Harnessing Intellectual Property to Protect and Promote Traditional Arts and Crafts and to Empower Women

Harnessing Intellectual Property to Protect and Promote Traditional Arts and Crafts and to Empower Women

MEXICO CITY — November 8-10: The International Intellectual Property Institute (IIPI) held the first in a series of training workshops on the use of intellectual property to protect and promote indigenous arts and crafts in Mexico City. The workshop, organized in cooperation with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), el Instituto Mexicano de la Propiedad Industrial (IMPI), and the Organization of American States (OAS), brought together nearly one-hundred participants from Belize, Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, and the United States to create a forum for cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural exchange. The workshop also addressed gender inequalities since most indigenous artisans are women.

Response to the workshop was overwhelmingly positive. Participants emphasized the importance of the knowledge they had gained at the workshop and the need for more programs of its type. One indigenous artist expressed her enjoyment at “learning about how intellectual property can be used as a tool to build cultural, social and economic value, especially for the women who live under the most precarious conditions.” Another claimed that the workshop “instilled” an “alternative view” of her rights as an artist. Yet another claimed that the workshop had “infused a hope” in a currently disempowered group.

Many countries in Latin America are home to indigenous communities with distinctive artistic traditions. Unfortunately, these communities are often unable exercise cultural and economic ownership over their activities. Counterfeiters with little or no connection to indigenous communities compete with traditional artists in limited markets. Although legal instruments, such as copyrights and trademarks, exist to protect artistic creations, they are often complicated and difficult to understand and use effectively without specialized legal knowledge.

Recognizing this, IIPI and its partners organized a series of discussions paneled by international intellectual property experts and representatives from indigenous communities. Early discussions began with conversations on the importance of identifying and protecting indigenous arts and crafts. Later discussions emphasized the role of intellectual property in achieving these goals and provided examples of success stories for indigenous artists to follow. Panelists emphasized that indigenous artists could not only use trademarks or other similar marks to protect their traditional arts and crafts but also to promote those arts and crafts within their market. After the discussions, participants were invited to question the panelists and comment on the proceedings. (A partial copy of the workshop agenda can be found below. A complete copy of the agenda can be downloaded in English here or in Spanish here.)

Outside of the discussions, IIPI and its partners attempted to create a sense of community between the participants. Workshop events included a fashion show at Mexico’s University Club, which featured the collections of Eliuh Kolektif, a non-profit corporation that promotes indigenous textiles as items of art and luxury, and Paulina y Malinali, fashion designers whose products were inspired by traditional dress. The fashion show exemplified one of the themes of the workshop, namely, indigenous artists like Elihu Kolektif and Paulina y Malinali could be commercially successful by using traditional designs in modern products.

The workshop, however, is only the beginning of IIPI and USPTO’s collaborative efforts in protecting indigenous and national cultures. The workshop is the first in a series collectively entitled “Harnessing Intellectual Property to Protect and Promote Traditional Arts and Crafts and Empower Women” (“El Uso de la Propiedad Intelectual para Proteger y Promover las Artes y Artesanías Tradicionales y el Posicionamiento de la Mujer”). This series includes two more workshops which seek to build upon the momentum generated by the Mexico City workshop. The first of these, scheduled for March in Siem Reap, Cambodia, seeks to apply the workshop’s successful model to the challenges facing traditional artists in Southeast and South Asia. The second, scheduled for Lima, Peru, seeks to consolidate that success within Latin America.

Harnessing Intellectual Property to Protect and Promote Traditional Arts and Crafts and to Empower Women

Marriott Mexico City Reforma / Zona Rosa
Mexico City
8-10 November, 2010

Day 1: Protecting Your Products with IP

Welcome Address and Introduction to Traditional Arts and Crafts

Speakers: Lic. Jorge Amigo Castañeda, Director General, Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI); Hon. Sharon Barner, Deputy Director, United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO); Hon. Bruce Lehman, Chairman and President, International Intellectual Property; Institute (IIPI); Mr. Jorge Saggiante, Director of Economic Development, Trade & Tourism, Organization of American States (OAS)

Panel: The Identification and Preservation of Traditional Arts and Crafts Part 1

The Importance of Preservation and Best Practices for Managing the IP Components
The Impact of Digital Technologies in the Dissemination and Protection of Traditional Arts and Crafts
Mexico’s Efforts to Digitally Preserve Traditional Arts and Crafts

