8 Sep 2010

Laws protecting Samoa's traditional cultural knowledge may be hard to enforce - academic

12:05 pm on 8 September 2010

A Samoan academic says any laws protecting Samoa's traditional knowledge and expressions of culture may be hard to enforce .

The Law Reform Commission in Samoa has been tasked with developing a suitable legal framework to protect Samoa's intellectual property rights.

Associate Professor of Pacific Studies at AUT in New Zealand, Tagaloa Dr Peggy Fairbairn-Dunlop, says it is a move in the right direction, with other Pacific nations also moving towards patenting and wanting to protect their cultural knowledge from exploitation.

"It will of course be very hard to police, or ensure compliance with them but I think nations have a right to do that and I think that nations should do that, given the loss of much of these intellectual properties which has occured in recent years. Even if they cannot make sure that other nations comply with it, as least they have made a stand, saying that this is precious."

Tagaloa Dr Peggy Fairbairn-Dunlop.