The government and the Korea Patent Attorneys Association signed a joint business agreement and launched the 'ABS Legal Support Group for Benefit sharing of Genetic Resources.'
The ABS, Access and Benefit-Sharing is a key concept in Nagoya protocol, which requires the access to overseas genetic resources to be approved by the providing country and the benefits from using them to be shared with the providing country of genetic resources.
The ABS Legal Support Group, composed of legal experts on patent and intellectual property rights, is jointly operated by the Korea Patent Attorneys Association and five ministries, including the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries.
The state-responsible agency gives foreign companies permission to access and use domestic genetic resources, while the state-inspection agency manages domestic companies' compliance with procedures when accessing and using overseas genetic resources.
The launch of the ABS legal support group reflects the opinion that the needs for legal experts on patent and intellectual property rights as the demand for counseling on benefit share of genetic resources has been increasing since the Nagoya Protocol took effect in Korea in March 2018.
ABS Legal Support Group will support the consulting and counseling for domestic companies on such as the enforcement of foreign laws and regulations, protecting patent rights such as patents, and negotiating benefit share. It also plans to hold regular capacity-building workshops to share the latest trends and issues, including laws and regulatory requirements of major parties and the disclosure of patent sources, and to discuss countermeasures. Along with this, they will continue to increase the number of experts in the support group through the "training experts on benefit share from genetic resources" curriculum of the Korea Patent Attorneys Association.