Financial Times - Maasai Intellectual Property Initiative
In January 2018, Position's work for the Maasai Intellectual Property Initiative (MIPI) was published on the front page of the Financial Times and was the main featured story online. The article by the FT's Africa Editor, David Pilling, explains the emergence of MIPI as the legal representation of the 2 million Maasai.
It all started in 2009 when Maasai leader Isaac ole Tialolo approached Ron Layton for help to protect Maasai cultural heritage. In collaboration with the team behind Position, MIPI was designed, with an organising group that became the board. The MIPI constitution was drafted by an international team including Maasai and US lawyers, and the renowned Australian IP lawyer Michael Frankel, drawing on his experience representing the Australian Aboriginal people. Prof. Meg Brindle of Position helped to train MIPI members, alongside Isaac's leadership to successfully spread the balance of MIPI roles to be representative of Maasai elders from Kenya and Tanzania. Position Ltd has been appointed as licensing agent by declaration of the MIPI board in 2015. The revenue generated will fund Maasai training and community projects, and all licensing fee will be published in accordance with the MIPI constitution.
MIPI is supported by the advocacy group, The African IP Trust.