Policy Brief 22, September 2015

The WIPO Negotiations on IP, Genetic Resources and Traditional Knowledge: Can It Deliver?   

There has been much expectation on what the Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) can deliver on intellectual property aspects of the protection of genetic resources (GRs), traditional knowledge (TK) and related traditional cultural expressions (TCEs). Results from fourteen years of extensive study, analysis and discussion have been distilled into three negotiating texts. But in July 2014, negotiations suffered a reversal. When the WIPO General Assembly meets in October 2015, it will decide on the way forward, testing to the political will and commitment of Member states. In particular, Member states must decide on the future of the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC).

This brief analyses the current state of play in the negotiations at WIPO on the intellectual property (IP) aspects of the protection of GRs, TK and TCEs and offers a perspective on the way forward.

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