Implications of Biological Information Digitization: Access and Benefit Sharing of Plant Genetic Resources

S.J. Smyth, D.M. Macall, P.W.B. Phillips and J. de Beer, “Implications of biological information digitization: Access and benefit sharing of plant genetic resources” (2020) Journal of World Intellectual Property 1-21.

21 Pages Posted: 8 Oct 2020

See all articles by Stuart Smyth

Stuart Smyth

University of Saskatchewan

Diego Macall

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Peter W.B. Phillips

University of Saskatchewan

Jeremy de Beer

University of Ottawa - Common Law Section

Date Written: 2020

Abstract

The decoupling of biological information from its material source has changed debates about global access and benefit sharing (ABS) of genetic resources. What does the digitization of biological information imply for genetic resources of proven and potential value? What implications does digital sequence information (DSI) have for individuals and groups, who have invested time and effort in augmenting and refining valuable characteristics in genetic resources? Stakeholders discussing this issue in various international fora unanimously acknowledge there are currently more questions than answers. Online digital publicly accessible resources represent a trans-formative technological shift, resulting in intellectual property governance gaps. This article provides interdisciplinary perspectives on options available to governments to continue advancing the goals of ABS, when physical access to genetic resources is no longer needed because DSI is readily accessible. It envisions four governance scenarios.

Keywords: access and benefits sharing, digital sequence information, governance, interdisciplinary

Suggested Citation

Smyth, Stuart and Macall, Diego and Phillips, Peter W.B. and de Beer, Jeremy, Implications of Biological Information Digitization: Access and Benefit Sharing of Plant Genetic Resources (2020). S.J. Smyth, D.M. Macall, P.W.B. Phillips and J. de Beer, “Implications of biological information digitization: Access and benefit sharing of plant genetic resources” (2020) Journal of World Intellectual Property 1-21., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3677616

Stuart Smyth

University of Saskatchewan ( email )

College of Education
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 5A7
Canada

Diego Macall

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Peter W.B. Phillips

University of Saskatchewan ( email )

College of Education
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 5A7
Canada

Jeremy De Beer (Contact Author)

University of Ottawa - Common Law Section ( email )

57 Louis Pasteur Street
Ottawa, K1N 6N5
Canada

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