A Workshop on Intellectual Property, Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions for the Member Countries of the Group of Fifteen (G15)
was co-organized by WIPO, the Government of Algeria and the Group of Fifteen, in Constantine, Algeria, on April 5 and 6, 2016. The Workshop aimed at imparting a deeper understanding of IP and the protection of TK and TCEs, and thereby developing further expertise in defining positions in international fora and/or possibly setting up national strategies and legislation in this regard. Participants also shared national experiences on the subject.
An International Conference on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources (GRs) and Traditional Knowledge (TK)
was co-organized by the Turkish Patent Institute (TPI) and WIPO in Ankara, Turkey, on April 13, 2016. On that occasion, the WIPO Director General made a keynote speech
. The International Conference had the objective to raise awareness and build capacity among key government officers and academics, with the aim of furthering understanding in matters regarding IP, GRs and TK and creating a roadmap for the protection of GRs and TK in Turkey.
From May 9 to 20, 2016, WIPO participated in the Fifteenth Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), in New York, United States of America. The UNPFII, an advisory body to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), provides advice and recommendations on indigenous issues to ECOSOC and other agencies of the United Nations, including WIPO. A side-event entitled “Indigenous Perspectives on the Negotiations underway at the World Intellectual Property Organization” was organized by the WIPO Secretariat on May 12, 2016. On that occasion a “Technical Review of Key Intellectual Property-Related issues of the WIPO Draft Instruments on Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions
” was presented by Professor James Anaya, Professor of Human Rights Law and Policy, University of Arizona College of Law, United States of America.
From August 26 to September 9, 2016, WIPO participated in the Second Session of the Preparatory Committee for the Development of an international legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ), in New York, United States of America.
WIPO attended the 30th
MARQUES Annual Conference entitled “Brands Versus Trademarks” in Villaitana, Spain, on September 22 and 23, 2016. WIPO participated in a special session on “Indigenous Intellectual Property Rights” which examined controversies over the misuse of indigenous peoples’ cultural expressions and heritage from the perspective of both brand owners and cultural heritage owners.
WIPO participated in the Inter Agency Support Group (IASG) Annual Meeting, which took place in Rome, Italy, from October 3 to 5, 2016. The IASG is a mechanism for cooperation and communication on indigenous peoples’ issues between the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) and Secretariats of United Nations (UN) programs, funds and agencies, such as WIPO.
From December 4 to 17, 2016, WIPO participated in the 13th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity and the 2nd meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-Sharing, in Cancun, Mexico. The meeting aimed at the discussion and adoption of recommendations regarding (i) guidelines for the repatriation of traditional knowledge; (ii) guidelines for the development of legislation or other mechanisms; and (iii) recommendations from the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII). WIPO held a side event in partnership with the ABS Capacity Development Initiative on “Considering intellectual property in the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol
WIPO attended the Tenth Session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), in Paris, from December 12 to 15, 2016. The session focused on issues related to creativity in the digital age. In particular, it examined a preliminary draft operational guideline on the implementation of the Convention in the digital environment.
The Intellectual Property in Cultural Heritage Project (IPinCH), a research project based in British Columbia, Canada, which WIPO has worked with, has collaborated with several indigenous communities such as the Inuvialuit, the Penobscot Nation, the Ainu, the Hopi Tribe, and the Moriori, to address cultural heritage challenges identified by these communities. In 2013, IPinCH received the inaugural Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada Partnership Award for its innovative community-driven approach to research. Nine insightful reports of community initiatives around the globe are available on the IPinCH Project
website, along with videos, podcasts, and teaching materials. More about WIPO’s and IPinCH’s work with indigenous communities can be found in the WIPO Magazine Article “Supporting Indigenous Communities at the Grassroots
,” February 2014, by Ms. Brigitte Vézina, and Mr. George Nicholas, Project Director, Intellectual Property Issues in Cultural Heritage (IPinCH), Simon Fraser University, Canada.