Moderator: Hon. Sharon Barner, Deputy Director, USPTO
Speakers: Ms. Peggy Bulger, Director, American Folklife Center, Training Program for Indigenous Communities, Library of Congress; Mrs. Xilonen Luna Ruiz, Collection Document Director, and Mr. Octavio Murillo Álvarez de la Cadena, Under Director of Conservation and Stewardship, National Commission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples (CDI) (joint presentation “The Cultural Collections and Documentaries Experience”)

Panel: The Identification and Preservation of Traditional Arts and Crafts Part 2

Moderator: Mrs. Gilda González Carmona, Deputy Director General of Support Services, IMPI
Speakers: Mr. Eduardo Berrocal López, Under Director of Social Programs. National Fund for the Development of Arts and Crafts (FONART); Mr. Jorge Gustavo Caicedo, Director General “Human Heritage”; Mr. Jon Lohman, Virginia Folklife Program at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities; Ms. Molly Torsen, U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Intellectual Property Rights, former WIPO consultant on Creative Heritage

Lunch:

Success Story: Empowering Indigenous Women through Intellectual Property Protection
Panama’s Use of Intellectual Property Rights to Help Indigenous Women Protect and Market Their Products

Moderator: Mr. Cesar Parga, Economic Development, Trade & Tourism, OAS
Speakers: Mr. Aresio Valiente, Panamanian lawyer, legal adviser to the General Kuna Congress; Mrs. Rosi Laura Castellanos Mariano, Assessor of the General Directorate for Education of the Indigenous (DGEI)

Panel: The Role of Intellectual Property in Protecting and Promoting Traditional Arts and Crafts and National Heritage

Copyright, Trademarks, Service Marks, Collective Marks, Certification Marks, Geographical Indications
Overview of International Design Registration System
Current Legislation, Policies and Treaties

Moderator: Hon. Bruce A. Lehman, Chairman and President, IIPI
Speakers: Mr. Salvador Rodríguez Rodríguez, Head of Maintenance Rights Department, IMPI; Mr. Cesar Parga, OAS; Lic. Martin Michaus, Inter-American Association of IP Lawyers (ASIPI); Licda. Alejandra Loría Martínez, Social Anthropologist, Ministry of the Environment, Energy and Telecommunications, MINAET –CONAGEBIO, Costa Rica

Panel: How to Protect Cultural Expressions – Where Are We Now?

Government Efforts and Approaches to the Protection of Cultural Expressions in Each Speaker’s Home Country
Perspectives of Indigenous Representatives on what Constitutes Property
IP Rights and Structure within Indigenous Societies
Methods of Sharing Rights and Responsibilities and the Role of Collective Ownership

Moderator: Ms. Susan Anthony, Attorney, Office of Intellectual Property Policy and Enforcement, USPTO
Speakers: Mrs. Xilonen Luna Ruiz, Collection Document Director, National Commission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples (CDI); Mr. Mateo A. Castillo Ceja, Head of Social Coordination Participation and Transparency Division, The Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT); Ms. Benigna Acosta, coordinator of the Ngöbe and Bugle community in the Department of Commerce and Industries (MICI) (How the Ngöbe and Bugle community protects its culture); Dr. Luis Vega García, Legal Director General, The National Council for Culture and Arts (CONACULTA); Mr. Jesús Antonio Machuca Ramirez, National Researcher, Ethnology and Social Anthropology Direction; Mrs. Candida Fernandez, Director General, Fomento Cultural Banamex

Welcome Reception and Buffet
Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico
La Terraza Restaurant
Historic Center – Zocalo

Day 2: Building Your Business with IP

How to: Forming an Arts and Crafts Cooperative to Create Better Marketing Opportunities

Moderator: Ms. Susan Anthony, Attorney, Office of Intellectual Property Policy and Enforcement, USPTO
Speakers: Ms. Paulina Parlange, Eliuh Kolektif; Mr. Patrick Kole, Vice President of Legal and Government Affairs, Idaho Potato Commission; Mr. Andy Abeita, Vice President, Council for Indigenous Arts and Culture

How to: Building Collective and Certification Mark Programs for Branding Traditional Arts and Crafts

Using Quality Standards to Gain a Competitive Advantage: The Role of Marks in Creating Value and Identity

Moderator: Ms. Susan Anthony, Attorney, Office of Intellectual Property Policy and Enforcement, USPTO
Speakers: Hon. Bruce Lehman, Chairman and President, IIPI; Mr. Federico José Vásquez Marcial, Chatino’s Indigene, Cultural Development Board Coordinator of CDI’s Consultative Counsel, State of Oaxaca; Ms. Ana Paula Ramirez, International Affairs, Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT); Ms. Toni Hickey, Deputy Chief of Staff for the Under Secretary and Director and the Deputy Under Secretary and Deputy Director, USPTO

