Regional Protocol to Protect Traditional Knowledge Adopted in Africa


The Swakopmund Protocol on the Protection of Traditional Knowledge and Expressions of Folklore was adopted in August in Namibia by the member states of the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization. The Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has hailed the Swakopmund Protocol as “an historic step for ARIPO’s seventeen member states, and a significant milestone in the evolution of intellectual property.” For more information, see this August 31st article. Intellectual Property Watch has since posted an article calling attention to the 2010 State of World’s Indigenous Peoples report. This report states that the international property rights regime, which is upheld by the World Trade Organization and WIPO, often fails to recognize indigenous customary law and by emphasizing exclusivity and private ownership, reduces knowledge and cultural expressions to commodities. The Sept. 12th IP Watch article can be read here.

14 September 2010

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