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COP 3 Decision III/17
Retired sections: paragraphs 3 to 6.

Intellectual property rights

The Conference of the Parties,

Recognizing that intellectual property rights are relevant to and may have implications for the implementation of the Convention and the achievement of its objectives,

Noting that intellectual property rights are the focus of other international agreements and organizations,

Recalling Article 16, paragraph 5, of the Convention,

Recognizing the importance of implementing intellectual property rights-related provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity and of international agreements relating to intellectual property rights in a mutually supportive way,

Recalling decision II/12 of the second meeting of the Conference of the Parties,

1. Encourages Governments, and relevant international and regional organizations, to conduct and communicate to the Executive Secretary, for dissemination through means such as the clearing-house mechanism, case studies of the impacts of intellectual property rights on the achievement of the Convention's objectives, including relationships between intellectual property rights and the knowledge, practices and innovations of indigenous and local communities embodying traditional lifestyles relevant for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. Such studies could:

    (a) Take into account the information and options for future work contained in the preliminary study prepared by the Executive Secretary, contained in document UNEP/CBD/COP/3/22;
    (b) Take into consideration existing and potential interrelationships between intellectual property rights and other aspects of the Convention’s implementation, including, for example, implementation of Articles 8 (j), 15 and 16;
    (c) Involve, through consultation or cooperation, relevant international organizations, as well as relevant regional and national bodies, stakeholders, and others with relevant expertise, as appropriate;
    (d) Consider the role and the potential of existing intellectual property rights systems in achieving the objectives of the Convention, including, inter alia, in facilitating technology transfer and in arrangements by which interested parties including indigenous and local communities embodying traditional lifestyles relevant for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity and countries may determine access to and share equitably the benefits of genetic resources or knowledge, innovations and practices;
    (e) Consider the development of intellectual property rights, such as sui generis systems/approaches, or alternative forms of protection that could promote achievement of the Convention's objectives, consistent with the Parties' international obligations;
    (f) Reflect the importance of coordinating efficiently with work undertaken pursuant to other elements of the work programme of the Conference of the Parties and work programmes of other relevant organizations;

2. Notes that the possible establishment of a new international intellectual property rights regime for databases could have implications for scientific and technical cooperation related to conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, and calls for an open and transparent evaluation of these implications;

3. Requests the Executive Secretary to contact relevant international organizations, particularly the World Intellectual Property Organization, to invite them to take into account in their development cooperation programmes, where appropriate, the need to build capacity to achieve the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity as related to intellectual property rights;

4. Requests the Executive Secretary to transmit to the Secretariat of the World Trade Organization, for use by appropriate World Trade Organization bodies, decisions of the third meeting of the Conference of the Parties, as well as the documents placed before the third meeting of the Conference of the Parties, and to endeavour to undertake further cooperation and consultation with the World Trade Organization Secretariat, as appropriate. The documents shall be accompanied by the note from the Conference of the Parties included as the annex to this decision;

5. Welcomes the decision of the Committee on Trade and Environment of the World Trade Organization to de-restrict and transmit documents to the Executive Secretary relating to its work, and invites the Committee on Trade and Environment to transmit future relevant documents to the Executive Secretary as they are produced;

6. Requests the Executive Secretary to apply for observer status in the Committee on Trade and Environment of the World Trade Organization, for the purpose of representing the Convention on Biological Diversity in meetings whose agendas have a relationship with the Convention;

7. Notes the potential mutual benefits of exchanging information related to Article 16 of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the laws and regulations received by the Council on Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights pursuant to the notification requirement of Article 63 of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights;

8. Recognizes that further work is required to help develop a common appreciation of the relationship between intellectual property rights and the relevant provisions of the Agreement on Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights and the Convention on Biological Diversity, in particular on issues relating to technology transfer and conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the use of genetic resources, including the protection of knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities embodying traditional lifestyles relevant for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity.


Annex

The Convention on Biological Diversity and the Agreement on Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights

The Conference of the Parties hereby transmits to the Secretariat of the World Trade Organization, for use by appropriate bodies of the World Trade Organization, the decisions of the third meeting of the Conference of the Parties, as well as the documents placed before the third meeting of the Conference of the Parties. In particular, attention is drawn to document UNEP/CBD/COP/3/22, entitled "The impact of intellectual property rights systems on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity and on the equitable sharing of benefits from its use", and document UNEP/CBD/COP/3/23, entitled "The Convention on Biological Diversity and the Agreement on Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs): Relationships and synergies". These documents were prepared for the consideration of the Conference of the Parties and their inclusion does not imply full endorsement by the Conference of the Parties. They are offered as contributions to what is hoped will be a continuing process of consultation and cooperation, aimed at promoting the harmonious implementation of the two agreements.

  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme