The Sorcerer II expedition: Intellectual property and biodiscovery

Rimmer, Matthew (2009) The Sorcerer II expedition: Intellectual property and biodiscovery. Macquarie Journal of International and Comparative Environmental Law, 6(2009), pp. 147-189.

View at publisher


This article considers the significance of a leading marine biodiscovery initiative. In March 2004, Dr. J. Craig Venter announced the official launch of the Sorcerer II Expedition, a scientific expedition of discovery, which would survey marine and terrestrial microbial populations. The Expedition has the potential to uncover tens of thousands of new microbial species and tens of millions of new genes. Venter has disavowed that the Sorcerer II Expedition has any commercial ambitions. However, some have viewed the Sorcerer II Expedition with suspicion. Various civil society groups have accused the Expedition of engaging in 'biopiracy'. This article investigates the Convention on Biological Diversity 1992 and other relevant international treaties, various national and regional regimes to govern access to genetic resources, and benefit-sharing agreements. It considers the intersection of intellectual property law, contract law, environmental law, and international law in this field. This article provides a blueprint for a nationally consistent scheme for access to genetic resources, and a model for future international developments.

Impact and interest:

4 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

ID Code: 86833
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Intellectual Property and Innovation Law Research Group
ISSN: 2200-3088
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 23 Sep 2015 00:34
Last Modified: 24 Sep 2015 04:25

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page