Bioprospecting and biopiracy are an increasing problem, particularly for developing nations. Large companies, usually from developed nations, gather biological samples to use in research, and often patent the results without sharing profits with the nations from which the biological samples were taken. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) attempted to address these issues by stating that natural resources belong to the source nations, and entities wishing to use those resources should obtain prior informed consent before using them. The CBD, however, lacks an enforcement mechanism. Other nations and organizations have proposed amendments to Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights and the Patent Cooperation Treaty to bring these laws more in line with the spirit of the CBD, but there has been little progress made on these proposals. This article provides a proposed genetic source and prior informed consent disclosure that the U.S. can implement that will not significantly upset the current patent regime, bring the U.S. into closer harmony with the CBD, and make the U.S. a model for other nations to implement similar legislation.
- convention on biological diversity,
- prior informed consent,
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/laura_grebe/1/