FICPI, The International Federation of Intellectual Property Attorneys

WIPO General Assembly Renews Mandate for Intergovernmental Commission

16th October, 2019

WIPO General Assembly renews mandate for IGC on Genetic Resources,Traditional Knowledge, and Traditional Cultural Expressions for the 2020/2021 biennium.

The WIPO General Assembly, at its Fifty-First (24th Ordinary) Session from September 30 to October 9, 2019, agreed on the mandate for the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC) for the 2020-2021 biennium.

The previous mandate provided that the IGC was to “submit to the General Assembly the results of its work in accordance with the objective reflected in paragraph (a).  The General Assembly in 2019 will take stock of progress made, and based on the maturity of the texts, including levels of agreement on objectives, scope and nature of the instrument(s), decide on whether to convene a diplomatic conference and/or continue negotiations.”  

Six sessions were held since 2017, the last three primarily dealing with the issues of Traditional Knowledge (TK) and Traditional Cultural Expressions (TCEs).  During those sessions, the ICE developed documents entitled “The Protection of Traditional Knowledge:  Draft Articles – Facilitators’ Rev.” (annex to document WIPO/GRTKF/IC/40/18), “The Protection of Traditional Cultural Expressions:  Draft Articles – Facilitators’ Rev.” (annex to document WIPO/GRTKF/IC/40/19), and a Draft International Legal Instrument Relating to Intellectual Property, Genetic Resources and Traditional Knowledge Associated with Genetic Resources. These documents were submitted to the General Assemblies as a part of the request for renewal of the mandate.

As has been true from the beginning of the IGC:

“The Committee will, during the next budgetary biennium 2020/2021, continue to expedite its work, with the objective of finalizing an agreement on an international legal instrument(s), without prejudging the nature of outcome(s), relating to intellectual property which will ensure the balanced and effective protection of genetic resources (GRs), traditional knowledge (TK) and traditional cultural expressions (TCEs).”

The entire submission to the General Assembly can be found as Document WO/GA/51/12 at www.wipo.int.

Author: R. Danny Huntington

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