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Misappropriation of Shuar Traditional Knowledge (TK) and Trade Secrets: A Case Study on Biopiracy in the Amazon

Journal of Technology Law and Policy, Vol. 15, No. 9, 2009

54 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2010  

Winston P. Nagan

Levin College of Law (University of Florida)

Eduardo J. Mordujovich

University of Florida

Judit K. Otvos

University of Florida

Jason Taylor

University of Florida

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

Where the murkiness of biopiracy as a general matter leaves little room for legal theory to anchor, the relative clarity of specific instances of biopiracy may provide sufficient factual information from which to develop appropriate legal theories. In particular, the way biopiracy has been used to misappropriate the traditional knowledge (TK) of the Shuar Nation of Ecuador suggests that there may be legal theories for which the process of misappropriation may give rise to liability under international law as well as under developments in the domestic laws of the United States and Ecuador. The possible efficacy and legal coherence of any such theory are dependent upon an understanding of the background of the problem of biopiracy, the general and specific methods used by biopirates, and a clarification of the nature of the interests in question as misappropriated property.

Keywords: biopiracy, indigenous peoples, legal theory

Suggested Citation

Nagan, Winston P. and Mordujovich, Eduardo J. and Otvos, Judit K. and Taylor, Jason, Misappropriation of Shuar Traditional Knowledge (TK) and Trade Secrets: A Case Study on Biopiracy in the Amazon (2009). Journal of Technology Law and Policy, Vol. 15, No. 9, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1722823

Winston Percival Nagan (Contact Author)

Levin College of Law (University of Florida) ( email )

P.O. Box 117625
Gainesville, FL 32611-7625
United States

Eduardo J. Mordujovich

University of Florida

PO Box 117165, 201 Stuzin Hall
Gainesville, FL 32610-0496
United States

Judit K. Otvos

University of Florida

PO Box 117165, 201 Stuzin Hall
Gainesville, FL 32610-0496
United States

Jason Taylor

University of Florida

PO Box 117165, 201 Stuzin Hall
Gainesville, FL 32610-0496
United States

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