On June 28, 2022, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) hosted a webinar providing background information on the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC) text-based negotiations to assist American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians in preparing for the USPTO’s formal Tribal consultations, to be scheduled in 2022. The webinar outlines the federal government’s positions on issues involving:
- Intellectual property (IP)
- Genetic resources (GR)
- Traditional knowledge (TK)
- Folklore or traditional cultural expressions (TCE) and
- Opportunities for Tribal input at the WIPO IGC and with the federal government
During a meeting in Geneva on July 21, 2022, WIPO committed to move to a diplomatic conference to negotiate a treaty focusing on genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge, to be held no later than 2024. How this new development will impact the IGC’s meetings in 2023 on traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions is not yet known. Questions may be directed to the USPTO at: AskWIPOIGC@uspto.gov.
The following resources may be of interest in preparing for the consultations and participating in the WIPO IGC meetings either as an accredited observer or as an observer watching a meeting:
- How to participate in the IGC, including virtually. Note: organizations requesting to be accredited as an observer at the IGC must complete an accreditation form and submit it to WIPO at least 60 days prior to the first session that it wishes to attend.
- WIPO IGC Press Release July 21, 2022: WIPO Member States Approve Diplomatic Conferences for Two Proposed Accords.
- Documents for the WIPO IGC meeting on May 30-June 3, 2022, can be found here: Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore: Forty-Third Session.
- Documents for the latest WIPO IGC meeting on September 12-16, 2022, including the latest traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions texts, can be found here: Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore: Forty-Fourth Session.
- Documents for all WIPO IGC meetings can be found at Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC).
- WIPO publication: Protect and Promote Your Culture - A Practical Guide to Intellectual Property for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities.
- WIPO webinar series to promote the Protect and Promote Your Culture. These webinars focus on intellectual property tools that can be used to protect and promote traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions.
- Key issues, gap analyses and consultations, including IGC’s “10 key issues” on protecting traditional cultural expressions/folklore and traditional knowledge.
- Presentations on Indigenous and Local Community Experiences.
- IGC Related Seminars on intellectual property and genetic resources, on IP and traditional knowledge, and on IP and traditional cultural expressions.
- Views from Speakers at the Seminar on Intellectual Property and Traditional Cultural Expressions (June 8 and 9, 2017).
- P. Jaszi, “Protecting traditional cultural expressions – some questions for lawmakers,” WIPO Magazine (August 2017). The WIPO Magazine may have other articles of interest (including a sign-up).