World Intellectual Property Organization

Draft Provisions/Articles for the Protection of Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions, and IP & Genetic Resources

The work of the Intergovernmental Committee (IGC) has led to the development of sets of draft provisions for the protection of traditional cultural expressions/folklore (TCEs) and for the protection of traditional knowledge (TK) against misappropriation and misuse. It has also developed a consolidated document relating to intellectual property (IP) and genetic resources.

Facilitators texts

These revised texts, as prepared by facilitators appointed by the Committee, represent the latest revisions to the draft provisions on TK, TCEs, and IP & GRs. They arise from the most recent session that addressed them: Traditional knowledge | Traditional cultural expressions | IP & genetic resources.

Draft provisions/articles

Session Traditional Knowledge Traditional Cultural Expressions Genetic resources
IGC/28 PDF, The Protection of Traditional Knowledge: Draft Articles PDF, The Protection of Traditional Knowledge: Draft Articles PDF,  Consolidated document relating to intellectual property and genetic resources
IGC/27 PDF, The Protection of Traditional Knowledge: Draft Articles PDF, The Protection of Traditional Cultural Expressions: Draft Articles  
IGC/26     PDF, Consolidated document relating to intellectual property and genetic resources
IGC/25 PDF, The Protection of Traditional Knowledge: Draft Articles, Rev. 2 PDF, The Protection of Traditional Cultural Expressions: Draft Articles PDF, The Protection of Traditional Cultural Expressions: Draft Articles, Rev. 2 PDF, Consolidated document relating to intellectual property and genetic resources, Rev. 2
IGC/24 PDF, The Protection of Traditional Knowledge: Draft Articles - -
IGC/23 - - PDF, Consolidated Document Relating to Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources
IGC/22 - PDF, The Protection of Traditional Cultural Expressions: Draft Articles -
IGC/21 PDF, The Protection of Traditional Knowledge: Draft Articles - -
IGC/20 - - PDF, Draft Objectives and Principles Relating to Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources PDF, Options for Future Work on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources
IGC/19 PDF, The Protection of Traditional Knowledge: Draft Articles PDF, The Protection of Traditional Cultural Expressions: Draft Articles PDF, Draft Objectives and Principles Relating to Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources PDF, English 	Options for Future Work on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources
IGC/18 PDF, The Protection of Traditional Knowledge: Revised Objectives and Principles PDF, The Protection of Traditional Cultural Expressions: Draft Articles PDF, Draft Articles on the Protection of Traditional Knowledge prepared at IWG 2 PDF, Draft Objectives and Principles Relating to Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources prepared at IWG 3
IGC/17 PDF, The Protection of Traditional Knowledge: Revised Objectives and Principles PDF, The Protection of Traditional Cultural Expressions/Expressions of Folklore: Revised Objectives and Principles PDF, Draft Articles on the Protection of Traditional Cultural Expressions Prepared at IWG 1 PDF, Genetic Resources: Revised List of Options and Factual Update
IGC/16 PDF, The Protection of Traditional Knowledge: Revised Objectives and Principles PDF, The Protection of Traditional Cultural Expressions/ Expressions of Folklore: Revised Objectives and Principles PDF, Genetic Resources: Revised List of Options
IGC/11 - - PDF, WIPO/GRTKF/IC/11/8 (A) - Genetic Resources: List of Options
IGC/9 PDF, The Protection of Traditional Knowledge: Revised Objectives and Principles PDF, The Protection of Traditional Cultural Expressions/Expressions of Folklore: Revised Objectives and Principles -
IGC/8 PDF, The Protection of Traditional Knowledge: Revised Objectives and Principles PDF, The Protection of Traditional Cultural Expressions/Expressions of Folklore: Revised Objectives and Principles -
IGC/7 PDF, Protection of Traditional Knowledge: Overview of Policy Objectives and Core Principles PDF, Protection of Traditional Knowledge: Overview of Policy Objectives and Core Principles, Annex PDF, The Protection of Traditional Cultural Expressions/Expressions of Folklore: Outline of Policy Options and Legal Mechanisms -

The draft provisions draw upon a wide range of community, national and regional experiences, and have been developed over several years by and in consultation with member states, indigenous peoples and other traditional and cultural communities, civil society organizations and a range of other interested parties.

While the draft objectives and principles have no formal status, they illustrate some of the perspectives and approaches that are guiding work in this area, and could suggest possible frameworks for the protection of TCEs and TK against misappropriation and misuse. These draft materials are being used as points of reference in a range of national, regional and international policy discussions and standard-setting processes.

History

The provisions were commissioned by the IGC at its sixth session in March 2004, on the basis of draft working materials progressively developed over the five previous IGC sessions.

In subsequent sessions, the IGC reviewed and redrafted the provisions taking into account comments from Member States, indigenous peoples and other traditional and cultural communities, civil society organizations and a range of other interested parties received during several consultation processes:

Process / Start Date Consultation Comments
First commenting process (November 2004 – February 2005)

The Protection of Traditional Cultural Expressions/Expressions of Folklore: Overview of Policy Objectives and Core Principles

Protection of Traditional Knowledge: Overview of Policy Objectives and Core Principles

  • Traditional cultural expressions Protection of Traditional Cultural Expressions/Expressions of Folklore, November 2004, Comments
  • Traditional knowledge Protection of Traditional Knowledge, November 2004, Comments
  • Traditional cultural expressions and traditional knowledge Protection of Traditional Cultural Expressions/Expressions of Folklore and TK, November 2004, Comments
Second commenting process (April –  December 2006)

The Protection of Traditional Cultural Expressions/Expressions of Folklore: Revised Objectives and Principles

The Protection of Traditional Knowledge: Revised Objectives and Principles

  • Traditional cultural expressions and traditional knowledge PDF PDF PDF PDF
Third commenting process (December 2009 – May 2010)

The Protection of Traditional Cultural Expressions/ Expressions of Folklore: Revised Objectives and Principles

The Protection of Traditional Knowledge: Revised Objectives and Principles

Genetic Resources: Revised List of Options

  • Traditional cultural expressions Protection of Traditional Cultural Expressions/Expressions of Folklore, December 2009, Comments
  • Traditional knowledge Protection of Traditional Knowledge, December 2009, Comments
  • Genetic resources Protection of Traditional Cultural Expressions/Expressions of Folklore and TK, December 2009, Comments

Why are there two sets of provisions? Should TK and TCEs not be treated holistically?

There are two distinct sets of provisions: one dealing with TCEs (or expressions of folklore), and the other with TK. This responds to the choice made in many cases to address distinctly the specific legal and policy questions raised by these two areas.

However, the draft materials are prepared in the understanding that for many communities these are closely related, even integral, aspects of respect for and protection of their cultural and intellectual heritage. The two sets of draft provisions are therefore complementary and closely coordinated. Taken together, they do form a holistic approach to protection. This reflects existing practice at the international and national levels.

Some jurisdictions protect both TCEs and TK in a single instrument. Others use a range of laws and instruments to address the two areas distinctly. Some laws also address specific aspects of these two areas, such as biodiversity-related TK or indigenous arts and crafts.

The draft objectives and principles acknowledge those diverse choices and facilitate a holistic approach.

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