19 August 2017

Plant IP

The thoughtful 'Information Intellectual Property and the Global Information System for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture' (Griffith University Law School Research Paper No. 17-21) by Charles Lawson comments 
The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (Plant Treaty) establishes a mechanism for the accessing and sharing of some plant materials. An essential element of that accessing and sharing is information about the materials including information (and data) about the characterisation, regeneration and evaluation of the materials. A “Global Information System” (GLIS) will allow much of this information to be made available and shared. This article reviews the information obligations imposed by the Plant Treaty and its associated “Standard Material Transfer Agreement” on the collection and disclosures of information and other legal obligations that will likely shape the form and function of the GLIS. The article concludes that the GLIS will need to carefully distinguish between information that is freely available and information that is subject to legal restrictions.