When Two Worlds Collide: Ownership of Genetic Resources unde rthe Convention on Biological Diversity and the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights
The rapid growth of the biotechnology industry over the past two decades led many countries to recognize the vast economic potential of their genetic resources and indigenous knowledge.
1 Pharmaceutical companies and plant breeders increasingly rely upon these resources to engineer plantderived drugs, disease-resistant crops, and biotechnical production processes.2 With increasing demand for new biotechnological products, the global community is struggling to strike a balance between the interests of host countries, who seek remuneration for supplying genetic resources and traditional knowledge, and biotechnological inventors, who are pressing for free access, open markets, and stronger intellectual property rights protection.
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