Abstract: Traditional knowledge, developed and passed on generation to generation by indigenous and native (aboriginal) communities, is an integral part and an identity mark of the ethos and cultural existence of a community. Existent in diverse fields such as food, medicine, tools, yoga, etc., traditional knowledge must be protected and safeguarded in order to ensure sustainable development practices.
In light of the same, this paper is an honest attempt to explore varying issues and challenges that exist in recognition of IPR in the area of traditional knowledge. This paper provides an insight into the established norms and principles, national as well as international, that govern this complex yet extremely important interface. An overview of the recent developments, including the misappropriation of genetic resources, the strengths, weaknesses and inherent contradictions in provisions of the TRIPS agreement and the CBD mechanism along with RTAs, and the role of the WTO, etc. is provided as a necessary background and discussed in detail, so as to present a comprehensive view of the debates surrounding the extension of IPR protection to traditional knowledge. The present research, through anthropological, biological and economic reasoning and rationale, argues for the establishment of an IPR regime that aims to balance the rights of local people with the obligation to preserve viable ecosystems for posterity.

Authors: Dr. Chakrabarti is an Associate Professor of Law from National Law University Jodhpur, Rajasthan. She may be contacted at 73.gargi@gmail.com.

Mr. Singh is an Assistant Professor of Law from National Law University Jodhpur. He may be contacted at anandksingh054@gmail.com.

The full text of the article can be found as a PDF here.

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