This collection of essays was assembled from the contributions of a broad spectrum of commentators with an interest in the confluence between intellectual property and biological resources. These leading scholars were invited to present papers at a conference in Singapore, held in December 2003, which was organized by the Asia-Pacific Centre for Environmental Law (of the Faculty of Law at the National University of Singapore), the Singapore Academy of Law, the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore and the IP Academy. In recognition of the global character of the controversies that have emerged in this area of law, and the broad range of attendant issues that have arisen, a conscious effort was made to select scholars with expertise in different legal sub-specialties-including patent law, international environmental law, indigenous rights, traditional knowledge-and from countries in different geographical regions. The contributors to this publication hail from Singapore, China, India, Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada and Peru.
Each provides a distinct and important perspective on the complex web of contemporary issues that policy makers have had to grapple with. By drawing together the various strands of the debates in this area of the law, it is hoped that a more complete and balanced picture would emerge of the controversies surrounding the use of the intellectual property system in the commercial exploitation of bio-organic innovation. READERSHIP: Policy makers, lawyers, researchers, tertiary students and all those interested in intellectual property & biological resources.
Burton Ong is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore. He pursued his undergraduate and graduate degrees at National University of Singapore (NUS), Oxford University, and Harvard Law School. He graduated at the top of his LLB class at NUS and BCL class at Oxford, where he was also awarded the Vinerian Scholarship. Since joining the Law Faculty in 1999, he has taught Legal Methods and System, Contract Law, Law and Competition Law. His current teaching portfolio includes jump-starting the first-year students in his Contract Law tutorial groups with common law concepts and theory, and exploring the expanding galaxies of Intellectual Property and Competition Law with the third- and fourth-year students enrolled in these courses. He recently organised an international conference on 'Intellectual Property and Biological Resources' in December 2003 on behalf of APCEL and its partner institutions. He is also an Executive Committee member of the Asia-Pacific Centre for Environmental Law and a Fellow of Singapore's Academy.