Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore: 21st session
16-20 April 2012 (Geneva, Switzerland)

The session will continue text-based negotiations on an international instrument or instruments for the protection of genetic resources, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions, focusing on traditional knowledge. Participants will deliberate on the basis of the draft articles for the protection of traditional knowledge. The theme of the panel of indigenous and local communities, to be held on 16 April 2012, is “Intellectual Property, Genetic Resources and Associated Traditional Knowledge: Community Perspectives on Traditional Medical Knowledge.”

According to the note circulated by Amb. Philip Richard Owade on key issues pending from the 2010-2011 biennium, TK-related issues that remain outstanding include: the definition of TK and criteria for eligibility; the definition of beneficiaries, including whether the instrument should extend beyond indigenous peoples and local communities; the scope of protection, referring to the rights the beneficiaries should have; whether the provision on sanctions, remedies and exercise of rights be general or more specific; the functions of the national competent authority and the extent of participation of TK holders in its establishment; the list of exceptions and limitations; the duration of protection; whether TK protection requires formalities, such as registers or other records; transitional measures; the relationship with other international instruments, such as the Nagoya Protocol on access and benefit-sharing; the recognition of foreign rights and interests through national treatment, reciprocity or the development of an alternative means; and issues related to transboundary TK.

In related news, the WIPO Secretariat has circulated the initial draft report of WIPO IGC-20, held from 14-22 February 2012. Written corrections may be submitted to the WIPO Secretariat by email to before 24 April 2012.

Visit the WIPO IGC-21 webpage, including meeting documents … Download the WIPO IGC-20 initial draft report [pdf] …