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WIPO Roundtable on IP & Traditional Knowledge Geneva, November 1-2, 1999 Protection of Traditional Knowledge: A Global IP Issue Presenter: Richard Owens,

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Presentation on theme: "WIPO Roundtable on IP & Traditional Knowledge Geneva, November 1-2, 1999 Protection of Traditional Knowledge: A Global IP Issue Presenter: Richard Owens,"— Presentation transcript:

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2 WIPO Roundtable on IP & Traditional Knowledge Geneva, November 1-2, 1999 Protection of Traditional Knowledge: A Global IP Issue Presenter: Richard Owens, Director Global Intellectual Property Issues Division

3 Overview of the GIPID Program: b IPR's for New Beneficiaries: the Protection of Traditional Knowledge, Innovations & Creativity b Biodiversity & Biotechnology b Protection of Expressions of Folklore b Intellectual Property & Development

4 Traditional Knowledge and Intellectual Property What is Traditional Knowledge (TK) ? Customary Protection of TK Problems Confronting TK Holders Why is Protection of TK Important ? Intellectual Property and TK - WIPOs Response

5 What is Traditional Knowledge? Collective responsibility & ownership Transmitted orally across generations Medicinal, Agricultural & Ecological Knowledge Music & Dance, Stories & Poetry Spiritual Expression Artesanat (Handicrafts) Constantly evolving

6 TK: A Multi-Faceted Concept Tradition- based Creations Spiritual & Religious Beliefs Aesthetics (Art, Entertainment) Education history, traditions, ethics Cultural Identity Practical Knowledge Oral Tradition Emphasis on Community

7 Protecting TK: What are the Benefits Increases opportunities for socio-economic development Provides rights for TK holders Preserves knowledge base of communities Creates added value for humankind Provides opportunities for sharing benefits of TK Enables participation in global markets

8 Customary Protection of TK Monitored & enforced by elders, spiritual and religious leaders Informal regimes govern the use & transmission of TK at community level through rules, rights & obligations Customary law results from repeated practices

9 IP Protection of TK Traditional Knowledge is contemporary: a continuing response by individuals and communities to challenges posed by their environment Documentation & preservation of TK Promote & disseminate creativity & innovation IP Protection

10 The Challenge ….. IP mechanisms do not cover non- systematic, undocumented knowledge Customary law is not applicable outside the community

11 Problems Confronting TK Holders r Rejection of tradition by new generation and encroachment of modern lifestyles r Modern science may deem traditional knowledge inferior r Dilution of traditional knowledge and practices through acculturation and diffusion r Commercial exploitation by others, e.g. bioprospecting, use of indigenous designs

12 …. in search of a model Need to find common ground IP system Traditional Knowledge A global assessment of needs & expectations of TK holders

13 WIPOs Response b Roundtable on IP & indigenous peoples (1998) b 9 FFMs on TK, innovations & creativity b Panel discussion on IP & human rights (1998) b 4 regional consultations on protection of folklore b Roundtable on IP and TK (1999) b Participation in international processes: CBD, FAO, UNESCO, etc. b Cooperation with IGOs & NGOs b Integration into WIPOs development for cooperation activities

14 WIPO Fact-Finding Missions North America South America Central America Caribbean Countries South Asia South Pacific Arab Countries West Africa Southern & Eastern Africa

15 9 Fact Finding Missions … TO EXPLORE/IDENTIFY IP NEEDS/EXPECTATIONS OF TK HOLDERS … TO STUDY CURRENT APPROACHES & FUTURE POSSIBILITIES FOR PROTECTION OF TK FINDINGS REPATRIATED TO TK HOLDERS

16 WIPO FFM Findings Common to all countries TK systems are frameworks for continuing creativity & innovation TK is a constantly renewed source of wealth All branches of IP law are relevant to TK

17 Regional Consultations: Protection of Expressions of Folklore Recommendations: expansion of WIPO workplan (natl, regional & intl activities): A) Legal/Technical assistance B) Training in folklore documentation C) Financial support for natl & regional institutions D) Work toward effective international regime to protect expressions of folklore Africa: March 99 Asia-Pacific: April 99 LAC: June 99 Arab Region: May 99

18 Expanding relevance of the IP System to TK Holders Global Information Society Formal Informal Increasing cultural & economic value of TK Growing relevance of IPRs

19 … future work ISSUES/NEEDS IDENTIFICATION ADDRESSING CONCEPTUAL PROBLEMS; TESTING PRACTICAL SOLUTIONS PROGRAM: a) case studies on use of IP system to protect TK b) study on customary law governing TK in relation to formal IP systems c) information exchange on IP implications of TK documentation d) increased training and awareness-raising worldwide for TK stakeholders

20 WIPO Roundtable on IP & Traditional Knowledge Geneva, November 1-2, 1999 Protection of Traditional Knowledge: A Global IP Issue Presenter: Richard Owens, Director Global Intellectual Property Issues Division


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