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AuthorUnited Nations Conference on Trade and Development
TitleSystems and National Experiences for Protecting Traditional Knowledge, Innovations and Practices
Imprint Geneva, United Nations. 2000
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Descript 27 p


Summary: The importance of protecting the knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities (TK) is increasingly recognized in international forums. Developing countries seek to ensure that the benefits of cumulative innovation associated with TK accrue to its holders while enhancing their socio-economic development. They also aim at preventing the improper appropriation of TK, with little or no compensation for the custodians of TK and without their prior informed consent. Building on work carried out in other intergovernmental organizations, this note briefly describes possible instruments for the protection of TK, including traditional/customary law, modern intellectual property rights instruments, sui generis systems, and documentation of TK and instruments directly linked to benefit-sharing. In addition to national systems, the protection of TK and equitable sharing of the benefits derived from the use of biodiversity resources and associated TK may also require measures by user countries or cooperation at the multilateral level. Protection of TK is a necessary but not sufficient requirement for its preservation and further development. To harness TK for development and trade, developing countries need assistance to build national capacities in terms of raising awareness on the importance and potential of TK for development and trade; developing institutional and consultative mechanisms on TK protection and TK-based innovation; and facilitating the identification and marketing of TK-based products and services. There is also a need to promote an exchange of experience among developing countries on national strategies for TK development, sui generis systems for the protection of TK and the commercialization of TK-based products and services. Special attention should be given to building such capacities in LDCs. This note provides some analysis and background information to aid experts in their work. The final chapter contains a list of questions proposed for discussion

International Institute for Trade and Developement : UNCTAD CollectionTD/B/COM.1/EM.13/2CHECK SHELVES

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