THE (MIS)APPROPRIATION OF INDIGENOUS CULTURAL ELEMENTS AS TRADEMARKS
ASSESSING NEW ZEALAND’S TRADEMARK REGIME AS A POTENTIAL MODEL FOR CANADA
The practice of brand-building by appropriating elements of Indigenous culture as trademarks is ubiquitous worldwide. In Canada, trademark legislation offers little protection for Indigenous peoples from the misappropriation of traditional cultural expressions by non-Indigenous people. This paper examines New Zealand’s trademark legislation, and the accompanying Māori Trade marks Advisory Committee (“MTAC”) as a comparator to address the gaps in Canada’s trademark scheme. The paper proposes an enhanced version of the New Zealand regime that is broader in scope of protection and specific to the Canadian context.
Keywords:Trademark, Indigenous Peoples, Right to Self-Determination, Misappropriation, New Zealand Trade Mark Regime, Wai 262, Branding, Māori Trade marks Advisory Committee, Cultural Appropriation, Traditional Cultural Expression, Intellectual Property Regime
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