Category Archives: Indigenous and Local Communities

US Fails to Block Progress over Genetic Resources Text at WIPO-IGC 36

Photo credit: Image by Ville Oksanen via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0) By Chidi Oguamanam, cross-posted from ABS Canada. After six days of deliberations (June 24-29, 2018) to secure a mature text for the protection of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge, delegates left the negotiations with mixed feeling while remaining resolute on the progress made. The mixed … Continue reading US Fails to Block Progress over Genetic Resources Text at WIPO-IGC 36


Harnessing Digital Agriculture to Advance African Food Security: Open AIR Research Charts the Way Forward

By Uchenna Felicia Ugwu Achieving global food security will require innovation. Processes like plant phenotyping and technologies like digital imaging are examples of innovation that can make a difference. One of the challenges in deploying those technologies is to better understand strategies around open innovation, data science, intellectual property rights, and international law. Open AIR … Continue reading Harnessing Digital Agriculture to Advance African Food Security: Open AIR Research Charts the Way Forward


WIPO Expert Committee on Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions Takes Another Look at Draft Genetic Resources Text in 2018

By Chidi Oguamanam For the 35th time in 18years, experts have yet again gathered at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) headquarters in Geneva where they are scheduled to remain in deliberation between March 19 and 23, 2018. This meeting of the WIPO expert committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore … Continue reading WIPO Expert Committee on Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions Takes Another Look at Draft Genetic Resources Text in 2018


WIPO Special Committee on Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge, and Traditional Cultural Expression Shies Away from Consolidating its Mandate but Agrees on Lack of Indigenous Participation

The World Intellectual Property Organization’s specialist committee charged with negotiating text-based instrument(s) for the effective protection of Genetic Resources (GRs), Traditional Knowledge (TK), and Traditional Cultural Expressions (TCEs), on Friday June 16 2017 concluded its 34th session with partial agreement on its mandate and on the fate of the committee and its work program.


Dr Henry Mutai

Open AIR East Africa Distinguished Speaker Series: Dr. Henry Mutai on IP, Trade and Regional Integration in Africa

On 10 June 2015, the Agreement establishing a Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) was signed in Egypt bringing together 26 African countries from three major regional blocs: the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the East African Community (EAC), and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Following the signing, the current phase of the TFTA negotiations are meant to cover five agenda items: trade in services, cooperation in trade and development, competition policy, intellectual property (IP) rights, and cross-border investment. The fourth of those five issues was the subject of the second Open AIR East Africa Distinguished Speaker Series presentation by Dr. Henry Kibet Mutai.


WIPO 33rd IGC Session Puts Traditional Cultural Expressions (TCEs) on the Spotlight

The WIPO-IGC recently commenced the next installment of its deliberations for a text-based instrument that focuses on the protection of traditional cultural expressions (TCEs), pursuant to its mandate. There are two scheduled forums on TCEs beginning Feb 27-March 3 and to be completed in June 2017, which will round off the Committee’s work for the 2016-17 biennium.


Recognizing Informal Sector Innovation: Implications for Traditional Knowledge Development in Africa

In 2012, a civil society group called the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA), raised concerns about a draft Africa Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) plant variety protection protocol. AFSA was concerned,


Dr. Kakooza “Dealing with Trans-Border Quasi-Intellectual Property”

In October 2010, Yoweri Museveni, the President of Uganda, recorded a rap song titled: “Do You Want Another Rap?” as part of his re-election campaign to capture the imagination of young voters. The song was a huge success and may have played a part in his reelection. When Museveni applied for a copyright registration of the song, however, members of the Ankole community filed an objection stating that the song was derived from Ankole folklore. While the Registrar of Copyrights in Uganda eventually allowed Museveni’s copyright application for registration, this case triggered Dr. Anthony Conrad K. Kakooza’s interest in the area of traditional cultural expressions (TCEs) and whether TCEs should be recognized within the domain of intellectual property (IP) law.


Drawn Out Battle Over Genetic Resources Dampens Africa’s Hopes

The global South is full of significant, diverse biological and genetic resources. It’s also home to most of the world’s indigenous communities. This is why developing countries are sensitive about protecting their genetic resources and traditional knowledge.