The Forty-First Session of the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC) will meet from March 16 to March 20, 2020, at WIPO in Geneva, Switzerland. The primary focus of the Session will be intellectual property and genetic resources.

The mandate agreed to by the General Assembly in 2019 provided that the IGC should:

continue to expedite its work, with the objective of finalizing an agreement on an international legal instrument(s), without prejudging the nature of outcome(s), relating to intellectual property which will ensure the balanced and effective protection of genetic resources (GRs), traditional knowledge (TK) and traditional cultural expressions (TCEs).”

In furtherance of that mandate, the Forty-First Session will focus on genetic resources.  

The draft programme for the Session can be found at: https://www.wipo.int/edocs/mdocs/tk/en/wipo_grtkf_ic_41/wipo_grtkf_ic_41_inf_3.pdf.

The IGC last focused on genetic resources at its Thirty-Sixth Session that took place from 25-29 June 2018.  During that Session a Consolidated Document relating to intellectual property and genetic resources was prepared.  That document (https://www.wipo.int/edocs/mdocs/tk/en/wipo_grtkf_ic_41/wipo_grtkf_ic_41_4.pdf) will be the starting point for the renewed discussions.

Also to be discussed will be the “Chair’s Text of a Draft International Legal Instrument Relating to Intellectual Property, Genetic Resources and Traditional Knowledge Associated with Genetic Resources.”  That document can be found at https://www.wipo.int/edocs/mdocs/tk/en/wipo_grtkf_ic_41/wipo_grtkf_ic_41_5.pdf.

All of the materials relating to the Session, as well as a link for registration, can be found at https://www.wipo.int/meetings/en/details.jsp?meeting_id=55246.  There is also a link for webcasting such that the Session can be viewed online, either in real-time or as video-on-demand.  The recordings will be available for up to two years after the meeting.

CET 5 will continue following developments relating to the IGC, and will provide a report after the Forty-First Session.