USPTO formal Tribal consultation preview

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:

Video of the June 28, 2022 webinar is available here.


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: