What If a Patent Is Based on Traditional Knowledge?

Speakers: Jerome H. Reichman Kathy Hodgson Smith Margo A. Bagley Ruth Okediji

June 12, 2017

What If a Patent Is Based on Traditional Knowledge?

Traditional knowledge, genetic resources and traditional cultural expressions constitute an important part of the cultural assets of Indigenous peoples, providing enormous cultural and economic possibilities for their daily lives. The importance of traditional knowledge to modern society has grown, along with an increased recognition of its role in modern innovation, biodiversity conservation, the sustenance and livelihoods of Indigenous peoples and, increasingly, economic development and adaptation to climate change. Protecting traditional knowledge is a key issue for policy makers, academics, and a wide range of stakeholders and Indigenous communities within national and international contexts.

The Centre for International Governance Innovation’s (CIGI’s) International Law Research Program has launched a new project supported by a Traditional Knowledge Expert Group called Intellectual Property and the Governance of Traditional Knowledge, Genetic Resources and Traditional Cultural Expressions: Fostering Innovation and Improving Lives.

In this video, the five members of the expert group explain what traditional knowledge is, why it is important and what this project aims to accomplish.

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