Legal Perspectives on Traditional Knowledge: The Case for Intellectual Property Protection
Posted: 29 Feb 2008
Date Written: June 2004
This paper explores the feasibility of devising a new form of intellectual property (IP) protection that would recognize the social value of traditional knowledge (TK) and promote its integration into domestic and international trade regimes while respecting and preserving local autonomy and cultural values. Interest in the protection of TK is rooted in the goal of promoting social, economic, and ecological development of rural areas. It responds to concerns about fairness and equity in international economic relations affecting the livelihood of the bulk of the world's population. The topic is also of importance in the context of redefining the relationship between public goods, private rights, and the transfer of technology. Taken together, these concerns lead us to evaluate the policies and legal instruments that are best suited to achieving equity, validation, and sustainability while preserving open access to plant genetic materials for scientific research.
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