The WIPO Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore took place in Geneva


The 34th session of the WIPO Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC Committee) took place in Geneva from 12 to 16 June. The Republic of Moldova was represented in this committee by the State Agency on Intellectual Property (AGEPI).

The IGC Committee was attended by representatives of member countries as well as observers from governmental and non-governmental organizations accredited to WIPO. During the meeting, the IGC Committee met both in plenary and informal meetings.

The report of the 33rd session, held from 27 February to 3 March 2017, was adopted in the framework of the current session, being highlighted the developments in this chapter as well as the progress made in the context of the measures taken during the previous session.

Particular attention was paid to the Seminar on Intellectual Property and Traditional Cultural Expressions, held in Geneva, Switzerland, on 8 and 9 June 2017, in order to contribute towards building “regional and cross-regional knowledge and consensus” on issues related to intellectual property and traditional cultural expressions, through the prism of outstanding issues to be solved. During the seminar were examined the existing international intellectual property instruments and traditional cultural expressions, the economic, cultural and social gaps identified, including the necessary steps to be taken to overcome them. An increased interest has been attributed to the examination of the experience gained so far on this segment, as well as initiatives, projects initiated in the area of ​​protection of traditional cultural expressions in the context of the existing intellectual property system.

An important topic of the meeting was the extensive discussion of the essentials of the draft basic text “Protection of traditional knowledge. Rev. 2 projects”, dealing with the definition of “illicit acquirement”, “misappropriation”, “misuse”, “unauthorized use”, beneficiaries, objectives and subject-matters of the field of traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions that can benefit from adequate international protection, their interconnection with the public domain, as well as the exceptions, limitations imposed on this chapter. Other topics of general interest addressed in this context were: sanctions and remedies, administration of rights, formalities and transitional measures, relationships with other international agreements, national treatment and transboundary cooperation.

The IGC Committee’s work, its contribution to the implementation of the development agenda recommendations were also addressed during the session.

The IGC Committee was established by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) General Assembly in 2000 as a political forum for discussing intellectual property issues arising in the context of the protection of genetic resources, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions/folklore.