Monday 8 September 2014


The Gambia ratifies ARIPO's Swakopmund Protocol

It kind of feels really nice like donkey’s years since this Leo wrote a blog post! There’s no better way to get back into the groove than with some good news from the smallest mainland country in Africa. 

Following on from Darren’s post, which informed us that The Gambia is keen on protecting traditional knowledge and folklore ('TK') for the benefit of its valuable tourism industry, this Leo understands that The Gambia has put its money where its mouth is by ratifying the Swakopmund Protocol on the Protection of Traditional Knowledge and Expressions of Folklore (ARIPO). Read all about it, as reported by The Standard, here

Readers may also wish to take note of what the Attorney General and Minister of Justice of the Republic of The Gambia said at the inaugural event of ARIPO’s IP roadshow seminar held in Banjul, The Gambia, last August. According to ARIPO’s press release: 

“…Hon. Justice Mama Fatima Singhateh highlighted the most significant achievements of the IP Office in the country namely the clearance of a backlog, [This is brilliant news! See Afro-IP’s post in 2012 which told us that they were working on it] the inclusion of IP in the National Science and Technology Policy and the drafting of the IP Policy and Strategy. [On which see Caroline’s report on IP policy in The Gambia here] Hon. Singhateh also indicated that the Government took the conscious decision of joining the Madrid System on Marks and is following up on latest developments on the Banjul Protocol reforms and the text of the Swakopmund Protocol on the Protection of Traditional Knowledge and Expressions of Folklore in order to consider accession.”[Talk about persuasion and conversion! Well done, ARIPO]

Further reading
A primer on ARIPO’s TK protection regime is here
Afro-IP summarises the TK discussions at the 2013 Africa IP Forum here
India and WIPO partner to protect TK here
A report published by the UN on indigenous peoples is here (for IP rights & TK, see pp. 64 – 77)
The British Monarchy’s commercial value is protected under various laws, and in the world of advertising (As Darren mentioned in his post referenced above)



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