WIPO Traditional Knowledge Documentation Toolkit – Consultation Draft
WIPO, 1 November 2012

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND: The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has published a draft traditional knowledge documentation toolkit, which is available for consultation. Comments may be sent to grtkf(at)wipo.int. The toolkit provides practical guidance on how to undertake a TK documentation exercise as a process and how to address critical intellectual property-related issues and questions. It identifies three phases of the process, before, during and after TK documentation. Steps before documentation include: planning; understanding indigenous peoples and local communities’ interests and concerns; defining objectives; participation and prior informed consent; and assessing legal issues, including the public domain and other intellectual property considerations. Steps during documentation address: obtaining, organizing, maintaining and transmitting TK; and continuously informing indigenous peoples and local communities about progress. After documentation, steps include: promoting the database or register; putting in place technological measures for establishing ownership over documentation; monitoring uses and users; and verifying whether initial planning objectives and milestones have been met.

It is noted that the toolkit does not promote documentation as such, neither does it provide, suggest or prefer any one approach to IP management, but offers a menu of alternatives to be taken into account by documentation projects and efforts. It is also noted that documentation cannot stand alone as an effective strategy for protecting TK, as well as concerns and questions raised regarding documentation and its potential effects on the rights, cultures and livelihoods of indigenous peoples and local communities, including through the placing of TK and traditional cultural expressions in the public domain, and the loss of control. Read the release … Download the draft toolkit [pdf] …