Australia Backs Intellectual Property Treaty on Indigenous Knowledge

Australia has endorsed a historic treaty requiring patent applicants to disclose the origins of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge in their applications.

The recently signed Treaty on Intellectual Property, Genetic Resources, and Associated Traditional Knowledge, supported by members of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), aims to benefit Australian First Nations peoples by mandating the disclosure of traditional knowledge sources in patent applications.

Signed in Geneva, Switzerland, this treaty represents a significant step towards legally recognizing Indigenous traditional knowledge within the international intellectual property framework.

“First Nations Australians have been innovating for thousands of years. This landmark treaty will, for the first time, acknowledge Indigenous contributions within the international intellectual property system,” stated Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong.

“This historic agreement is a vital component of the government’s commitment to a First Nations approach to foreign policy,” she added.

Alongside Foreign Affairs Minister Wong, Trade Minister Don Farrell and Indigenous Australians Minister Linda Burney emphasized that the treaty would enhance the unique and diverse export offerings of First Nations peoples and further protect the traditional knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Australia.

“Safeguarding First Nations intellectual property is a practical measure that will help Indigenous people, businesses, and exporters share in the benefits of trade,” said Mr. Farrell.

Ms. Burney reaffirmed the government’s commitment to recognizing Indigenous intellectual property rights and supporting related initiatives.

According to WIPO, genetic resources include medicinal plants, agricultural crops, and animal breeds, which are intrinsically linked to traditional knowledge through their use and conservation by Indigenous peoples and local communities over generations.



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  • Keith June 4, 2024   Reply →

    How can this be when there is no written recorded detail of any of their claimed traditions and culture?
    We all know that passing a verbal message down a line of people is not going to accurately reflect the original statement at the end.

  • Clive Bond June 4, 2024   Reply →

    The most primitive people on earth. Stone Age hunter gatherers. Wooden spears? Boomerangs? Give us the munney!

  • Dennis June 4, 2024   Reply →

    Send reinforcements, we’re going to advance…..Send three and four pence, we’re going to a dance.

  • Neil Arnott June 5, 2024   Reply →

    What an utter load of bullshit. They are and always will be non helpful people to themselves They have not moved forward in their thinking for over 70 000 years so what do they expect now.

  • Alan Cunningham June 5, 2024   Reply →

    It would be helpful to all if Burney, Wong, etc. were to produce a list of things to which aboriginal intellectual property claims could be identified as such.
    This would not be a mammoth task.

  • Peter Billington June 6, 2024   Reply →

    Sit down money is now being supported, promoted and sanctioned by the UN. This is another reason why the UN must be defunded and dismantled.

    It certainly does not help Aboriginal descendent Australian’s to really and actually learn, work , develop and build using their own efforts.

    To receive benefits and wealth from concocted and surreptitious methods based on Intellectual Property, provided by NATURE and the legalistic terms of others, is RACISM to the extreme.

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