Analysis on the Protection of Traditional Knowledge with Patents

  • Suhail KK
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  • Suhail KK

    Student at School of Law, Presidency University, Bangalore, India

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Traditional knowledge (TK) refers to indigenous communities' knowledge systems, which are frequently related to their surrounding natural environment. Globalisation and the increased availability of this knowledge, as well as the implementation of intellectual property systems in the developing world, have made Traditional knowledge and its relationship with the IPR-system a highly debated and complicated issue. Patents have been granted with knowledge that stems from Traditional knowledge, some of these patents have been challenged and accused of being examples of "biopiracy". Working groups affiliated with the Convention on Biodiversity and the World Intellectual Property Organization's Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge, and Folklore are primarily in charge of attempting to better adapt the patent system to Traditional knowledge. Because of, among other things, the biopiracy controversy, much of the debate has been mired in what can be seen as postcolonial anger and guilt; it is highly politicised and frequently divorced from the legal issues at hand. The cases highlight issues related to judging the patent criteria of novelty and inventive step in relation to Traditional knowledge, as well as the issue of indigenous communities' moral rights in terms of protection from infringement of their religious identity. This paper attempts to reclaim the issue from the political arena by viewing the imperfect interaction between the two knowledge systems as a legal issue rather than a political one.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 6, Issue 6, Page 1650 - 1657


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