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Legal Perspectives On Traditional Knowledge: The Case For Intellectual Property Protection


  • Thomas Cottier
  • Marion Panizzon


This paper explores the feasibility of devising a new form of intellectual property (IP) protection that would recognize the social value of traditional knowledge (TK) and promote its integration into domestic and international trade regimes while respecting and preserving local autonomy and cultural values. Interest in the protection of TK is rooted in the goal of promoting social, economic, and ecological development of rural areas. It responds to concerns about fairness and equity in international economic relations affecting the livelihood of the bulk of the world's population. The topic is also of importance in the context of redefining the relationship between public goods, private rights, and the transfer of technology. Taken together, these concerns lead us to evaluate the policies and legal instruments that are best suited to achieving equity, validation, and sustainability while preserving open access to plant genetic materials for scientific research. Oxford University Press 2004; all rights reserved, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Cottier & Marion Panizzon, 2004. "Legal Perspectives On Traditional Knowledge: The Case For Intellectual Property Protection," Journal of International Economic Law, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(2), pages 371-399, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jieclw:v:7:y:2004:i:2:p:371-399

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    Cited by:

    1. Chun, Jaekyong, 2014. "A legal approach to induce the traditional knowledge of forest resources," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 40-45.
    2. Amit Basole, 2014. "Authenticity, Innovation and the Geographical Indication in an Artisanal Industry: The Case of the Banarasi Sari," Working Papers 2014_09, University of Massachusetts Boston, Economics Department.
    3. Patrick Martens, 2013. "Can Certain Intellectual Property Rights both Protect and Promote Unique Traditional Products and Cultural Heritage from Developing Countries for Economic Benefit? The Case of Georgia," Working Papers 2013/14, Maastricht School of Management.
    4. Andanda, Pamela, 2012. "Striking a balance between Intellectual Property Protection of Traditional Knowledge, Cultural Preservation and Access to Knowledge," Papers 935, World Trade Institute.

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