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    WIPO Talks On Future Of TK, Genetic Resources, Folklore Intensify

    Published on 24 July 2013 @ 2:54 pm

    By , Intellectual Property Watch

    World Intellectual Property Organization committee members have laid out options for establishing an instrument or instruments to protect genetic resources, traditional knowledge and folklore. Now they are working to choose among them.

    The renewal of the mandate of the World Intellectual Property Organization committee tasked with establishing such instruments seems a shared objective. But the number of sessions of the committee in the next year, and a possible recommendation to hold a high-level diplomatic conference, has kept delegates in intense discussions since yesterday.

    The Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC) is meeting from 15-24 July. The three last day of the meeting, which was otherwise devoted to discussion on Traditional Cultural Expressions (TCEs), were set apart to evaluate progress made during the year and discuss the renewal of the committee for the next biennium (2014-2015) along with a work programme.

    At the outset of the “stock-taking exercise” yesterday, it appeared clear that developing and developed countries would back a recommendation to the September WIPO General Assembly that the mandate of the committee be renewed for the next biennium. However, developing countries were in favour of also recommending the convening of a high-level negotiation (diplomatic conference), which was deemed premature by most developed countries.

    Some developing countries also asked that next biennium there should be three thematic sessions and one cross-cutting session, plus several “intersessional” meetings to advance work on the instrument(s) text(s) to be ready for a diplomatic conference.

    Yesterday, after delegates spent the morning in informal meetings to try to breach differences on the future work of the committee, regional coordinators delivered their positions to the plenary, which were unchanged.

    According to a developing country source, the three texts – genetic Resources (GR), traditional knowledge (TK), and TCEs, are mature enough to consider convening a diplomatic conference. After 13 years, the source told Intellectual Property Watch, no additional studies or facts will advance discussions, only political will and capacity, fostered by a high-level meeting.

    On the other hand, developed country sources said the texts as they currently stand are still not mature enough for a diplomatic conference. One source also said the immaturity of the texts could lead to a failure of a potential diplomatic conference, achieving the opposite effect and delaying further more a solution to the protection of GR, TK and TCEs.

    Developed countries also are resisting intersessional meetings. A developed country source told Intellectual Property Watch that other WIPO committees are also demanding their attention.

    Last week, negotiations on TCEs were difficult, according to several sources. This might be considered surprising as the TCEs text was once viewed as being the most mature and the “easiest” subject of the IGC, compared to GR. However, TCEs touches on a wide range of subjects, and sensitive copyright issues such as in songs, books, movies, and raise broader concerns than GR where the only serious issue remaining is the mandatory disclosure of GR in patent applications.

    After an afternoon of informal discussions with regional coordinators and Jamaican Ambassador Wayne McCook, chair of the IGC, an informal summary of those discussions was released, listing the different options currently being considered.

    It reads:

    “Renewal of mandate
    Renew [improve] mandate for the 2014 and 2015 biennium

    Number of IGC Sessions
    Option 1: 3 Thematic + 1 Cross-cutting 2014 and 3 Thematic + 1 Cross-cutting 2015
    Option 2: 3 Thematic + 1 Cross-cutting in the 2014/2015 biennium
    Option 3: 3 Thematic + 1 Cross-cutting in 2014 [and then decide on possible future work]

    Length and format of IGC sessions
    [3 Thematic sessions each preceded by one day high-level meeting] (suggestion by one group)

    Other sessions/meetings
    [3 [intersessionals][special sessions][informals], in 2014 [and 2015]]

    Reference to a Diplomatic Conference
    Option 1: Convene a DC at the earliest in the 2014/2015 biennium
    Option 2: Finalize text by September 2014 and convene a DC in 2014
    Option 3: Stock-taking and decide [on convening] [whether to convene] at GA 2015”

    Differing Views

    Yesterday the Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC) suggested that prior to each of the thematic IGC meetings (GR, TK and TCEs) a high level meeting be convened, which would set political guidelines for the course of the remaining of the meeting.

    Group B developed countries said some stock-tacking of progress made on the texts should be undertaken before the 2015 General Assembly. Belgium speaking on behalf of the group said IGC sessions should include some cross cutting concrete examples. This request was also made by the European Union.

