Sociology Index

Traditional Knowledge

Books On Traditional Knowledge, IPR Intellectual Property Rights, Case Law

Knowledge that is local or indigenous is caled traditional knowledge. It refers to the traditions, customs and practices of indigenous, or local communities. Traditional knowledge includes wisdom and long tested teachings of these communities.

Traditional knowledge is not just personal or spiritual, but also has economic value. Certain communities depend on their traditional knowledge for survival and therefore needs to be protected. Communities are now looking up to intellectual property laws to preserve, protect, and promote their traditional knowledge. Certain communities have also sought to make equitable use of their traditional knowledge. Currently, only a few nations offer explicit sui generis protection for traditional knowledge.

Traditional knowledge can be protected by preventing others from using or securing intellectual property rights over traditional knowledge.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is actively working with different nations, organizations, and communities to address the policy and legal issues to protect traditional knowledge.

Blakeney M., Bioprospecting and the Protection of Traditional Medical Knowledge of Indigenous People: an Australian Perspective, in E.I.P.R. 1997, 29(6), 298-303.
Blakeney M., The Protection of Traditional Knowledge under Intellectual Property Law, in E.I.P.R. 2000, 22(6), 251-261.
Drahos P., Indigenous Knowledge, Intellectual Property and Biopiracy: Is a Global Biocollecting Society the Answer, in E.I.P.R. 2000, 22(6), 245-250.
Dutfield G., Legal and Economic Aspects of Traditional Knowledge, in International Public Dutfield G., TRIPS-related Aspects of Traditional Knowledge, in 33 Case W. Res. J. Int’l L. 233, 2001.
Gopalakrishnan N.S., TRIPS and Protection of Traditional Knowledge of Genetic Resources: New Challenges to the Patent System, in E.I.P.R. 2005, 27(1), 11-18.