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Written on 26-Apr-2012 by Fidel A. Captain


Many small island states lose their best minds and their greatest talent to developed nations in Europe and North America. In addition, they fail to protect their current and traditional creations, techniques, and knowledge as intellectual property, and in so doing lose their economic value. Unless this trend is quickly checked, small island states will lose their competitive edge and important aspects of their culture in an era driven by knowledge.

To this end, this paper seeks to show how intellectual property can be used, and has been used to preserve the culture of the people of small island states, and to raise the awareness of the value of their intellectual property. This will be done by looking at one case in detail where intellectual property law was used to protect a national cultural icon: Pussers’ protection of the Painkiller cocktail. Other similar cases where intellectual property can or has been used to protect and preserve cultural icons, traditional creations, and techniques will also be looked at.

In conclusion, intellectual property can be used, and has been used to protect the current and traditional creations, techniques, and culture of small island states. In this research it was found that there are cases where culture can be, and has been preserved through intellectual property protection, and that there exists many more opportunities for the preservation of such.