WIPO Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore, 25th session
15-24 July 2013 (Geneva, Switzerland)

The meeting focused on traditional cultural expressions; it also took stock of progress made on the texts on traditional knowledge and on genetic resources. On traditional cultural expressions, intense substantive examination addressed four fundamental issues: defining “traditional cultural expressions”, identifying the beneficiaries of protection, framing the scope of rights and carving out appropriate exceptions and limitations.

The revised draft text of an international legal instrument on intellectual property and traditional cultural expressions, as well as a “Report of the proposals made by delegations regarding future work of the IGC, following the review and stocktaking conducted under agenda item 7, as at the close of the session on July 24, 2013” will be submitted to the WIPO General Assembly to be held from 23 September to 2 October 2013.

As IGC Members were unable to agree on a recommendation on future work, the report of proposals outlines a number of options on the IGC’s possible future mandate regarding how to conclude an international legal instrument(s) ensuring the effective protection of traditional cultural expressions, traditional knowledge and genetic resources. The major sticking point was the convening of a diplomatic conference in the 2014-2015 biennium. According to IP Watch, developing countries insist that only a diplomatic conference will push countries to an efficient political engagement, while developed countries argue the move is premature. The WIPO General Assembly will take stock of progress made and decide on convening a diplomatic conference.

The session began with an indigenous panel under the theme “Indigenous peoples’ perspectives on intellectual property protection for traditional cultural expressions: beneficiaries, subject matter, rights, and exceptions”.

Read the IGC 25 update by the WIPO Secretariat … Download the revised draft articles on the protection of traditional cultural expressions [pdf] … Download the report of proposals regarding future work [pdf] … Download the meeting’s decisions [pdf] … Read the IP Watch article of 24 July 2013 … Read the IP Watch article of 25 July 2013 …