The Pacific Solution: The European Union's Intellectual Property Rights Activism in Australia's and New Zealand's Sphere of Influence
INDIGENOUS PEOPLES' INNOVATION INTELLUCTUAL PROPERTY PATHWAYS TO DEVELOPMENT, pp. 161-184, Peter Drahos, Susy Frankel, eds., Canberra, Anu E Press, 2012
25 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2012 Last revised: 28 Nov 2012
Date Written: November 17, 2012
This chapter describes the activities of the European Union in providing technical assistance to Pacific Island countries in relation to traditional knowledge (TK), and the implications for Australian and New Zealand development cooperation activities in what was hitherto regarded as their ‘lake’. Agriculture is the issue which has dominated Australia’s and New Zealand’s trade agenda, and intellectual property rights (IPRs), whether trade related or otherwise, are very much a subordinate issue. This chapter considers the debates around the international protection of geographical indications (GIs) in which the EU has advocated the European sui generis system for the protection of GIs, whereas 'New World' countries like Australia and New Zealand have advocated the protection of GIs within the context of Trademarks law. In urging their respective positions, both the EU and its antipodean opponents have sought to enlist third countries, particularly those in the large bloc of developing and least developed countries (LDCs), to their cause. However, as this chapter indicates, in the Pacific this rivalry has been played out in the field of traditional knowledge (TK) protection, which is perceived by Pacific Island countries as closer to their national interests.
Keywords: geographical indications, traditional knowledge, Australia, New Zealand, TRIPS Agreement
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