Print page

Traditional Knowledge, Genetic Resources, Customary Law and Intellectual Property

A Global Primer Paul Kuruk, Lucille Stewart Beeson Professor of Law, Cumberland School of Law, Samford University, Birmingham, US; Facilitator, WIPO Intergovernmental Committee on Traditional Knowledge, Geneva, Switzerland; Representative of Ghana, United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, New York, US and Deputy Chairman, Ghana International Trade Commission, Accra, Ghana
The book examines the national, regional and international frameworks of protection of traditional knowledge in all regions of the world. It also discusses options to enhance the existing legal regimes including the use of customary laws and protocols; the adoption of mutual recognition agreements premised on the principle of reciprocity; and the disclosure of source or country of origin of traditional knowledge in intellectual property applications.
Extent: c 488 pp
Hardback Price: $180.00 Web: $162.00
Publication Date: March 2020
ISBN: 978 1 78536 847 9
Availability: Not yet published
$0.00

Buy the E-Book @ paperback price

  • eISBN: 978 1 78536 848 6

Join our mailing list

This global primer surveys international initiatives on traditional knowledge, folklore, cultural heritage and genetic resources, and describes in a comprehensive manner regional and national principles of protection in Asia, Europe, Africa, Oceania, the Middle East, the United States and the Americas.

The most innovative parts of the book discuss three key approaches. First, the book highlights the relevance of customary law, describes how it is recognized and applied in legal systems and assesses its effectiveness as an enforcement mechanism. Second, through selected cases, the book illustrates the problem of biopiracy to which the disclosure requirement has been proposed as a policy response. It traces the origins of the disclosure requirement to instruments developed jointly by WIPO and UNESCO. Third, the book proposes a novel approach to protecting traditional knowledge premised on the principle of reciprocity and the use of mutual recognition agreements (MRAs) and assesses the scope of such MRAs.

Libraries and universities will find this work is an invaluable resource for scholars and researchers. The material will also be important for government officials and organizations developing policy. Furthermore, the information available in these pages can empower indigenous peoples and local communities looking to promote awareness and protect traditional knowledge.
‘Kuruk, one of the foremost scholars in intellectual property law, provides a very comprehensive and ground-breaking account of various international, regional and national initiatives and frameworks for the protection of traditional knowledge. This is a must-read and indispensable resource for IP law professors, students and practicing IO/NGO lawyers.’
– Edward Kwakwa, World Intellectual Property Organization

‘Paul Kuruk has been a respected commentator and actor on the emerging law of traditional knowledge for two decades. This book’s scope is breathtaking, covering all of the institutions involved in the subject and at all levels from global to local. Its comprehensiveness, and its informed analysis of the state of the art, makes it an essential text for students, teachers, and policymakers.’
– Graham Dutfield, University of Leeds, UK

‘For more than two decades, Paul Kuruk has actively engaged in the academic and policy debates on traditional knowledge and intellectual property. Building on his lifelong work, this comprehensive, informative and globally oriented primer makes a complex and contentious debate accessible. The book not only explains why traditional knowledge deserves protection, but helps us understand the myriad international efforts, domestic laws, customary practices and reform proposals.’
– Peter K. Yu, Texas A&M University, US

Contents: INTRODUCTION PART I NATURE OF SUBJECT MATTER AND COMMUNITY EXPECTATIONS 1. Terminology 2. Exploitation of Traditional Knowledge to Indigenous and Local Communities 3. Traditional Knowledge and Intellectual Property Rights PART II INTERNATIONAL INITIATIVES 4. International Intellectual Property Law 5. Folklore, Cultural Heritage and Traditional Knowledge 6. Genetic Resources and Biodiversity Conservation 7. Human Rights and Indigenous Peoples PART III REGIONAL AND NATIONAL MEASURES 8. Emerging Trends of Protection in Africa 9. Perspectives from the United States 10. Views from Oceania 11. Developments in Other Regions PART IV IN SEARCH OF SOLUTIONS 12. Complementary Laws and Policies 13. The Customary Law Option 14. Preventing Misappropriation: The Disclosure Requirement 15. Reciprocity and Mutual Recognition Agreements BIBLIOGRAPHY Index