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Interface Between IPR And Traditional Knowledge: A Study

Pratibha Malik, Assistant Professor, Motherhood University, Roorkee, Uttarakhand.


Traditional knowledge (TK) indigenous peoples' and local communities' know-how, skills, innovations, and practises – has been the subject of intense debate in many international forums. In modern industry, TK has shown to be beneficial as a raw material. Pharmaceutical corporations, for example, have employed medicinal TK to produce medications more swiftly. Despite its worth, TK is disappearing at an alarming rate, despite several efforts to conserve it for future generations. Almost every important issue concerning TK protection, however, is debatable, including whether worldwide TK protection is required or if country legislation alone is sufficient to safeguard knowledge from extinction.

Many nations in the Global South, which contain the majority of TK, have implemented domestic TK protection laws, but most countries in the Global North, where the majority of TK-using companies are located, have limited TK protection. As a result of this situation, there is a significant disparity in negotiation positions, and the most advanced TK protection instrument (the Draft Articles on TK Protection) is still far from becoming a guideline, much alone a binding treaty.

This paper seeks to provide a background, an outline of normative development, including important concepts, in relation to sustainable development and TK is provided. The current conflicts and reasons in favour of applying IPRs to TK are summarised, followed by an analytical reconciliation of points of disagreement based on international and domestic legal norms, and a discussion of TK's role in attaining sustainable development. Recognition of IPRs in TK owned by ILCs through a specialised globally binding instrument might help to overcome mistrust, encourage preservation, and function as an equitable facilitator of sustainable development.

Indian Journal of Law and Legal Research

Abbreviation: IJLLR

ISSN: 2582-8878


Accessibility: Open Access

License: Creative Commons 4.0

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​All research articles published in The Indian Journal of Law and Legal Research are fully open access. i.e. immediately freely available to read, download and share. Articles are published under the terms of a Creative Commons license which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the IJLLR or its members. The designations employed in this publication and the presentation of material therein do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the IJLLR.

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