Lunch:

How to Build a Successful Business A to Z
Success Story: Women’s Prison Project

Moderator: Hon. Sharon Barner, Deputy Director, USPTO
Speakers: Mr. Patrick Kole, Vice President of Legal and Government Affairs, Idaho Potato Commission; Ms. Rebecca Roth, Original Friends Dolls, Feria Exposition

How to: Enforcing Your Intellectual Property Rights to Protect Your Traditional Arts and Crafts

Use of Marks to Protect Cultural Expressions
In Local Markets, International Markets, On the Internet, In Auction Sites
Protecting Indigenous Products
Specific Approaches and Techniques Used
Experiences with Indian Arts and Crafts Act and Truth-in-Advertising Law
Featured Business’ Experiences in Marketing Cultural Expressions and Issues with Enforcement

Moderator: Hon. Bruce Lehman, Chairman and President, IIPI
Speakers: Mr. Andy Abeita, Vice President, Council for Indigenous Arts and Culture; Lic. Martin Michaus, ASIPI, Inter-American Association of IP Lawyers; Ms. Peggy Bulger, Director, American Folklife Center, Training Program for Indigenous Communities, Library of Congress; Ms. Albania Elizondo Rodríguez, Costa Rican artist; Mr. Aresio Valiente, legal adviser to the General Kuna Congress, and Ms. Benigna Acosta, Department of Commerce and Industries (MICI), (joint presentation)

Fashion Show and Dinner
University Club of Mexico City
Reforma Avenue 150
Col. Juarez
Mexico City

Featuring: Eliuh Kolektif and Paulina y Malinali

Day 3: Financing and Marketing Your Business
(Open to Invited Public)

How to: Financing the Production of Traditional Arts and Crafts

Resources for Financing these Businesses
Government Contributions to Building their Countries’ Cultural Heritage

Moderator: Mr. Jorge Saggiante, Director of Economic Development, Trade & Tourism, OAS
Speaker: Mr. Luis Llano, Banco Compartamos

How to: Building Domestic Markets

FONART: Personal Experiences and “How To” Methods for Building These Markets
Using the Internet and Social Media
The Role of Cultural Tourism

Moderator: Mrs. Emelia Hernández Priego, Deputy Director of Substantive Patent Exam, IMPI
Speakers: Ms. Rafaela Luft Davalos, Director General, National Fund for the Development of Arts and Crafts (FONART); Mr. Andy Abeita, Vice President Council for Indigenous Arts and Culture; Ms. Alina Itucama, Panamanian artisan; Ms. Aryuleimy Anyara Gonzalez Avila de Vergara, coordinator of the Kuna Yala community in the Department of Commerce and Industries (MICI)

Lunch: Marketing through Festivals

Examples include the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, the Santa Fe Folk Art Festival, and the FERIA Festival

Moderator: Ms. Susan Anthony, Attorney, Office of Intellectual Property Policy and Enforcement, USPTO
Speakers: Mrs. Marcela Jimenez López, Under Director of Cultural Small Business, Mexico City Ministry of Culture; Mr. Jon Lohman, Virginia Folklife Program at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities; Ms. Rebecca Roth, Original Friends Dolls, Feria Exposition; Mr. Jens Lund, Washington State Parks & Recreation Commission, Folk & Traditional Arts in the Parks Program

How to: Building Export Markets

Selling to Buyers and Retailers
Harnessing the Power of the Internet and Social Media to Expand Markets for Traditional Arts and Crafts

Moderator: Mr. Tim Scerba, President, Edelman Public Relations, Mexico
Speakers: Representatives from Wal-Mart and Macy’s; Ms. Carola Cruz, Media Lead, Accenture; Mr. Jens Lund, Washington State Parks & Recreation Commission, Folk & Traditional Arts in the Parks Program; Ms. Arianne Montefusco Novas, thesis on marketing of traditional items; Ms. Paulina Parlange , Eliuh Kolektif; Paulina y Malinali

Breakout Discussion/Q&A
Informal Opportunity for Participants to Speak with Experts

Evening Reception and Dinner with Closing Remarks
Antiguo Meson del Perro Andaluz
Calle Copenhague at Hamburgo (behind Marriott)
Zona Rosa

facebook digg facebook facebook facebook facebook reddit