AIPLA Comments on WIPO IGC Negotiations on Genetic Resources and Associated Traditional Knowledge

Written January 31, 2024

Arlington, VA. January 22, 2024 - The American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) submitted comments to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in response to the October 24, 2023 Notice on WIPO Intergovernmental Committee (IGC) Negotiations on Genetic Resources and Associated Traditional Knowledge.


AIPLA advocates for robust and effective patent systems that encourage innovation. However, concerns arise with the proposed patent disclosure requirement (PPDR) in PCT applications regarding the origin of genetic resources (GRs) and traditional knowledge (TK) associated with GRs. While the stated goal is to improve the efficacy, transparency, and quality of the patent system, the primary focus appears to be on facilitating access and benefit sharing (ABS) of genetic resources. The comments caution against adopting the PPDR, asserting that its benefits are unclear and likely outweighed by unnecessary burdens. Should the PPDR be considered, the comments emphasize the necessity of carefully qualifying it as solely a formal requirement, appropriately limited in scope, not retroactive, not affecting patent validity or enforceability, not incurable, etc. AIPLA believes the existing disclosure mechanisms used by the USPTO and PCT (i.e., enablement, written description) are sufficient for maintaining transparency and legal certainty in the patent system.


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