It is the view of UA that there is value in IP Australia exploring:
- The establishment of an Indigenous Advisory Panel made up of Indigenous people;
- A change to the trade marks and designs processes to ensure owners of traditional knowledge have consented to the use of their knowledge; and
- The way Indigenous products are labelled.
UA is particularly supportive of the proposal to amend the Australian patent and plant breeders rights systems to disclose when genetic resources and/or traditional knowledge have been used to develop an invention or new plant variety.
UA’s 39 members are committed to making further gains in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander success in universities. This commitment is made as part of the UA Indigenous Strategy. Indigenous knowledge contributes significantly to Australia’s intellectual and cultural capacity and to our universities. Not only is Indigenous knowledge an important part of research undertaken in the areas of language, culture, education, justice, land rights, governance and policy but it is increasingly used to underpin the fields of science, health and technology.
UA strongly supports the disclosure of Indigenous knowledge as a source leading to an invention or new plant variety to encourage researchers to appropriately acknowledge the contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to their invention or plant variety. It is the view of UA that the most appropriate way to do this is by making disclosure a requirement of a patent or plant breeders rights application via the IP Australia system, with an opportunity to correct an incorrect disclosure with penalties for failing to do so.
UA commends IP Australia for its work in this space and looks forward to seeing the results of this consultation.