Ten years of protecting genetic resources
The Peruvian Anti-Biopiracy Commission, chaired by the local PTO (INDECOPI), has recently celebrated its 10th anniversary.
The Anti-Biopiracy Commission seeks to protect Peruvian genetic resources and traditional knowledgeby “tracking, identifying and combating biopiracy cases occurring worldwide and affecting cultural and biological diversity,” states INDECOPI.Staff search through patent offices worldwide in order to identify granted patents or pending patent applicationsinvolving Peruvian biological products or Peruvian traditional knowledge. Once identified, the Commission files a nullity action or an opposition against the corresponding patent or patent application, respectively.
So far, this Commission has analyzed more than 7,000 patent documents related to 69 biological resources of Peruvian origin and has favorably settled 12 cases related to the following biological products of plant origin: maca, sachainchi, camucamu, yacón and pasuchaca. As an example, it has managed to invalidate six patents involving maca root for the manufacture of medicaments for the treatment of osteoporosis, sleeping disorders, and testosterone deficiency increase in Japan, Korea and Europe.
The Anti-Biopiracy Commissionpoints out that it is not opposed to the use of Peruvian biological resources and/or traditional knowledge, but rather aims at making surethese resources are “used legally and with a fair contribution for the benefit of the sustainable development of the country and especially of the native communities.”
Peru is one of the first 50 countries to ratify the Nagoya Protocol, which entered into force on October 12, 2014. This international agreement focuses on sharing the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources in a fair and equitable way, by appropriate access to genetic resources, transfer of relevant technologies, and funding.