Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Protection of Traditional Knowledge: International and national Initiatives and Possible ways ahead by Nithin Kumar, Law Student

Traditional Knowledge (TK) is a cumulative body of knowledge which is handed down through generations through cultural transmission. Modern manufacturing industries are now commercially exploiting TK, without even sharing the benefit accrued from it with the indigenous communities.. This paper shall analyse the need for protection of TK and how commercial exploitation of TK is affecting indigenous communities and aims to find out why current IP systems cannot be invoked for the prevention of indigenous knowledge, the measures taken in the international and Indian scenario for protection of traditional knowledge. Another focus point of this paper is regarding the future of TK protection where author attempts to look into the proposals laid by developing countries and various Jurists like concept of defensive publication with special reference to Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL), Disclosure of Origin, Benefit sharing with indigenous communities for use of TK, etc.


Around the world, various local communities possess knowledge and practices gained by them through experience of centuries and transferred from generation to generation. This culturally transmitted knowledge is referred to as traditional knowledge. Traditional knowledge is the result of intellectual activities in diverse traditional contexts. The term “traditional knowledge” is a very broad concept, which encompasses within itself indigenous knowledge related to various categories like agriculture, medicine, bio diversity as well as expressions of folklore in the form of music, dance, songs, handicraft, designs etc.

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