Title: Traditional knowledge, the CBD and the TRIPS regime: synthesising the discordant discourses at the WTO

Authors: Vydyanathan Lakshmanan

Addresses: The School of Excellence in Law, The Tamil Nadu Dr. Ambedkar Law University, Chennai, India

Abstract: This paper evaluates the discussions in the WTO on the issues of Traditional Knowledge, the CBD and the TRIPS. A highly textual and an equally teleological interpretation of the TRIPS and the CBD by WTO members has led to arguments that characterise their relationship as either being in mutual harmony or conflict. I submit that much of this inconclusive exercise is unnecessary and can be overcome if the TRIPS is expressly amended to provide for CBD requirements. The paper tries to amalgamate the best from the various approaches to suggest a model regime for TK protection. It recommends that the implementation process be monitored by the TRIPS Council, obliging states to report whenever appropriate and for periodical review of the provisions.

Keywords: traditional knowledge; convention on biological diversity; CBD; TRIPS; benefit sharing; disclosure; prior informed consent; indigenous peoples; intellectual property.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIPM.2008.019335

International Journal of Intellectual Property Management, 2008 Vol.2 No.2, pp.116 - 129

Published online: 07 Jul 2008 *

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