    Poland on behalf of the Central European and Baltic States Group said a separation should be maintained between the three strands of the IGC and the 2015 General Assembly should decide whether adequate progress has been achieved and decide on further work.

    Algeria for the African Group said what was needed was more than renewing the mandate of the IGC. Renewing the mandate for the sake of renewing it was not enough, the delegate said, asking for a real commitment to achieve results by the end of the upcoming mandate.

    Belarus for the Eastern European Group said a diplomatic conference could be considered if careful work was being carried out on the current documents, and agreement on those texts was achieved.

    The Indigenous Caucus said the group is in favour of the renewal of the mandate, but not in such a hurry that it would compromise the result of the negotiations. They also called for a full and effective participation of indigenous peoples in those negotiations, and to increase the number of indigenous peoples participating.

    According to a developing country source, this morning’s discussions on the diplomatic conference were proving fruitless. The plenary is expected to reconvene this afternoon with results from informal discussions. Decision on this topic might be left for the September General Assembly to decide, according to several sources.

    Catherine Saez may be reached at info@ip-watch.ch.

     

    Comments

    1. WIPO General Assembly Left To Decide Future Work Of TK Committee | Intellectual Property Watch says:

      [...] [pdf] was released compiling different options coming from the different country positions (IPW, WIPO, 24 July 2013). Reconvening after a break to consider the document, delegates appeared puzzled as to the nature [...]

    2. Meeting review: WIPO IGC 25 | Traditional Knowledge Bulletin says:

      […] report of proposals regarding future work [pdf] … Download the meeting’s decisions [pdf] … Read the IP Watch article of 24 July 2013 … Read the IP Watch article of 25 July 2013 […]


    Leave a Reply

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website. By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website.

    By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    1. You agree that you are fully responsible for the content that you post. You will not knowingly post content that violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property right of any third party or which you know is under a confidentiality obligation preventing its publication and that you will request removal of the same should you discover that you have violated this provision. Likewise, you may not post content that is libelous, defamatory, obscene, abusive, that violates a third party's right to privacy, that otherwise violates any applicable local, state, national or international law, that amounts to spamming or that is otherwise inappropriate. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual preference, disability or other classification. Epithets and other language intended to intimidate or to incite violence are also prohibited. Furthermore, you may not impersonate others.

    2. You understand and agree that Intellectual Property Watch is not responsible for any content posted by you or third parties. You further understand that IP Watch does not monitor the content posted. Nevertheless, IP Watch may monitor the any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove, edit or otherwise alter content that it deems inappropriate for any reason whatever without consent nor notice. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on our site. IP Watch is not in any manner endorsing the content of the discussion forums and cannot and will not vouch for its reliability or otherwise accept liability for it.

    3. By submitting any contribution to IP Watch, you warrant that your contribution is your own original work and that you have the right to make it available to IP Watch for all purposes and you agree to indemnify IP Watch, its directors, employees and agents against all damages, legal fees and others expenses that may be incurred by IP Watch as a result of your breach of warranty or of these terms.

    4. You further agree not to publish any personal information about yourself or anyone else (for example telephone number or home address). If you add a comment to a blog, be aware that your email address will be apparent.

    5. IP Watch will not be liable for any loss including but not limited to the following (whether such losses are foreseen, known or otherwise): loss of data, loss of revenue or anticipated profit, loss of business, loss of opportunity, loss of goodwill or injury to reputation, losses suffered by third parties, any indirect, consequential or exemplary damages.

    6. You understand and agree that the discussion forums are to be used only for non-commercial purposes. You may not solicit funds, promote commercial entities or otherwise engage in commercial activity in our discussion forums.

    7. You acknowledge and agree that you use and/or rely on any information obtained through the discussion forums at your own risk.

    8. For any content that you post, you hereby grant to IP Watch the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, exclusive and fully sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part, world-wide and to incorporate it in other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

    9. These terms and your posts and contributions shall be governed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Switzerland (without giving effect to conflict of laws principles thereof) and any dispute exclusively settled by the Courts of the Canton of Geneva.

     

     
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