Published: Friday 30 April 2004

Members of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) have agreed to back legal and policy options on the protection of traditional knowledge with a precise analysis of the implications of each option. They have also decided to develop an overview of policy objectives and core principles for the protection of traditional knowledge and folklore.

These decisions were taken at the sixth session of the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore, which met in Geneva from March 15-19. Earlier, developing countries had been demanding a legally binding regimen for the protection of traditional knowledge. But developed nations had been resisting the move (see: 'Break the deadlock', Down To Earth, March 31, 2004).

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