New Paper On Common Issues In WIPO TK, Genetic Resources Talks

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By Catherine Saez

The chair of the World Intellectual Property Organization traditional knowledge and genetic resources committee has circulated a draft paper on common issues in the negotiations, in hopes of bringing parties closer together ahead of the next committee meeting in July.

The Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC) will meet from 7-9 July. This three-day session is expected to examine issues that cut across the three legs of the current work or the committee: the protection of genetic resources, traditional knowledge, and traditional cultural expressions (folklore).

The “informal issues paper” with table [pdf] submitted by committee chair Wayne McCook, ambassador of Jamaica, examines areas such as policy objectives, definition and use of terms, criteria for eligibility, scope, beneficiaries, and the disclosure requirement, and compares the three draft texts of negotiating areas.

The three-day session in July may facilitate the further drafting of texts toward becoming international instruments of protection. The 26th session of the IGC in February produced a draft text on genetic resources (IPW, WIPO, 10 February 2014). The 27th session of the IGC in April produced two draft documents, one on traditional knowledge and the other one on traditional cultural expressions (IPW, WIPO, 7 April 2014).

“These views are merely points of departure, and the Committee might identify other such cross-cutting issues,” the chair’s paper says.


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