Role of IPR in Protection of Biodiversity

  • Aman Shakya
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  • Aman Shakya

    Student at Unity PG & Law College, India

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In today's globalized world, Biological Diversity is the hallmark of the life of living beings. We can say that it is the backbone of sustainable development. The current Intellectual property rights (IPR) are encouraging the commercialization of seed development, monoculture, protection of new plant varieties, microorganisms, genetically modified organisms, etc. Biodiversity is the cornerstone of our sustainability. Developed countries are not rich in biogenetic resources but are better equipped for research and Development. They use biogenetic resources obtained from developing countries. As a result, insecurity has begun information from developing countries to the capital-rich west, and protection flow mainly in the opposite direction through the patent and plant Breeders' Rights (PBR). It has both visible and invisible effects. This paper deals with biodiversity and the role of IPR in this and how the IPR laws protect biodiversity.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 5, Issue 5, Page 1534 - 1537


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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution -NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits remixing, adapting, and building upon the work for non-commercial use, provided the original work is properly cited.


Copyright © IJLMH 2021

I. Introduction

Biological diversity refers to the varieties or differentiation between organisms in today’s world. Biodiversity is also the living species on the earth, such as plants, Animals, microorganisms, etc. In 1985, Walter G. Rosen first introduced the term biodiversity in the world. Later the word biodiversity was called Biological Diversity. Biodiversity refers to all species on the earth at all levels, from genes to ecosystems, encompassing the evolutionary, ecological, and cultural processes which sustain the life of living.

II. Biodiversity

Under Article 27(3) of the TRIPS (Trade related aspects of Intellectual property Rights) agreement, the countries have the choice. To get the patent on the new variety of the plants or make a sui generis law for the protection of the plant or for the protection of the modification of the plant and get the patent on this modified plant. International Union for the protection of new varieties of plants. In the French language, it states as union international pour la protection des obtentions vegetables, or in brief, we call this UPOV. In Paris in 1961, this convention was adopted. The object of this convention is to give protection to the new varieties of plants as Intellectual Property. Through this convention, the plant breeders get encouraged development for new varieties of plants for the benefit of society.

Indian government launched legislation to protect the farmers. The name of this legislation was, The protection of plant varieties and farmer’s rights act, 2001. The provisions related to this act were:

  • To provide protection to the plant varieties.
  • For providing protection to the farmers or plant breeders.
  • For encouragement, development and cultivation of new varieties of the plants.
  • Sharing the benefit and compensation to the traditional, rural, and tribal communities.
  • It protects the traditional rights of the farmers.

III. Un convention on biological diversity (cbd)

This convention was signed in the Rio De Janerio in June 1992. And it came into force on 29th December 1993. In this convention, the 196 parties are the members.

Biological Diversity Act, 2002

This act was under the Convention of Biological Diversity to enact and meet its obligations. This convention Secures the share of benefits to the local people for the conserves. This act holds the knowledge, and information related to Biological Resources. Under this act, the species are protected and rehabilitated. The punishment for the violation of this act is defined under section 58 of the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 or Bio Piracy. The punishment is Imprisonment for up to 5 years or a fine up to 10 lakhs, or if the damages are more than the fine can be more than 10 lakhs.

Traditional Knowledge

Article 8(j) talks about the convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) about traditional knowledge. The party of contracting preserve and maintain the innovations, knowledge, and practices of the indigenous and local communities, which is relevant for sustainable use. Traditional knowledge is found in the village; the people use ancient medicines, such as their own formulas, for treatment. Traditional knowledge is the driving force for earning income in developing countries. This is much more affordable, but as the modern alternative like Ayurveda, Siddha medicine of Tamil Nadu, Unani medicine, yoga, etc. Traditional knowledge is found in a large variety of contexts which includes Agricultural, scientific, technical, ecological, and medicinal knowledge, as well as knowledge related to biodiversity.

Traditional Knowledge Digital Library

They made a database in the medicine systems-based India in 2001, Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani, yoga, etc. This makes with the collaboration of the AYUSH (Ayurvedic, yoga & naturopathy, Unani, Siddha & Homeopathy) and CSIR (council of scientific & Industrial Research) convert the ancient texts into the 34 million A4 sized papers with attached the patent in the language English, French, German, Japanese & Spanish language. According to the study in India, 2000 patents are granted every year to the medicines systems of India.

IV. Impact of ipr on biodiversity

The criteria for awarding the plant variety protection laws allow breeders to protect the varieties with very similar characteristics, which means the system tends to be driven by commercial considerations of product differentiation and planned obsolescence rather than genuine improvements in agronomic traits. Similarly, the requirements for uniformity in UPOV type systems exclude the local varieties developed by farmers that are more genetically and less stable. But these characteristics are those that make them more adaptable and suited to the agro-ecological environments in which the majority of poor farmers live.

Turmeric Patent

The turmeric patent was first filed to the University of Mississippi medical centre for wound healing properties.

Neem Patent

The neem patent was first time filed by W R Grace and the department of agriculture, USA, in the European patent office.

Basmati Patent

It is the Basmati patent first time the US patent office granted a patent to rice for a strain of Basmati rice.

V. Conclusion

Every person has an innovative mind, so we need to protect their ideas, thoughts, their inventions and others by providing them with some laws for their protection. When we talk about the laws related to the protection of technological inventions, we go for Intellectual property rights. Under this, we protect our inventions, thoughts, ideas, process, etc. But now we talk about the protection of the rights in biodiversity. Everyone is surprised how the IPR protects biodiversity. But now, the IPR can provide a good opportunity to everyone for the protection of their invention in biodiversity. Many laws were made for the protection of this; The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 1992, and The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) in 1994. The IPR plays a very helpful role and gives all people the right to protect their inventions.