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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

Traditional Stuff

  1. FADE IN

  2. Act 1

  3. INT. SITTING ROOM - 12:30

  4. PETER is watching TV news.

  5. PETER (V.O.): Oh, the Peruvian Police is evicting indigenous protesters from a mine.

  6. Recalling.

  7. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I've one Peruvian lawyer friend.

  8. We hear: It's a China-owned copper mine. But the protesters say it was their ancestral land.

  9. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Peru is one of the few countries in the world that has special laws to protect traditional stuff.

  10. Peter surfs the web.

  11. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): One community sold the land and was resettled about 10 years ago.

  12. Reading.

  13. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Ah, the protesters are from another community.

  14. Act 2

  15. INT. PETER'S NT HOME - 16:00

  16. Listening to stereo extra-bass oldies, Peter grabs a book entitled "Biodiversity and Local Ecological Knowledge in France".

  17. PETER (V.O.): From 2000 to 2010, I was a China delegate to the WIPO Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore.


  19. INT. WIPO, Geneva - Day (2005)

  20. Coming out from a big conference room, Peter sees a stack of free copies of "Biodiversity and Local Ecological Knowledge in France".

  21. PETER (V.O.): Well, it seems that France has done a lot and wants to fuel the debate.

  22. Peter flips through the pages.

  23. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): My baggage has room for it.

  24. Peter takes a copy.


  26. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Now is the time to read it.

  27. Reading.

  28. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Oh yes, there're French Guiana and New Caledonia.

  29. Reading.

  30. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): In the continental system, traditional stuff can be protected by Trade Marks and Geographical Indications.

  31. Recalling.

  32. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I was one of the WTO Dispute Settlement Panelists who settled similar disputes re US v European Communities and Australia v European Communities, 2004-2005.

  33. Peter finds an angle to capture its cover before decluttering the book.

  34. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): In late 2009, Hong Kong, China, was about to negotiate its 2nd Free Trade Agreement. The other side was the European Free Trade Association. (EFTA).

  35. Recalling.

  36. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): As Switzerland was taking the lead in EFTA, I thought I should take the lead to negotiate on the intellectual property (IP) front for a second time.

  37. Pausing.

  38. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The first time I did that was to negotiate with New Zealand. It was Hong Kong, China's first bilateral Free Trade Agreement.

  39. Pausing.

  40. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): As nearly all the clauses of its IP chapter were of the best-endeavour type, it was plain sailing.

  41. Pausing.

  42. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): But the one with EFTA tuned out to be very tough. It's like what was mine was mine and what's yours was negotiable.

  43. Pausing.

  44. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Switzerland demanded Hong Kong, China, to provide level of IP protection well above the international standard, particularly on drugs.

  45. Pausing.

  46. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The circumstances were such that the IP chapter would break or make the Agreement.

  47. Pausing.

  48. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): It was fortunate that I had put down Hong Kong, China's demand of Switzerland to provide for protection of traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expression.

  49. Pausing.

  50. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I knew Switzerland should have difficulty to do that. To me, it was quite a negotiation ploy.

  51. Recalling.

  52. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): In the last round of the negotiations, EFTA finally backed down on their demands to trade off mine; the IP chapter didn't break the Agreement.

  53. Act 3

  54. INT. SITTING ROOM - 22:30

  55. Peter and his WIFE are watching TV drama.

  56. WIFE: Oh, the broadcaster has made a NFT of the black cat being featured in the drama.

  57. PETER: Yes, that's a creative way to generate revenue streams. I'm a shareholder of the TV company.

  58. Pausing.

  59. PETER (V.O.): Looking back, I'm still proud that I creatively deployed what I had observed to balance the IP well-being of Hong Kong, China.

  60. The TV is broadcasting a news story of the re-elected French President.

  61. FADE OUT

  62. THE END

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