This week in review … WIPO IGC reaches no agreement on TK protection

21 10 2008

No Agreement for WIPO Committee on Traditional Knowledge and Folklore

IP Watch, 18 October 2008

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND: Held from 13-17 October 2008, in Geneva, Switzerland, the 13th session of the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC) of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) ended with no agreement. The lack of an outcome from the week-long meeting signals deeper differences among WIPO membership over protection of these areas. Despite the encouragement of WIPO Director General Francis Gurry to move to concrete progress, two detailed analytical background papers from the secretariat, and a proposal from the African Group, positions remained largely unchanged for past IGC meetings. What stalled this week’s meeting was disagreement on two competing proposals on future work: one submitted by the African group early Monday morning 13 October and then revised following consultations with members, and one tabled by meeting Chair Rigoberto Gauto Vielman at midday on Friday. The Chair’s text adhered closely to a text circulated by France, which sources said was on behalf of the European Union, in informal sessions earlier on Friday. Key disagreements were over the composition of the proposed three intersessional working groups, timing of the sessions, and whether or not to make the three meetings concurrent. The three working groups would focus on issue areas: one on traditional knowledge, one on traditional cultural expressions, and one on genetic resources. Read the article … Read all IP Watch articles on the meeting … Download the original African proposal on future work [pdf] … Download the revised African proposal [pdf] … Download the French proposal [pdf, in French] … Download the Chair’s text [pdf] … Visit the meeting website …



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