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date: 19 November 2018

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter situates the claims for protection of traditional knowledge in the international intellectual property (IP) context. Drawing on examples, it discusses the meaning of “traditional knowledge” and how the goals and means of protecting that knowledge do not fit within the framework of IP law. In order to address the overlap with IP and provide protection against misuse of traditional knowledge, a number of international bodies have been involved in negotiations and treaty drafting. The chapter discusses those developments, and concludes that even though international resolution looks unlikely in the short-term, the protection of traditional knowledge will continue to feature in international IP debates until a minimum level of agreement at least reached. In order to attain such agreement, there needs to be relevant national laws and, as a practical matter, sufficient investment in the innovation of traditional knowledge in order to deliver the value of protection to its holders.

Keywords: Traditional knowledge, indigenous peoples, local communities, international intellectual property protection, negotiation

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