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Sacred songs of praise. Ancient knowledge of healing plants. Tribal patterns hammered into silver. The biology of immunity to a killer disease. Indigenous peoples possess great stores of intellectual property that the developed world has only recently begun to exploit. But when the makers of textiles, pharmaceuticals, and musical recordings come prospecting, they don’t always ask permission. They don’t eagerly share the profits. They rely on the fact that established IP laws often don’t even recognize the rights of the local people. The fact is that traditional knowledge, genetic resources, and folklore don’t fit easily into Western notions of intellectual property rights. Now, as contributor Nancy Kremers explains (“They Thought It First”), indigenous peoples are pushing for better IP protection — and global organizations are taking note. For the last two years, a World Intellectual Property Organization committee has met regularly to consider the need for new laws, possibly even a new treaty. At the same time that WIPO debates a serious challenge to established IP rights, those same rights are gaining a greater foothold globally. The Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights came into force in 1995. Western entities fanned out to provide TRIPS education and training to the developing world. One of these groups, the International Intellectual Property Institute, reviews the results in 13 countries (“The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”). Eldred v. Ashcroftgenerated more than the usual hoopla surrounding a Supreme Court case. For insight into the fate of copyright after the Jan. 15 decision, Legal Timesstaffer Evan P. Schultz talks to Columbia law professor Jane Ginsburg (“Confessions of a Copyright Optimist”). (Ginsburg is also the daughter of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who wrote Eldred.) In the next issue of IP,we’ll survey the leading patent, trademark, and copyright lawyers in the D.C. area. If you would like to tip us off to a worthy candidate, go to www.legaltimes.bizand click on “Leading Lawyers.” The nominations deadline is April 4. Thank you for your help. — Elizabeth Engdahl Managing Editor

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