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ITEM 7: FUTURE WORK

295. At the request of the Chair, the Secretariat advised that the fourth session of the Committee was scheduled for December 9 to 17, 2002.

296. The Delegation of Sudan requested that the report of the meeting contain the request made by several Members that documents of the Committee be made available in all six United Nations languages.

297. The Delegation of Venezuela stated that the third conclusion of the Chair regarding document WIPO/GRTKF/IC/3/8 should be affirmed. Second, the Delegation recalled that the Delegation of the Dominican Republic and others had requested a report on the relevant discussions taking place within the Standing Committee on Patents (SCP).

298. The Delegation of Australia stated that, with regard to the next year's work of the Committee, particular note should be taken of the various technical cooperation activities that had been approved during the session. For example, the Delegation referred to the IP documentation "tool kit" and assistance to Members with regard to the establishment of a database of contractual clauses relating to access to genetic resources. The Delegation added that the Committee could consider public outreach activities for education and awareness raising concerning the effective use of IP rights for TK and folklore protection and access to genetic resources. The Delegation stated that such activities would be a valuable use of resources, to which Australia was prepared to contribute in accordance with its usual arrangements with the International Bureau. Regarding WIPO and other agencies, Australia believed in continued and enhance cooperation, with the objectives of optimizing the effectiveness of work programs, elimination of duplication, recognition of complementarity and maintenance of coherence. This, the Delegation added, applied also to coordination with other committees within WIPO, such as the SCP and SCT.

299. The Delegation of the Dominican Republic expressed concerns about the future work of the Committee. The Delegation referred to the large number of highly technical documents that Delegations, particularly those from smaller countries, had difficulty in dealing with. For the next session, the Secretariat was requested to dispatch documents in Spanish earlier, and to finance the participation of experts from the capitals. The Delegation did not agree that elements of a definition of TK ought to be synthesized into a working document as had been suggested by the Chair. This would prejudge a definition. It was more important, the Delegation stated, to concentrate on elements of a sui generis system for TK protection.

300. The Delegation of Peru stated that it was for practical reasons necessary to address genetic resources and associated TK, on the one hand, and folklore, on the other hand, separately. The Delegation added that for the next session, experiences of other countries with sui generis systems should be disseminated.

301. The Delegation of Switzerland stated that it was crucial first and foremost to reach clarity on the purposes and aims of TK and folklore protection. Therefore, the Secretariat should prepare a document setting out various possible purposes and aims. Only thereafter would it be possible to fully assess the appropriateness of existing of IPRs and sui generis systems. Second, the Delegation supported strongly further cooperation with other fora, notably the CBD and the FAO. The Delegation referred to the study requested of WIPO by the Sixth Conference of the Parties to the CBD. However, there were also other IP questions and matters raised in other decisions of the COP, and the Delegation proposed that the Secretariat prepare a document setting out all the decisions of COP VI relevant to IP and propose how the Committee could deal with these matters. Regarding the FAO, the Committee should recommend that WIPO continue to provide its assistance to the relevant processes of the FAO.

302. At the invitation of the Chair, the Secretariat undertook to prepare the document on work relevant to the CBD decisions, as requested by Switzerland, in cooperation with the CBD Secretariat and in line with the recently signed MoU. The Secretariat advised also of ongoing consultations with the FAO and that undertook to report thereon at the next session of the IGC. The representative of the CBD stated that she had taken into account the previous comments regarding the CBD and that the Secretariat of the CBD would continue to work closely with WIPO. The Secretariat of WIPO also stated that for the next session of the Committee it would prepare a report on relevant discussions within the WIPO Standing Committee on Patents, as had been requested. Further information on the possible purposes and aims that the protection of TK and folklore might have, as proposed by Switzerland, would also be incorporated in the relevant further working documents, as proposed by Switzerland.

303. The Delegation of Egypt stated that while it agreed that Proposed Tasks 2 and 3 regarding folklore had not been the subject of consensus because some delegations had expressed reservations about them, this should not prevent their examination in future. Lack of consensus on the need for a sui generis system for TK protection had not prevented the Secretariat from preparing a document on elements of a sui generis system. Therefore, the Delegation reserved its right to return to proposed Tasks 2 and 3 in future because they were an important part of future work. The Delegation envisaged in future a document on the matters raised in Task 3, and it would return to this matter in the future. The Delegation reserved its rights to raise these issues again within other WIPO Committees or other organizations. Finally, the Delegation endorsed the statements by Venezuela and the Dominican Republic as to the desirability of a report on relevant discussions within the Standing Committee on Patents.

304. The Chair agreed with the statement by the Delegation of Egypt, and stated that although there was at present no consensus on Tasks 2 and 3 in document WIPO/GRTKF/IC/3/10, these matters may be returned to in the future.

305. The Delegation of Colombia affirmed the importance of coordination with other bodies, particularly the CBD and the FAO, and the need for coherence between different instruments. The Delegation referred to the Bonn Guidelines regarding access to genetic resources and benefit sharing and the concept of "farmers rights" which should be operationalized within the work of the Committee.

306. The Delegation of Algeria, on behalf of the African Group, also confirmed the importance of cooperation between WIPO, the CBD and the FAO, and further coordination between the Committee and other WIPO bodies. The Delegation requested the assistance of WIPO to facilitate the participation of African countries, especially LDCs, in sessions of the Committee. The Delegation emphasized the importance of folklore and that similar levels of attention should be paid to all three of the themes within the Committee's mandate. Finally, the Delegation also requested that Members receive the working documents in good time and in all the working languages.

307. The representative of UNCTAD drew attention to a briefing session being organized by UNCTAD in September 2002 on the implications of the recent FAO Treaty for Geneva-based negotiations.

308. Referring also to his previous conclusions under the respective agenda items, the Chair stated that for the next session the Secretariat would prepare, inter alia:

(a) a report on the database of existing contractual clauses relating to access to genetic resources, including on responses to the questionnaire that the Secretariat would issue in relation to its compilation;

(b) a draft of the technical study which the recent CBD COP had invited WIPO to prepare;

(c) a short report on the activities relating to the use of the inventory of TK journals;

(d) a report on the use of the inventory of existing TK databases, with particular reference to paragraph 22 (b) (i) to (iii) of document WIPO/GRTKF/IC/3/6;

(e) a short report on the decisions taken by the WIPO Program and Budget Committee and WIPO Assemblies, at their meetings scheduled for September and October 2002, regarding participation in the sessions of the Committee by indigenous peoples and local communities; and

(f) a report on relevant discussions within the WIPO Standing Committee on Patents.

309. The Chair then referred to further working documents that would be prepared by the Secretariat. Regarding TK, Members were invited to pass any comments on the questions posed in the survey of existing IP protection of TK (WIPO/GRTKF/IC/2/5) by the end of June and the Secretariat would then circulate a streamlined set of questions taking account of these comments. Based on responses and other input, the Secretariat would then prepare an updated version of document WIPO/GRTKF/IC/3/7. Document WIPO/GRTKF/IC/3/8 (elements of a sui generis TK system) would be revised, and Members were invited to submit further input on it by September 15, 2002. Based on document WIPO/GRTKF/IC/3/9 (TK terms and definitions), a document would be prepared comprising a synthesis of elements that could make up a working definition of TK. Regarding folklore, the Chair noted that the Secretariat, for the next session, would produce a document comprising a further synthesis of national experiences with regard to the legal protection of expressions of folklore. The Chair also confirmed that the requests for specific reports and other comments made by Members (as outlined in the earlier discussion of this agenda item) would also be taken into account in setting the future work of the Committee.

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