WIPO General Assembly 2017: Draft text on mandate of the future of the IGC (6 October 2017)

At 17:00 on Friday, 6 October 2017, the facilitators for WIPO's informal discussions on Matters Concerning the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore circulated a draft decision on the future mandate of the committee. This text is a revised version of the document circulated at 13:30 on Thursday, 5 October 2017. The WIPO General Assembly is continuing its informals on the future of the IGC mandate between 15:00 to 16:30 on Monday, 9 October 2017 (according to the Daily Journal published by the WIPO Secretariat).

DRAFT FRAMEWORK DOCUMENT 06.10.2017 17:00

Assemblies of Member States of WIPO Fifty-Seventh Session October 2 to 11, 2017

Agenda Item 18

Matters Concerning the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore

DRAFT DECISION

Bearing in mind the Development Agenda recommendations, affirming the importance of the WIPO Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (Committee), noting the different nature of these issues and acknowledging the progress made, the WIPO General Assembly agrees that the mandate of the Committee be renewed, without prejudice to the work pursued in other fora, as follows:

The Committee will, during the next budgetary biennium 2018/2019, continue to expedite its work, with the objective of reaching 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 Committee’s work in the 2018/2019 biennium will build on the existing work carried out by the Committee, including text-based negotiations, with a primary focus on narrowing existing gaps and reaching a common understanding on core issues, including definitions, beneficiaries, subject matter, objectives, scope of protection, and what TK/TCEs subject matter is entitled to protection at an international level, including consideration of exceptions and limitations and the relationship with the public domain.

The Committee will follow, as set out in the table below, a work program based on sound working methods, including an evidence-based approach, for the 2018/2019 biennium. This work program will make provision for 6 sessions of the Committee in 2018/2019, including thematic, cross-cutting and stocktaking sessions. The Committee may decide to establish an expert group(s) to address specific core issues identified by the Chair in consultation with members. The results of the work of such group(s) will be submitted to the Committee for consideration.

The Committee will use all WIPO working documents, including WIPO/GRTKF/IC/34/4, WIPO/GRTKF/IC/34/5 and WIPO/GRTKF/IC/34/8, as well as any other contributions of member states, using an evidence-based approach, including studies/updating studies covering, inter alia, examples of national experiences, including domestic legislation, impact assessments, and examples of protectable subject matter and subject matter that is not intended to be protected; and outputs of any expert group(s) established by the Committee and related activities conducted under Program 4. The Secretariat is requested to update the 2008 gap analyses on the existing protection regimes related to TK and TCEs. The Secretariat is also requested to produce an options paper on possible tools and activities on databases as complementary measures. However, studies or additional activities are not to delay progress or establish any preconditions for the negotiations.

In 2018 and 2019, the Committee is requested to provide reports to the General Assembly on the progress made and submit to the General Assembly the results of its work on an international legal instrument(s). On the basis of any recommendation made by the Committee, the General Assembly 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 on one or more of the subject matters and/or continue negotiations.

The General Assembly requests the International Bureau to continue to assist the Committee by providing Member States with necessary expertise and funding, in the most efficient manner, of the participation of experts from developing countries and LDCs, taking into account the usual formula for the IGC.

Work Program – 6 Sessions

Indicative Dates Activity
February/March 2018 (IGC 35)
Undertake negotiations on GRs with a focus on addressing unresolved issues and considering options for a draft legal instrument
Expert group(s)
Duration 5/6 days.
May/June 2018 (IGC 36)
Undertake negotiations on GRs with a focus on addressing unresolved issues and considering options for a draft legal instrument
Expert group(s)
Duration 5/6 days.
September 2018 (IGC 37)
Undertake negotiations on TK/TCEs with a focus on addressing unresolved and cross-cutting issues and considering options for a draft legal instrument
Expert group(s)
Stocktaking session and making a recommendation
Duration 5/6 days.
October 2018 WIPO General Assembly will take stock of the progress made, consider the text(s) and make the necessary decision(s).
November/December 2018 (IGC 38)
Undertake negotiations on TK/TCEs with a focus on addressing unresolved and cross-cutting issues and considering options for a draft legal instrument
Expert group(s)
Duration 5/6 days.
March/April 2019 (IGC 39)
Undertake negotiations on TK/TCEs with a focus on addressing unresolved and cross-cutting issues and considering options for a draft legal instrument
Expert group(s)
Duration 5/6 days.
June/July 2019 (IGC 40)
Undertake negotiations on TK/TCEs with a focus on addressing unresolved and cross-cutting issues and considering options for a draft legal instrument
Expert group(s)
Stocktaking session and making a recommendation
Duration 5/6 days.
October 2019 WIPO General Assembly will take stock of the progress made, consider the text(s) and make the necessary decision(s).
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