Title: Intellectual property rights, plant genetic resources and international law: potential conflicts and options for reconciliation

Authors: Megan Bowman

Addresses: Law School and Centre of Strategic Economic Studies, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia

Abstract: This paper analyses the potentially conflictual provisions of the Agreement on the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) pertaining to plant genetic resources and intellectual property rights. It concludes that potential conflict between TRIPS and the CBD may be reconciled by remaining true to the over-arching principle of global welfare-maximisation in TRIPS and by utilising patent exemptions in appropriate circumstances. In so doing, consonance may be achieved with the objectives of the CBD in order to ensure appropriate international recognition of IPRs and also conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

Keywords: Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights; TRIPS; Convention on Biological Diversity; CBD; plant genetic resources; intellectual property rights; international law; global welfare maximisation; patent exemptions; biodiversity; biotechnology; conflicts; reconciliation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIPM.2007.014526

International Journal of Intellectual Property Management, 2007 Vol.1 No.4, pp.277 - 292

Published online: 13 Jul 2007 *

Full-text access for editors Full-text access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article