IGC 23 Update: Negotiators advance on text on intellectual property and genetic resources
Geneva, February 11, 2013
Delegates at the WIPO Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC) concluded a week-long session on February 8, 2013 with a streamlined and focused draft text of an international legal instrument on intellectual property and genetic resources. The draft text will be submitted to the September 2013 session of the WIPO General Assembly. The session was chaired by Ambassador Wayne McCook of Jamaica.
Further detailed information
The session had begun with a plenary review of a “Consolidated Document Relating to Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources.” The IGC then established an informal expert group that worked to identify the core issues, reduce the number of options and streamline the text. The group comprised around 38 experts, with up to six experts per region nominated by the member states, as well as two indigenous experts nominated by indigenous peoples participating in the session. Other delegates were able to sit in on the work of the group as observers, with indigenous peoples also able to nominate two observers. All other participants were able to follow the expert group’s deliberations via audio and video feed in an adjoining room.
The plenary requested Mr. Ian Goss (Australia), Mr. Emmanuel Sackey (African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO)) and Dr. Biswajit Dhar (India) to act as “facilitators” and tasked them to prepare the further drafts of the text based on the discussions of the plenary and the work of the expert group.
The expert group worked on the text on Tuesday February 5. On Wednesday, February 6 a first revision of the text was presented by the facilitators to the plenary for review. The expert group continued its work on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning. A second revision by the facilitators (Rev. 2) was circulated on Thursday night. A further review of Rev. 2 was carried out by the plenary on Friday, February 8. Any factual errors and omissions identified in this review will be addressed by the facilitators as they ‘clean up’ the text after the session and ready it for transmission to the WIPO General Assembly. Other comments comprising new textual proposals and other substantive comments will be reflected in the report of the session.
The IGC decided that the text will be transmitted to the WIPO General Assembly, which will meet from September 23 to October 2, 2013. In accordance with the IGC’s mandate and work program for 2013 the WIPO General Assembly will inter alia take stock of progress made and decide on convening a Diplomatic Conference.
The approximately 10 page, streamlined text covers issues such as:
- the definition of main terms,
- policy objectives,
- the subject matter of protection,
- the scope of the instrument,
- sanctions and remedies, and
- international cooperation.
Four new documents were submitted shortly before and during the session: an information document from Norway on the disclosure requirement in Norwegian law, and, as working documents: a Joint Recommendation on Genetic Resources and Associated Traditional Knowledge (which had been previously submitted at the 20 th session of the IGC and was resubmitted by Canada, Japan, Norway, the Republic of Korea and the United States of America); a Proposal for the Terms of Reference for the Study by the WIPO Secretariat on Measures Related to the Avoidance of the Erroneous Grant of Patents and Compliance with Existing Access and Benefit-Sharing Systems (submitted by Canada, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the United States of America); and a Joint Recommendation on The Use of Databases for the Defensive Protection of Genetic Resources and Traditional Knowledge Associated with Genetic Resources (submitted by Canada, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the United States of America). These documents were noted.
- “Technical Briefing on Biopharmaceutical Innovation: Making Natural Product Research Work”, presented by the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA).
- “Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Intellectual Property: Recent Progress of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture”, presented by the Secretariat of the International Treaty for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA).
- “Biodiversity and the Origins of Genetic Resources in Patent Applications”, presented by the United Nations University and the UK Intellectual Property Office.
- “The Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing: Key features and recent developments towards its entry into force" presented by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
- “Innovaciones culturales andinas asociadas a los recursos genéticos”, presented by CAPAJ.