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Archived updates for Wednesday, November 10, 2004

WIPO Concludes TK/TCE Meeting with Request for Comments

Member states of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) intensified their work on the protection of traditional knowledge (TK) and traditional cultural expressions (TCEs)/folklore last week at a meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC). The meeting, which took place in Geneva from November 1 to 5, 2004, reviewed, for the first time, a set of draft provisions outlining policy objectives and core principles for the protection of TK and TCEs against misappropriation and misuse. The meeting was attended by delegates for 104 member states, 20 intergovernmental organizations and 45 non-governmental organizations.

According to WIPO's press release, the Committee agreed on a process to move forward with its substantive work by inviting written comments on the existing draft proposals to supplement the already extensive commentary and proposed amendments made during the Committee's meeting. The deadline for submission of these comments is 25 February 2005. The updated proposals will then be circulated for further consultation in advance of the next session of the IGC in June 2005. Texts of the initial proposals are available as Annex I of documents WIPO/GRTKF/IC/7/3 and WIPO/GRTKF/IC/7/5, available at

WIPO's current work on TK "seeks to respect the manner in which TK, TCEs and associated genetic resources are considered an indivisible whole within the traditional or customary context, while developing specific legal tools that reflect the broader legal environment and policy context for each element of this traditional heritage, and protect this important community heritage from misuse and misappropriation. This program also entails close consultations with and respect for the mandate and activities of other United Nations agencies and international processes."

Click here for WIPO's free "Booklet on Intellectual Property and Traditional Cultural Expressions/Folklore."
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