The role of registers and databases in the protection of traditional knowledge : a comparative analysis

ALEXANDER, Merle
et al

Publication Date 

January 2004
48 p

This report seeks to help inform the debate regarding the potential and limitations of databases and registers for the protection traditional knowledge through the analysis of a number of case studies of existing registers established by indigenous peoples, states, non-governmental organisations and research institutes. Part I of the report discusses a number of underlying concepts regarding the nature of traditional knowledge; Part II presents case studies from Canada, India, Panama, Peru and Venezuela; Part III provides a comparative analysis of the case studies focusing on objectives, scope, procedures and benefits; Part IV considers the role of databases and registers in defensive and positive protection of traditional knowledge and their relationship to sui generis legal regimes, and the possibilities for interim protection of traditional knowledge through use of sui generis database laws and database trusts; and Part V sets down a number of conclusions and recommendations for further study

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