Stakeholders should be consulted on patent issues to conserve traditions: MLA Kikon

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HT Correspondent

DIMAPUR, Oct 4: Nagaland adviser for science, technology and information technology and MLA Mmhonlumo Kikon on Friday said the stakeholders and rights holders should be properly consulted on patent issues to conserve traditional knowledge and also for the preservation of rights of intellectual knowledge.

Addressing the inaugural programme of the state-level workshop on Geographical Indication and Intellectual Property Rights – Traditional Knowledge, Textiles and Crafts in Kohima, Kikon said the idea that emerged for years from experimenting with creative minds is also linked to their identity.

“The Nagas base their identity on three facets – land, people and culture. There have been conflicts in the past on the basis of these notions of identity,” he noted.

Kikon added that for any good purpose and good policy intention, there should be proper consultation with the stakeholders with experiences from the past. He said this workshop was aimed at understanding each other’s mind, opinions and respectfully ensure that these opinions are collected and informed to the government in policy making.

“Traditional knowledge, whether it is of medicinal plants and its uses or designs are important. Therefore, the Geographical Indication (GI) process will protect Naga traditional knowledge for the sake of our region and it will ensure that our products are not marketed and benefited commercially by others,” he said.

Chief scientific officer, department of science and technology, Dr Zavei Heise, in his keynote address, pointed out that the Nagas are facing one important crisis that is the identity and heritage of the Nagas. “Through the GI process, we need to preserve the uniqueness of the Naga culture because unless we’re able to protect and preserve this uniqueness we will be nowhere,” he said. Heise added the Nagas should also adopt the international and national patent laws.

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