Tribal leaders, cultural knowledge holders, and tribal government staff are invited to attend a free event in Sacramento, CA on Mon. Oct. 31, to help prepare for upcoming consultations the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will hold with tribal governments. Informed participation in the consultations will be key, as the federal agency has never held formal consultations with tribes to learn how Indigenous Peoples in the U.S. want to be represented in on-going negotiations on proposed international intellectual property agreements regarding Indigenous Peoples’ traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions.
The Implementation Project, a joint initiative of the University of Colorado Law School and the Native American Rights Fund (NARF), looks forward to hosting this In Conjunction With (ICW) event at NCAI’s 79th Annual Convention & Marketplace. Entitled: Implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to Protect Indigenous Knowledge and Cultural Expressions: A Preview of Upcoming Consultations with the USPTO,the panel will discuss how tribal governments can utilize the Declaration in advocacy to secure international and domestic legal protections for Indigenous knowledge and cultural expressions. This panel of tribal representatives, intellectual property experts, and others involved in World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) negotiations will provide background on rights, key issues under negotiation, and the positions of Indigenous representatives and the U.S. on these issues. Attendees will also hear about how they can prepare for engagement with the USPTO in government-to-government consultations.
A Preview of Upcoming Consultations with the USPTO
Monday, October 31, 2022 – from 10:30 a.m. – 12 Noon PST
- Frank Ettawageshik – NCAI Representative at WIPO Negotiations
- June Lorenzo – Attorney and Chief Judge Pueblo of Zia
- Susan Anthony – Attorney-Advisor in the Office of Policy and International Affairs (OPIA), U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
- Aaron Jones – Treaty Rights Protection Specialist Treaty Rights & Government Affairs the Tulalip Tribes of Washington
- Lauren van Schilfgaarde – Research Fellow at UCLA School of Law
Moderated by: NARF Staff Attorney Jason Searle
Where: Ballroom B5, SAFE Credit Union Convention Center (1401 K St, Sacramento, CA 95814). For parking details, see: https://safecreditunionconventioncenter.com/Attendees/Parking
Registration Not Required to Attend: While the panel is an official NCAI “In Conjunction With” event, you do not need to register as an NCAI convention participant to attend. To learn how to attend the NCAI convention after this event, visit: https://ncai.org.
Panel Organized by: The Implementation Project, a joint initiative of the University of Colorado Law School and the Native American Rights Fund to advance education and advocacy regarding the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the United States.
“Tribal leaders and knowledge holders will gain information and resources useful in ensuring their consultation sessions with United States Patent and Trademark Office convey concerns the federal agency must bear in mind and act on during the WIPO negotiations,” said Implementation Project Co-Director and NARF Senior Staff Attorney Sue Noe.
Laws surrounding intellectual property rights can be very complex and protecting Indigenous traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions from exploitation comes with unique difficulties. In addition to standard issues of copyright, patent, and trademark, tribal governments navigate issues of intellectual property through a Native lens that includes cultural and spiritual concerns, and they possess Indigenous intellectual property rights that are largely unprotected under existing intellectual property laws.
“We welcome all to attend this free panel in Sacramento next week,” said Implementation Project Co-Director, Kristen Carpenter, the Colorado Law American Indian Law Program Director and Council Tree Professor of Law. “Efforts to secure international and domestic legal protections for Indigenous knowledge and cultural expressions, consistent with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, have ramped up, and it is important that tribes are informed about the negotiations at WIPO and have the opportunity to make their concerns and expectations known to the USPTO, which is the agency that heads up these negotiations for the U.S.”