The Pacific Solution: The European Union’s Intellectual Property Rights Activism in Australia’s and New Zealand’s Sphere of Influence

The Pacific Solution: The European Union’s Intellectual Property Rights Activism in Australia’s and New Zealand’s Sphere of Influence Book Section

Indigenous Peoples’ Innovation: Intellectual Property Pathways to Development

  • Author(s): Michael Blakeney
  • Secondary Author(s): Peter Drahos, Susy Frankel
  • Published: 2012
  • Publisher: ANU E Press
  • ISBN: 9781921862779 (pbk.) 9781921862786 (ebook)

Abstract: This chapter describes the activities of the European Union (EU) 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. Both nations were foundation members of the Cairns Group of nineteen agricultural exporting countries which was formed in 1986, at the time of the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), to agitate for global agricultural trade reform. The Cairns Group has been forthright in criticising the European Community (EC), the United States and Japan as protecting their agricultural markets through a combination of high tariffs on agricultural imports and subsidies to their farm sectors. This condemns agricultural exporters in developing countries in Latin America, South East Asia and Oceania to ‘the role of residual suppliers to their traditional markets’ and crowds them out of most other markets. The chapters in this volume were first presented at the conference ‘Intellectual Property, Trade and the Knowledge Assets of Indigenous Peoples: The Developmental Frontier’ in December 2010. Traditional knowledge systems are also innovation systems. This book analyses the relationship between intellectual property and indigenous innovation. The contributors come from different disciplinary backgrounds including law, ethnobotany and science. Drawing on examples from Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, each of the contributors explores the possibilities and limits of intellectual property when it comes to supporting innovation by indigenous people.

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Michael Blakeney, 2012, The Pacific Solution: The European Union’s Intellectual Property Rights Activism in Australia’s and New Zealand’s Sphere of Influence, Book Section, viewed 18 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=3490.

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