Traditional Knowledge: Penetrating Intellectual Property

Yadav, Parveen ; Bohra, Prof. (Dr.) Saroj


Traditional Knowledge (TK) during its introduction in Intellectual Property (IP), remained associated mainly with Patents. However, with passage of time, relation of TK has been witnessed and debated with Trade Marks, Copyrights, Geographical Indications. The growing debate on TK in association with patents has been shared by TK’s penetration into copyright, geographical indication and trademarks. The paper studies the reach of TK in IP and analyze the stand of TK in IP. The IP system seems different from TK. Both the concepts have different footings but they are face to face and are at cross roads. The demand of acknowledging TK at international level, be it at Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property or Word Intellectual Property Organization or even for a sui generis system, is growing. It is face to face with IP system. The global north is reluctant to have TK in IP and global south is pro to have TK in IP. Basically, it is the benefit sharing but again benefit sharing and TK cannot be taken into isolation when it comes to their contrast with IP. Convention on Biological Diversity gave the momentum to the demand of benefit sharing and protection of TK with is furthered by Nagoya Protocol. Since early, TK was in focus with IP specifically in context of patent. However, due to appropriation of cultures or material from public domain, a concern has been raised where TK is being captured by conventional IP system. The conversion or use of TK in various IP is not welcomed and is becoming a topic of debate in one or the other way. The paper tries to study and analyze the aforesaid situation. It would see how TK is being in limelight and in contrast with other IP. The paper would also be portraying that how conventional IP system is being exposed to different notions due to advent of TK. The focus of paper would remain on the TK’s association with patent and its association with other IP like copyright, trademarks, geographical indications.


Traditional Knowledge; Patents; Trade Marks; Geographical Indications and Copyright

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