International Technical Symposium on Intellectual Property and Sustainable Development: Documentation and Registration of Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions
26-28 June 2011 (Muscat, Oman)

This symposium was organized by the Public Authority for Craft Industries of the Sultanate of Oman, in cooperation with WIPO. The report of the meeting will be presented as an information document at the 19th session of WIPO’s Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore, to be held from 18-22 July 2011, in Geneva, Switzerland. The meeting included presentations on, among others: the IP issues associated with the documentation of TK and TCEs; the state of negotiations underway in the WIPO IGC; the experience of India, in particular the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library, used both for defensive purposes and for research, development and innovation; the experience of Peru, in particular public and private registers which are part of Peru’s national sui generis law for the protection of TK; the documentation of cultural heritage, and the craft industries in particular, in Oman, and Oman’s proposal for an international registry for TK and TCEs; existing practices and proposals related to registration and documentation systems in copyright, including related WIPO Development Agenda projects; documentation and cultural mapping of TCEs in Fiji; institutional guidelines, best practices and local community management strategies for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage; and community documentation initiatives, such as the Sudanese Association for the Archiving of Knowledge in Sudan and the Maasai community in Kenya. The Symposium was structured as an opportunity for States, communities and others engaged in the documentation of TK and TCEs to share experiences and perspectives as well as to debate diverse models. Participants noted, among others, that: documentation may be undertaken by communities or their authorized representatives, and external parties, such as governments, museums and research institutes, and may be public or private; it can serve many purposes, including assist in identifying TK and TCEs that have commercial potential and in connecting communities with potential investors; documentation may also have explicit IP functions. The valuable roles of protocols in creating space for dialogue and guiding documentation was also noted and further work on community-led protocols was encouraged as a way to build mutually-beneficial relationships. Download the report [pdf] …