Intellectual Property and Traditional Cultural Expressions

Intellectual Property and Traditional Cultural Expressions

Daphne Zografos

This unique book provides an in-depth analysis of the different methods that have been proposed to protect traditional cultural expressions (TCEs) by using intellectual property rights.

Chapter 4: The Protection of Traditional Cultural Expressions with Certification Marks and Collective Marks

Daphne Zografos

Subjects: law - academic, intellectual property law


4.1 INTRODUCTION The first certification scheme to protect TCEs was established in Canada in 1958, when the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs developed the ‘Igloo Tag’ trade mark programme to certify the authenticity of Inuit art.1 This pioneering scheme was soon followed by other initiatives in the United States (1961), and later in Australia (2000) and New Zealand (2002). In 2001, WIPO’s fact-finding missions highlighted indigenous peoples’ demand for the improved use of certification systems to protect TCEs. This chapter evaluates the efficacy of a system based on certification or collective marks to protect TCEs. In doing so, it examines and compares the certification schemes that were set up in New Zealand, Australia and the United States, as well as wider development initiatives using certification systems in East and Southeast Asia, which have indirectly contributed to the protection of traditional handicrafts. 1 The ‘Igloo Tag’ is well-known in the Canadian marketplace for identifying authentic Inuit sculptures. Other examples of certification marks that have been registered in Canada by Aboriginal communities include the ‘Irocraft’ mark that was used by a Six Nations Company to market Iroquois crafts, books and cultural articrafts, and the three certification marks ‘Cowichan’, ‘Genuine Cowichan’ and ‘Genuine Cowichan & Design’, owned by the Cowichan Band Council of British Columbia and indicating that clothing products have been hand-knit in one piece according to traditional methods by members of the Coast Salish Nation using raw, unprocessed, undyed, hand-spun wool made and prepared in accordance with traditional methods. See WIPO,...

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