Paper for the World Intellectual Property Organization
enclosed in the World Intellectual Property Organization are ‘Defining and
Measuring Access to Knowledge in the Age of Intellectual Property’ and
‘Protecting Indigenous People’s Intellectual Property in Documenting
Traditional Medical Knowledge’. WIPO is one of the oldest bureaus in the United
Nations, it existed in 1833 in the Paris Convention, and it joined the UN in
1974. The World Intellectual Property Organization is held accountable for securing
and preserving genuine innovations such as arts, literary pieces, and medicinal
drugs, it also prevents and avoids fraudulent ones. New Zealand has been an
associate of WIPO for over 33 years and it has taken actions to sustain and protect
intellectual property rights.
and Measuring Access to Knowledge in the Age of Intellectual Property.
property is often known as an invention or creation that is legally protected
by patents, trademarks or copyrights. Intellectual property has existed long
ago, although, there has been limited knowledge about it, until recently, with
the development of technology and globalization, the ideology of intellectual
property started expanding worldwide, especially in first world countries, whereas
the third world countries and some developing countries have either limited
knowledge or no access to intellectual property at all due to low education
levels and minimal use of technology.
Zealand, being considered as a first world country, holds responsibility for
providing its people with sufficient knowledge about intellectual property. That
is why in 2010, New Zealand was the first country in the world to include “IP
teaching —lessons taught to educate students about intellectual property—” in
its national curriculum. New Zealand’s long history with intellectual property made it gain the
33rd rank in the amount of patents signed by its residents, according
to WIPO statistics that was released in 2016. New Zealand has taken advantage of
the developing world to improve its Intellectual Property Offices and Intellectual
Property website which provide official certification of patents, trademarks or
designs, as well as tips and guidelines about intellectual property for all
interested parties, not just New Zealanders.
Zealand’s national library published an article discussing their views about looking
forward to implement “knowledge resources” regarding various national information
such as the country’s history, culture, tradition and ethnicities, through
libraries, institutions and on websites to all New Zealanders by the year 2030.
This will make knowledge more accessible to New Zealanders; thus, the knowledge
of intellectual property will increase and become more approachable.
lack of knowledge in intellectual property could lead to numerous
misunderstandings and negative consequences such as criminal penalties in some
countries for “trademark infringement” to those who are naïve about it. With
the trade world expanding day by day, it is necessary to educate people about
the importance of intellectual property. It is an issue that has to be
Indigenous People’s Intellectual Property in Documenting Traditional Medical
medicine also known as ancient medicine, involves the use of traditional
techniques or herbal supplements as a way of healing. It was used by the
primitives in different communities and in various ways before the development
of modern medicine. Since it is ancient, the practice of using traditional
medicine as a common cure started to get rare, this risks the future of traditional
medicine which has shown it is a good, simple and affordable way to get cured;
it may not only cause the use of traditional medicine to extinct, but the
knowledge about it too. Although, traditional medicine could be found in the
main ingredients of modern drugs, yet it is not credited or acknowledged.
Zealand is known for having different ethnicities, and one of these ethnicities
is M?ori —the indigenous or native people of New Zealand—. New Zealand has
always and still is protecting the M?ori culture and knowledge. It has
previously recognized the issue of protecting its indigenous people’s rights
and intellectual property. The conflict seems to be a bit complex, yet there are
laws and patents that were changed and added regarding the M?ori intellectual
property. In 2002, a M?ori Advisory Committee was founded; its target was to
investigate if a trademark is considered inappropriate or offensive to the M?ori
In the present years, M?ori intellectual properties
became more important and cared for. In 2013, another M?ori
advisory committee was created for patents. It was made to protect their indigenous
knowledge and to review previous patents that may have roots from M?ori culture.
Again, New Zealand’s national library looks forward to inspire the creation and
use of M?ori knowledge in hopes of saving the M?ori language.
preserving rights to a specific traditional medicine is not very complicated, New
Zealand has taken actions to ensure the rights of M?oris with their
innovations. One of the M?ori cultural aspects that are protected by
intellectual property is “Indigenous plants or birds”; most of M?ori traditional
medicines contain their unique herbals which are now protected by New Zealand’s
inadequacy of references to M?ori traditional knowledge may lead to its
extinction. Increasing awareness about the importance of indigenous people’s
intellectual property and the consequences of its extinction is necessary. It
is a controversy that has to be endorsed.