The final notes on the Union for Ethical BioTrade series on “A review of patent activity in the cosmetics sector in the context of the ethical sourcing of biodiversity” have been now made public. This series aims to provide an analysis of the patent landscape for natural ingredients in the cosmetics sector, as well as key insights on challenges and opportunities for mutual supportiveness between patenting strategies and ethical sourcing strategies.
Information Note 3 focuses on “Patents claims and biodiversity in the cosmetics and perfumes sectors.” In the context of the link between patents and biodiversity, there have been criticisms over patent claims reaching beyond the actual innovation, with potential impact on the rights of countries and communities over biodiversity. Information Note 3 provides details on a number of issues relevant for those drafting, assessing and analyzing patent claims linked to biodiversity in the cosmetics sector, including the types of claims made and the manner in which plant species are addressed.
Information Note 4 brings the series to a close, with a summary of the main findings. Research for this series was conducted by Dr. Paul Oldham, Research Associate at the ESRC Centre for Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics (CESAGen), Lancaster University, on behalf of UEBT. Information Note 4 highlights his suggestions on a way forward, including for companies working with biodiversity, whether they use patents or not. Initial feedback on the series of information notes, moreover, shows there may also be lessons for the development and implementation of rules and good practices on biodiversity, and access and benefit sharing in particular.