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First Peoples

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Discussion paper
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Indigenous Knowledge consultation paper 174.22 KB

In this Consultation Paper, Intellectual Property (IP) Australia aims to enhance Australia’s IP system to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to benefit from and protect their Indigenous Knowledge (IK). 

Key Findings/Recommendations:

  • Indigenous Knowledge such as art, craft, stories, language, and song can be a basis for Indigenous businesses to create unique brands and products. IP Australia aims to enhance the trade marks and designs systems to prevent rights being granted over Indigenous Knowledge in circumstances that Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people or communities consider is inappropriate, unfair or offensive.
  • IP Australia checks that all trade mark and design applications meet legislative requirements. When it comes to Indigenous Knowledge, IP Australia currently may reject an application if there are unethical practices such as the non-permitted use of secret or sacred knowledge, or the name of a group or nation, but without any connection to that group or nation.
  • This paper speaks of IP Australia's intention to appoint an Indigenous Advisory Panel to provide an independent voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives on the IP system, with representatives from across different cultural regions to help provide a range of perspectives and a mix of genders.
  • There will be further support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to access IP Australia’s information and services, and IP Australia also intends to engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities on Indigenous Knowledge.
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