Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group to study issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction


Panellists: T.B. Kohona,Liesbeth Lijnzaad co Chair, Norman Seabrass and Paul Olden

10:00 to 11:30 Open meeting Conference Room 3 (NLB)

Panel 5: Intellectual property rights issues

By Wayne Dean Doyle (05-03-2013)

A complex conversation with mind boggling statistics and legal terms – The Proliferation of patents in relation to the sustainability of marine biological diversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction. The number of patents globally is becoming very extremely multidimensional. Can a living organism be patented?  The US Supreme Court decided human made microorganisms can be patented as a manufactured product or species, but this too has its limitations.  These are the problem areas with patents:

  • Ritonavir :800 patents , Motorola /Google: 17,000 patents
  • Now companies are patenting in every scenario that they can in order to keep out the competition
  • Nokia has 30,000 patents in relation to technology!
  • The concept of invention: Natural Substances, even if isolated are not patentable
  • Low standards involved with assessing the patentability of particular item
  • The sheer volume of patents is ridiculous given some of the inventions. What is an invention
  • The need for clarity in legislation and meaningful laws that achieve and encourage open research and open innovation
  • Patents shouldn’t be a major issue when trying to advance research, a shared approach for a greater achievement

Mr. Seabrass – Infringement and Innovation

  • Patent system is heavily criticised for impeding innovation
  • Should different companies share the benefits in terms of pharmaceutical advancement of their oceanic finds?
  • Where does the influence of your information end and how you do as an individual or company lay claim to certain intellectual/biological aspects of a creation.

Dr. Olden – United Nations University

  • Ocean Bio geographic information System contains about 11 million different oceanic species and where they can be located
  • Mr. Olden spoke in depth about the statistical benefits of the online information and how this information can also promote clarity in and around the area of marine species and patents
  • Discussion in relation to geographical relations of humans and the various species in the ocean – origins, volume and type are all logged.

 The delegation of Korea asks for more clarity about the procedure of obtaining genetic patents, Fiji discusses the topic of information sharing and the need to tie CDP and WHO together in terms of file sharing. How can countries that do not have the capacity to conduct and maintain such in depth analysis? European Union looks for clarity in the legal aspects of genetically modified organisms. USA, China, Argentina and Japan also speak. Further information and following conference information available @

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