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Top Tips: Indigenous and Local Community Entrepreneurs and Intellectual Property

Intellectual property (IP) plays a key role in helping entrepreneurs build stronger, more competitive businesses. For all companies small, medium or large, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to intellectual property. Businesses run by Indigenous peoples and local communities can, however, face additional challenges and concerns as they begin to navigate the intellectual property system. Find out below how intellectual property tools can protect and promote tradition-based innovations and creations and support Indigenous and local community entrepreneurs and their communities.

9 ways for Indigenous and local community entrepreneurs to take advantage of intellectual property

1. Protect your contemporary traditional cultural expressions with copyright

2. Use industrial design rights to protect the way your products look and feel

3. Register distinctive Indigenous words, names and symbols as trademarks

4. Distinguish your goods/services with certification/collective marks

5. Link your goods and services to a place with a geographical indication

6. Protect your innovations based on traditional knowledge

7. Keep your traditional knowledge confidential with trade secrets

8. Use unfair competition laws as a defense mechanism

9. Take advantage of available resources for Indigenous and local community entrepreneurs