Chair Of WIPO Committee On Genetic Resources Issues Draft Plan For The Week 15/02/2016 by Catherine Saez, Intellectual Property Watch 1 Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The World Intellectual Property Organization committee working on policy solutions to protect genetic resources and traditional knowledge from misuse and misappropriation resumed its work today after a year hiatus. The newly elected chair, from Australia, issued an indicative methodology and programme for the week. The 29th session of the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC) is taking place from 15-19 February. This time around the committee is focusing on genetic resources (GR). Ian Goss, Chair of the IGC, center, with Wend Wendland of WIPO to right The IGC members at the opening elected Ian Goss from Australia as chair, following Ambassador Wayne McCook who stepped down after serving four years as chair (IPW, WIPO, 11 February 2016). On the first day of the meeting, Goss issued an indicative methodology and programme [pdf] for the week, following the mandate given to the IGC by the October WIPO General Assembly, calling for the committee to delve into core issues in the consolidated text, which could serve as basis for a treaty. Goss’ text also includes a draft programme for the week. According to the methodology proposed by Goss, no live drafting will be conducted in plenary meeting but rather by small groups led by facilitators. The plenary is then expected to review and decide on whether to accept any revisions or new text proposed by facilitators or working groups. Core issues expected to be tackled this week are: policy objectives of the potential treaty, and its subject matter or what it is supposed to protect. Another core subject is the issue of disclosure requirement for the origin of genetic resources in patent applications. Goss’ document lists several items to be discussed in this context, such as the subject matter and the content of disclosure, the nature of the obligation to disclose, the exceptions and limitations to the requirement, what should trigger the requirement, and the consequence of non-compliance. Also on the subject of disclosure, another approach is to be considered, the option of non-disclosure but with defensive measures to protect genetic resources, such as databases. Opening statements by group coordinators reflected past positions. Developing countries insisted on the need to have a legally binding instrument (treaty) to protect genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge against misappropriation, and ensure benefit-sharing on mutually agreed terms. Group B developed countries said such protection should not hinder innovation, and the unique nature of the IGC subjects should be recognised. Group B requested an evidence-based approach, underlining the fact that no consensus had been found on core issues yet. Image Credits: WIPO Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Catherine Saez may be reached at email@example.com."Chair Of WIPO Committee On Genetic Resources Issues Draft Plan For The Week" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.