November 2001

Traditional Knowledge and Intellectual Property

Debate about the impact of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has broadened since publication of our earlier discussion paper on Trade, Intellectual Property, Food and Biodiversity* in February 1999. One area of concern is its impact on traditional and indigenous knowledge (TK). This paper discusses a number of policy issues surrounding the protection of TK that may be relevant to future negotiations or a deeper treatment of this issue in various international fora.



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