In her briefing, Dr Zhang stated the objectives of the workshop and suggested the procedures for conducting the workshop.
The objectives of the workshop are as follows:
• To determine in which areas of traditional medicine the protection of intellectual property rights is of major concern.
• To identify gaps between those traditional medicine areas and existing modern patent law.
• To share information on national patent law, policies and mechanisms for adequate protection of traditional medicine knowledge in order to contribute to a fair and equitable sharing of the benefits.
• To share and review strategies, systems and approaches that could be used for protecting traditional medicine.
Dr Zhang added that the solutions and methods for the protection of knowledge of traditional medicine would be the focus of the workshop’s discussion. She hoped that through these discussions, governments, researchers and traditional knowledge providers can be made aware that their knowledge has great economic potential and that they have sovereign rights to the knowledge, as well as to urge governments to develop and refine regulations and patent law to protect this important commodity.
Dr Zhang suggested that after the presentation of papers by the experts in the plenary session, participants should break into two groups, discuss the presentations and make recommendations. The papers and the reports of group discussions as well as the recommendations would form the basis of the workshop report.