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Businesses work with genetic resources in many different ways to create innovative products and services.

With increasing global recognition of the importance of biological diversity, access to genetic resources and the sharing of benefits that arise from their utilisation in R&D activities – ABS – has become the subject of much discussion. These discussions have led to the conclusion of the Nagoya Protocol—adopted in 2014 under the umbrella of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)—and continue in many other fora including the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

ABS concerning the use of traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources is also being discussed in the CBD and WIPO, in parallel with discussions on possible modalities for the protection of traditional knowledge.

Supporting the CBD objectives to conserve and sustainably use biological diversity and to share the benefits of utilising genetic resources in a fair manner, business has played an active role in ABS discussions through ICC, including in the CBD and WIPO. ICC led business participation in the Nagoya negotiations and continues to provide the coordinated perspective of different business sectors on the Protocol’s implementation.

For ICC submissions on ABS search the document centre for “Intellectual Property” 

For a summary of intellectual property issues relating to ABS and traditional knowledge,  see ICC’s Intellectual Property Roadmap.