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Protecting Indigenous knowledge

27 August 2019

The Morrison Government is taking steps to ensure Indigenous businesses achieve their economic potential, and to preserve the cultural integrity of Indigenous Knowledge.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews today announced the release of the consultation report by IP Australia Protection of Indigenous Knowledge in the Intellectual Property System.

Minister Andrews said we need to bridge the disconnect between the customs and protocols of Australia’s First Peoples and the Western commercial and legal norms of the intellectual property (IP) system.

“We know current IP laws focus on individual ownership and do not reflect the emphasis of ongoing custodianship that is fundamental in Indigenous culture. It is for this reason the Morrison Government has made a commitment to better understand any gaps in the IP system,” Minister Andrews said.

“IP Australia’s consultation revealed a clear need for greater public awareness and understanding about the use and misappropriation of Indigenous Knowledge.

“We also heard that Indigenous Australians want more information about their rights in relation to sharing Indigenous Knowledge and engaging with the IP system. IP Australia has already commenced work on these new materials.”

This consultation is part of the commitment by the Government following a recommendation from the Indigenous Reference Group to the Ministerial Forum on Northern Development.

To find out more about the consultation and the report visit www.ipaustralia.gov.au/about-us/public-consultations/indigenous-knowledge-consultations

Media contact: Minister Andrews' office 02 6277 7070