over progeny;
    the underlying elements deciding on the shape of regulation – innovation, economic development, agriculture, human rights, animal welfare, the conservation of resources, and equal trading conditions;
    the meaning of ‘essentially biotechnological processes’;
    the legal definitions of ‘morality’ and ‘ordre public’ in the context of animal welfare;
    and the future of international patent law in the context of global governance theories.

Intellectual Property and Biodiversity has a detailed investigation of how three major jurisdictions – the European Union, the United States, and Canada – have regulated the matter and highlights unresolved issues in the laws dealing with animal genetic resources.

Contractual Arrangement Regarding Protection of Traditional Knowledge Holders

Just possibly you don’t follow all the European Society of International Law (ESIL) Conference Papers.
In that case you would miss this one.
Their paper looks at private contractual arrangements and is worth having a look at.


In the wake of increasingly widespread bio prospecting and commercial use of indigenous knowledge by enterprises and research institutions, a variety of international agreements such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) (1992), the CBD Bonn Guidelines (2002), the FAO’ International Treaty on Plant and Genetic Resources (2001), the the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Draft Provisions on Traditional Cultural Expressions/Folklore and Traditional Knowledge (2004) have proposed certain formulas for the protection of traditional knowledge (TK). The existing legal frameworks of TK protection at the international level lack specific instruments for TK protection, and rather constitute a soft law, and some regional and national laws that provide indigenous peoples with property rights over TK are not internationally recognized. There is still no operating binding international agreement that provides effective protective measures. The article argues that in the meanwhile private contractual arrangement constitutes one of the major instruments to protect TK during the bio prospecting process. Nevertheless, whether the contract basis is always workable and equitable remains controversial. The article aims to assess whether a contract model may properly protect indigenous peoples’ traditional knowledge related to genetic resources. It will explore the strength and weakness of using contracts for the protection of TK holders. Among the most significant advantages are the freedom of concluding a contract and its flexibility. Thus, the contract could be of a very flexible instrument, fitting the peculiarities of a particular transaction. On the other hand, the approach has some limitations, such as an imbalance of bargaining powers between contracting parties.

Tsikun, Marina Igorevna, Ni, Kuei-Jung and Shang-Jhy, Liu, A Review on Contractual Arrangement Regarding Protection of Traditional Knowledge Holders (December 7, 2011). European Society of International Law (ESIL) Conference Paper No. 8/2011. Available at SSRN:

Gene Thieves

Susan Watt writes at the Economic and Social Research Council a very readable introduction to the Nagoya Protocol and the looming deadline of February 2012.

The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization (ABS) to the Convention on Biological Diversity is a supplementary agreement to the Convention on Biological Diversity.

The Nagoya Protocol applies to genetic resources that are covered by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and to the benefits arising from their utilization. The Nagoya Protocol also covers traditional knowledge (TK) associated with genetic resources that are covered by the CBD and the benefits arising from its utilization.

If you haven’t yet read all 36 articles of the Nagoya Protocol, you can get your teeth into it at

IT CPD – and it’s legal

Is this the best value for CPD points? More importantly, are you interested in the intersection of the worlds of computers and law?

The Society for Computers and Law  is the leading UK organisation for legal professionals advising and practising within the IT sector.

SCL membership is currently only £95 a year and includes over 12 hours of free online CPD among its many benefits. Their online CPD scheme is accredited by the Bar Standards Board and the Solicitors Regulation Authority in England and Wales. In other countries of course you will need to check with your own governing body.


How Not to Moot

Bradford University Law Society has put together a useful series of short videos on mooting.

How Not to Moot‘ is both instructive and amusing.