Why has traditional knowledge been recently discussed in connection with IP?
Traditional knowledge – used here broadly to refer to tradition-based innovations and creations resulting from intellectual activity in the industrial, scientific, literary or artistic fields – had been largely over-looked in the IP community until quite recently. It is now increasingly recognized that the economic value of traditional knowledge assets could be further enhanced by the use of IP. There are also concerns that the intellectual property system has not adequately recognized the contribution of traditional knowledge systems in human development, and the interests of the holders of traditional knowledge.
Holders of traditional knowledge are exploring ways of protecting their interests within the intellectual property system, safeguarding against misappropriation of their knowledge, cultural works and distinctive signs and symbols. Many also seek to build their traditional knowledge and cultural expressions into sustainable economic and social development utilizing various intellectual property approaches including patent, trademark, and copyright laws, and so called ‘ sui generis ' or tailor made laws for protecting traditional knowledge, traditional cultural expressions, or folklore, where these have been established. Often, the enhancement of an old technology generates valuable new inventions, or the adaptation of an old artistic tradition results in new creative works.
These questions are the subject of focused discussion in the WIPO Intergovernmental Committee (IGC) on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge, and Folklore, which is making substantial progress in addressing both policy and practical linkages between the IP system and the concerns and needs of holders of traditional knowledge and custodians of traditional cultures.
Date: 2014-12-22; view: 446