Property rights and traditional knowledge

The current intellectual property system by and large ignores so-called "traditional knowledge." Rooted in western notions of individualism, the intellectual property system concentrates almost exclusively on discrete new knowledge produced by a particular author or inventor. But a great d...

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Published in: Potchefstroom electronic law journal Vol. 13; no. 4; pp. 12 - 47
Main Author: Cross, J.T
Format: Journal Article
Language: English
Afrikaans
Portuguese
Published: South Africa North-West University 01-01-2010
North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus)
Subjects:
Law
Online Access: Get full text
Summary: The current intellectual property system by and large ignores so-called "traditional knowledge." Rooted in western notions of individualism, the intellectual property system concentrates almost exclusively on discrete new knowledge produced by a particular author or inventor. But a great deal of valuable knowledge does not fit this mould. Much of human knowledge ranging from folk music to technical know-how concerning the healing characteristics of a particular plant - results from communal rather than an individual effort. Such knowledge is not discrete and static, but instead evolves in response to the particular needs of a group or culture. Because of these characteristics and others, such traditional knowledge does not fit well within the current paradigm, and accordingly tends to be overlooked in discussions of intellectual property.
ISSN: 1727-3781
1727-3781