WIPO Lays Building Blocks For Protection of Traditional Knowledge

19 March 2004, Switzerland

A key committee of the World Intellectual Property Organisation has met to discuss concrete steps for accelerated international work on protection of traditional knowledge and folklore. The WIPO Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC) met March 15 to 19 to address specific policy choices for improved protection that are available at the community, national, regional and international levels. This process began in 1998 and 1999 through consultations with some 3,000 representatives of indigenous and local communities and other stakeholders in 60 locations around the world. The needs and expectations articulated by those representatives, and the direction given by WIPO member states, guided the early, path-breaking work of the IGC from 2001 to 2003. Looking to turn this groundwork into building blocks of an international framework for the protection of traditional knowledge and folklore. The IGC has now commissioned the development of core materials, approved the development of an overview of policy objectives and core principles for protection and organised an outline of policy options and legal mechanisms. The meeting also addressed the need to enhance the participation of indigenous and local communities in the work of the Committee. To boost the participation of indigenous interests and, the Committee considered a range of practical steps, including the launch of a new website to enhance awareness of traditional knowledge holders perspectives and concerns. For further information, CLICK HERE.