WIPO General Assembly moves to diplomatic conferences on designs and traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources

On 21 July 2022, Member States of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) approved the convening of diplomatic conferences on designs and genetic resources, no later than 2024.

Diplomatic conferences are negotiating rounds where multilateral treaties are adopted or revised.

The decision to move to diplomatic conferences was made during the Assemblies of the Member States of WIPO, which are being held from 14 to 22 July 2022, concerning the following instruments.

The proposed Design Law Treaty (DLT)

The Treaty aims to streamline the international system for protecting designs, making it easier, faster, and cheaper by accelerating the procedures and eliminating red tape.

In 2006, work on simplifying procedures for the protection of industrial designs started in the WIPO Standing Committee on the Law of Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications (SCT), which has evolved into the draft for the proposed DLT.

WIPO highlighted that similar treaties are in place: the Patent Law Treaty of 2000, the Trademark Law Treaty of 1994 and the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks of 2006.

The draft International Legal Instrument Relating to Intellectual Property, Genetic Resources and Traditional Knowledge Associated with Genetic Resources

This legal instrument will address IP questions about the access to, use of and benefit-sharing in genetic resources (e.g., plants, animals, and microorganisms), and knowledge systems.

WIPO provided examples of such IP questions, such as “one of the main ideas supported by many countries is that applicants for patents whose inventions use genetic resources and associated TK should disclose that fact and other related information in their patent applications. This is referred to as a proposed new ‘patent disclosure requirement’. Other ideas include more extensive use of databases of information about genetic resources and TK that would be useful for patent examiners in avoiding the grant of erroneous patents”.

The legal instrument aims inter alia to harmonize the national systems, foster the development of indigenous and local communities, and improve the patent system’s quality, effectiveness, and transparency.

WIPO emphasized that since 2010, “text-based negotiations on an international legal instrument relating to intellectual property, genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge (TK), as well as on the protection of TK as such and traditional cultural expressions/expressions of folklore, have been ongoing in the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC)”.

Review here the press release published by WIPO.

Credit: “Delegates at the Opening of the WIPO Assemblies 2022” by Emmanuel Berrod is available via WIPO | OMPI on Flickr. Copyright: WIPO. Photo: Emmanuel Berrod. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

WIPO General Assembly moves to diplomatic conferences on designs and traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources WIPO General Assembly moves to diplomatic conferences on designs and traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources Reviewed by Verónica Rodríguez Arguijo on Friday, July 22, 2022 Rating: 5

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