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Incentives for and Protection of Cultural Expression: Art, Trade and Geographical Indications



After the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Cultural Diversity, the interaction between the protection of traditional cultural expressions (TCEs) and geographical indicators (GIs) is an interesting one. The capacity of a geographical indication of origin to create a global market with local control over brand, quality and methods of production seems to make it immensely suitable for preservation of cultural diversity. Since the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights does not limit the potential causes of action for the unauthorized use of GIs, the tort of misappropriation may be applied in relation to TCEs. In order to reconcile intellectual property rights with non-Western belief systems, application of the tort of misappropriation, unjust enrichment and the remedy of restitution may make enforcement of GIs in relation to TCEs more palatable than other forms of protection.

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