Intellectual Property and Indigenous People: A Major Challenge

Death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Find out more

Death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

The staff at Franks & Co were saddened to learn of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Our thoughts are with His Majesty King Charles III and the rest of the Royal Family.

The United Kingdom is now officially in a period of mourning until after the Queen’s state funeral which is to be held on Monday 19 September. Normal day-to-day business will continue throughout this period.

The UK government has declared the day of the funeral to be a national Bank Holiday, so the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office will be closed on Monday 19 September.

The United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office’s official guidance on bank holidays is given below:

The office is deemed to be closed on weekends, Good Friday, Christmas Day and all England and Wales bank holidays for all types of business, except for the filing of new applications not claiming priority. If documents are filed for these types of business at times when the office is deemed to be closed, they will receive an official filing date of the next working day.

Any official time period which expires on a weekend or any other day on which the office is closed is extended to the next working day.

Skip navigation

Protecting indigenous peoples traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions across borders is among the most-challenging topics in the intellectual property field, participants heard at a recent seminar at WIPO.

In opening the proceedings, William Fisher of Harvard University Law School said: “The topic with which we will be grappling today is very difficult, perhaps the most-difficult issue in the law of intellectual property.”

Those advocating stricter restrictions say that indigenous groups are entitled to compensation for their knowledge, or at least attribution when the knowledge is used by others, according to Mr. Fisher. Incentives are needed for indigenous groups to preserve and disseminate knowledge, to prevent its disappearance, while protections may help offset long-term economic exploitation of indigenous groups, he summarized proponents as saying.

Parties against tighter restrictions on usage of traditional knowledge contend that indigenous groups and their cultures and practices are dynamic and that restrictions would impair evolution. Opponents also say “everyone benefits from at least some uses of traditional knowledge and genetic resources in particular, especially when those things are harnessed to the solution of modern problems, especially modern medical problems,” Mr. Fisher said.

Article Published August 3, 2015