Digital DNA: The Nagoya Protocol, Intellectual Property Treaties, and Synthetic Biology

37 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2016

Date Written: February 2016


This report, prepared for the Synthetic Biology Project at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, builds on, and continues the exploration begun in the 2013 report by Bagley and Rai, “The Nagoya Protocol and Synthetic Biology: A Look at the Potential Issues.” In particular, it considers current challenges for the intellectual property protection of synthetic biology outputs, implementation issues concerning the 2010 Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing to the Convention on Biological Diversity, and possible interactions between the requirements of the Protocol and the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS). It also explores emerging concerns regarding synthetic biology and digital genetic information misappropriation in relation to non-commercial research projects. Finally, it presents highlights of negotiations in the World Intellectual Property Organization Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property, Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge, and Folklore, that may relate to both the Nagoya Protocol and TRIPS and thus may be relevant for researchers, particularly those working in the area of synthetic biology.

Suggested Citation

Bagley, Margo A., Digital DNA: The Nagoya Protocol, Intellectual Property Treaties, and Synthetic Biology (February 2016). Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper No. 11, Emory Legal Studies Research Paper, Available at SSRN: or

Margo A. Bagley (Contact Author)

Emory University School of Law ( email )

1301 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States
404-727-8293 (Phone)
404-727-6820 (Fax)

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics