Who owns ocean biodiversity?

New study reveals how a single company has registered half of all existing patents associated with genes from marine species


Study highlights the need for greater transparency and equity of patent ownership and activities with respect to marine genetic resources and biodiversity. Centre researcher Robert Blasiak and colleagues Jean-Baptiste Jouffray, Emma Sundström and Henrik Österblom, along with University of British Columbia colleague Colette Wabnitz, published a study in Science Advances which examines who owns what in terms of marine genetic resources (MGR). The authors found that 84% of the patents were registered by 221 companies, 12% were registered by universities, and the remaining 4% were registered government bodies or non-profit research institutes. However, German company BASF has registered 47% of all marine patent sequences, more than all of the other companies combined. Read more

Stockholm Resilience Centre is a collaboration between Stockholm University and the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

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