Cablegate: World Intellectual Property Organization (Wipo)

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.



E.O. 12958: N/A


1. The Eighth Session of the World Intellectual Property
Organization (WIPO) Intergovernmental Committee on
Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional
Knowledge and Folklore (IGC) was held in Geneva, Switzerland
from June 6-10, 2005. The U.S. Delegation Consisted of
Dominic Keating, Patent Attorney, USPTO; Michael Shapiro,
Attorney-Advisor, USPTO; Peggy Bulger, Director, American
Folklife Center, Library of Congress; Marla Poor,
Attorney-Advisor, U.S. Copyright Office, Library of Congress;
Ana Christina Villegas, Conservation Officer, U.S. Department
of State; Leonard Hirsch, Senior Policy Advisor, Smithsonian
Institution; Jon Santamauro, Intellectual Property Attache,
U.S. Mission to the WTO, Geneva; and Lisa Carle, Counselor,
Economic and Science Affairs, U.S. Permanent Mission to the
United Nations Office and Other International Organizations,
Geneva. This was the last meeting of the IGC,s existing


2. The Committee unanimously elected Ambassador Makarim
Wibisona of Indonesia as Chair.


3. The Committee unanimously approved accreditation of the
following organizations as ad hoc observers: Centre for the
Management of IP in Health R&D (MIHR), Consumers
International (CI), Indigenous Knowledge Systems of South
Africa Trust (IKSSA Trust), Indigenous Peoples Council on
Biocolonialism (IPCB), International Committee for Museums of
Ethnography (ICME), Maasai Education Discovery (M.E.D),
National Council of Otomi / Consejo de la nacion Otomi, Ogiek
Peoples Development Program (OPDP), Peruvian Society for
Environmental Law (SPDA), Associacao Paulista da Propriedade
Intelectual (ASPI), The Fridtjof Nansen Institute (NFI) and
the Graduate Institute for Development Studies (GREG).


4. The Committee discussed a voluntary fund for the
participation of indigenous and local communities, as
described in document WIPO/GRTKF/IC/8/3. Although there was
broad, general support for the proposal, divergent views were
expressed on specific aspects of it, including on whether the
fund should be able to draw from the ordinary budget, the
composition of the advisory board and the purpose of the
fund. It was agreed that a revised draft document
WIPO/GRTKF/IC/8/3 would be prepared and published by June 17,
2005. Committee participants would be asked to provide
written comments on the revised draft by July 15, 2005 and a
third revision of the proposal would be prepared and
published by the end of July for consideration by the next
session of the General Assembly.


5. The IGC considered documents WIPO/GRTKF/IC/8/4 and
WIPO/GRTKF/IC/8/5, including draft provisions contained in
the annex of these documents in treaty-like form. While
Brazil and other delegations expressed support for the draft
provisions as a basis for a legally-binding international
treaty, the United States, Australia, Canada and Japan
expressed concern, explaining that these provisions were not
developed on the basis of the objectives and principles
expressed by Members of the IGC, and that they were created
by the Secretariat, without input from Member States. As a
result of extensive discussions and consultations on these
documents, Members agreed to a draft decision that noted the
divergent views on these documents without agreeing to
continue to negotiate the provisions, as implied by the
decision paragraphs of the documents. In the plenary
session, prior to the adoption of the decision, the
representative of Nigeria asked the Chair for clarification
on whether the draft provisions would be updated to reflect
the views expressed by Members. After the Chair explained
his view that the documents may be updated, the United States
cautioned the Chair against any interpretation of the draft
decision, explaining that this may unravel a delicately
balanced text. The United States also explained that it was
willing to adopt the decision only on the understanding that
the decision paragraph would not be adopted and that the
draft provisions would not be updated. No other statements
were made and the decision was adopted. Following the
meeting, the Secretariat confirmed that it did not intend to
update the draft provisions.


6. The Committee took note of documents WIPO/GRTKF/IC/8/9,
WIPO/GRKTF/IC/8/13 AND WIPO/GRTKF/IC/8/14, and further took
note of the diverse views expressed on this issue.


7. Although Brazil and other delegations had originally
pushed to drop genetic resources from the agenda and to have
a target date for any instrument(s) by the end of the next
budgetary biennium, following extensive consultations, the
Committee noted the broad support from Committee participants
on the future work of the Committee and agreed to recommend
to the General Assembly that the mandate of the Committee be
extended to the next budgetary biennium to continue its work
on traditional knowledge, traditional cultural
expressions/folklore and genetic resources.


8. From the outset, Australia, Canada, the EU, Japan, New
Zealand and Norway strongly voiced support for a positive
recommendation to the General Assembly for a renewed IGC
mandate. Some developing country delegations called for an
enhanced mandate, to accelerate work on a binding
international legal instrument and Brazil wanted to remove
genetic resources from the IGC mandate. The United States
highlighted the importance of reaching an agreement on the
terms of reference for any new mandate prior to making any
recommendation to the General Assembly on the IGC,s mandate,
and questioned whether this would be possible to achieve at
this session of the IGC. The United States took the initial
position that any new mandate should focus on national
experiences and should not be accelerated or limited in
subject matter. Australia, Canada and Japan were of the view
that the new mandate should not be accelerated or limited in
subject matter. The Africans were interested in continuing
the work of the IGC, and may have convinced Brazil and other
Latin American Countries to drop their demands related to the
mandate, in order to facilitate a positive recommendation
from the IGC to the General Assembly on the future mandate.

9. Furthermore, it appears that the African Group and other
developing countries were forced to drop their demands for a
negotiation on the draft traditional cultural expressions and
traditional knowledge provisions in order to reach an
agreement for a positive recommendation to the General
Assembly on the future mandate.

10. It appears that Brazil wanted to remove genetic
resources from the IGC,s mandate in order to create
additional pressure that may help to elevate genetic
resources in general, and a new disclosure requirement in the
patent laws in particular, to a negotiating item in the Doha
Trade round of the World Trade Organization (WTO), in the
lead up to the Hong Kong Ministerial Conference scheduled to
be held at the end of this year, while satisfying the desire
of the Africa Group to continue work on TCE,s and TK. This
move may also have been designed to create pressure on the
CBD Ad Hoc ABS Working Group, which is also considering new
disclosure requirements.

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