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Title: Biopiracy and Protection of Traditional Knowledge: Intellectual Property Rights and Beyond
Authors: Afreen, Shamama
Abraham, Biju Paul
Issue Date: 1-Sep-2008
Series/Report no.: WORKING PAPER SERIES;WPS No. 629/ September 2008
Abstract: The increasing importance of traditional knowledge (TK) of indigenous communities, both in the economy as well as in biodiversity conservation, has attracted the uncompensated use of such knowledge by multinational companies and research organisations for commercial purposes. Numerous cases of biopiracy have highlighted this issue and have increased demands for protection of TK from such misappropriation, causing many biodiversity rich countries to design and adopt different protective regimes. This paper seeks to highlight the need for protecting TK by taking a look at some global biopiracy cases. It discusses various approaches for establishing a protective regime and argues that this cannot be done solely through conventional intellectual property rights (IPRs). It suggests a comprehensive approach that is a bundle of complementary legal, nonlegal and voluntary mechanisms, containing not only IPRs but moving beyond to include sui generis systems that can be integrated into the national legal framework and also conform well to specific needs of indigenous communities.
Appears in Collections:2008

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