Caroline Joan S. Picart, Caroline Joan S. Picart and Marlowe Fox

Abstract

This article is the first part of a two-part piece, which considers the intellectual property rights of indigenous peoples. After establishing pragmatic working definitions of who “indigenous peoples” are and what folklore (or “traditional cultural expression”) is, as compared with, but dialectically related to, “traditional knowledge,” this article does the following: 1) explains why western assumptions built into intellectual property law make this area of law a problematic tool for protecting traditional knowledge (TK) and expressions of folklore (EoF) or traditional cultural expressions (TCE) of indigenous peoples; and 2) creates a general sketch of human rights related legal instruments that could be and have been harnessed, with varying degrees of success, in the protection of the intellectual property of indigenous peoples.

Caroline Joan S. Picart, Caroline Joan S. Picart and Marlowe Fox

Abstract

In Part I of this two-part article, we explained why western assumptions built into intellectual property law make this area of law a problematic tool, as a way of protecting traditional knowledge (tk) and expressions of folklore (EoF) or traditional cultural expressions (tce) of indigenous peoples. Part II of this article aims to: 1) provide a brief review of the Convention on Biological Diversity (cbd) and the Nagoya Protocol, and examine the evolution of the intellectual property rights of indigenous peoples from the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (trips Agreement) to the cbd to the Nagoya Protocol; and 2) examine possible core principles, inducted (rather than deduced) from actual practices already in place in the areas of patents, copyrights, and trademarks in relation to protecting tk and EoF. These explorations could allow for discussions regarding indigenous peoples, human rights and international trade law to become less adversarial.