In its mission to protect traditional knowledge and genetic resources as classes of intellectual property, the Intergovernmental Committee has produced two distinct solutions: a one-click clearing house database, and a mandatory patent source disclosure requirement. Each strategy has a different group of countries supporting it. And each strategy has perceived weaknesses that its opponents readily and repeatedly point out.
The Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (commonly referred to as simply “the [Intergovernmental] Committee” or “the I.G.C.”) is a department of the World Intellectual Property Organization (W.I.P.O.). Its mandate is to draft, negotiate, and implement formal international text-based legal structures that protect the authors and rights-holders of traditional knowledge, traditional cultural expressions, and genetic resources from having these categories of intellectual property exploited or otherwise misused by outside parties.