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.