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WIPO IGC Continues Negotiations on Intellectual Property and Traditional Knowledge

24 April 2012: The 21st session of the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC) of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) advanced in its negotiations on an international instrument/instruments, focusing on draft articles on the protection of traditional knowledge.

The IGC session took place from 16-20 April 2012, in Geneva, Switzerland. Although several issues remain controversial, particularly on the definition of traditional knowledge and mandatory disclosure requirements, delegates made progress in identifying areas of convergence. Following an initial plenary discussion, three facilitators were appointed to revise the text: Nicola Lesieur (Canada), Andrea Bonnet López (Colombia) and Walid Taha (Egypt). Their revised text was then submitted to the plenary for comments and textual amendments. The facilitators then produced a second revised text, which was discussed and noted by the plenary. This document will be transmitted to the WIPO General Assembly in October 2012. In accordance with the IGC's mandate, the WIPO General Assembly will take stock of and consider the text and progress made, and decide on convening a Diplomatic Conference.

The text identifies areas of convergence and issues on which further clarification and discussion are needed. Issues of particular focus during the session included the definition of traditional knowledge and the scope of protection, and identification of the beneficiaries of protection, and exceptions and limitations. The meeting also discussed objectives and general guiding principles for the protection of traditional knowledge, as contained in the text. [WIPO Update] [Meeting Decisions] [Meeting Documents] [IISD RS Sources]