Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions

Many indigenous peoples, local communities and governments seek intellectual property (IP) protection for traditional knowledge (TK) and traditional cultural expressions (TCEs) as intangible assets. Such assets can range from traditional medicine and environmental knowledge to art, symbols and music.

Genetic resources (GRs) as such are not patentable but inventions based on them may be. Widespread use and the digital and technological transformation of GRs for innovation in the life sciences creates the need for a unique, cross-cutting approach to the interface between IP and GRs.

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Find out more: Indigenous portal | Frequently asked questions | Glossary of key terms

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Traditional Knowledge Updates – Regular news and resources about IP and TK; and IGC updates.

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Service areas

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Facilitation of international negotiations

Facilitation of the work of the WIPO Intergovernmental Committee on IP and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore.

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Policy and legislative advice to regional and national authorities

Information and technical assistance to regional and national authorities interested in establishing policies, strategies, action plans and legislation.

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Engagement with indigenous peoples and local communities

Information, services and programs to assist indigenous peoples and local communities to participate in WIPO’s activities.

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Community Enterprises Program

Supporting Indigenous and local community entrepreneurs to use IP in their businesses, for their and their communities’ benefit.

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Documentation of TK and TCEs

Information, practical tools and training on the IP implications of the documentation, registration and digitization of TK and TCEs.

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IP rights management in genetic resources and data

Information, practical tools and training related to the management of IP in genetic resources and genetic data.

Global Reference Point on IP and GRs, TK and TCEs

Repository of regional, national and community experiences: laws, case-studies, general publications, distance learning courses.

IP and Genetic Resources, TK and TCEs

General information on the interface between IP and GRs, TK and TCEs

Documenting TK – A Toolkit

A range of easy-to-use checklists and other resources to help anyone considering a documentation project

Key Questions on Patent Disclosure Requirements for Genetic Resources and Traditional Knowledge - Second Edition

Overview of key legal and operational questions related to patent disclosure requirements.