Protection of Tribal/Indigenous Knowledge

Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic
Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore: Fortieth Session
Geneva, June 17 to 21, 2019: GLOSSARY OF KEY TERMS RELATED TO INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND
GENETIC RESOURCES, TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE AND TRADITIONAL
CULTURAL EXPRESSIONS
By: WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization)
April 2019
Key words: Folklore, protecting rights, traditional knowledge, definitions, intellectual property, genetic resources
https://www.wipo.int/edocs/mdocs/tk/en/wipo_grtkf_ic_40/wipo_grtkf_ic_40_inf_7.pdf
This article put out by WIPO discusses the definitions of words that are commonly used in research, policies, and laws regarding traditional knowledge, folklore, intellectual property, and genetic resources.

Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic
Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore: Fortieth Session
Geneva, June 17 to 21, 2019: REPORT ON THE COMPILATION OF MATERIALS ON DISCLOSURE REGIMES
RELATING TO GENETIC RESOURCES AND ASSOCIATED TRADITIONAL
KNOWLEDGE
By: WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization)
April 2019
Key words: Folklore, protecting rights, traditional knowledge, intellectual property, genetic resources
https://www.wipo.int/edocs/mdocs/tk/en/wipo_grtkf_ic_40/wipo_grtkf_ic_40_10.pdf
This article put out by WIPO discusses some resources available and in support of intellectual property rights and protection of them, traditional knowledge, folklore, and genetic resources. This article provides links to the additional resources found within the article.

Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic
Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore: Fortieth Session
Geneva, June 17 to 21, 2019: REPORT ON THE COMPILATION OF MATERIALS ON DATABASES RELATING TO
GENETIC RESOURCES AND ASSOCIATED TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE
By: WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization)
April 2019
Key words: Folklore, protecting rights, traditional knowledge, intellectual property, genetic resources
https://www.wipo.int/edocs/mdocs/tk/en/wipo_grtkf_ic_40/wipo_grtkf_ic_40_9.pdf
This article put out by WIPO discusses some of the previous movements by members of the organization brought forward in previous meetings. The article also discusses current activities involving the subject that are ongoing or current.

Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic
Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore: Fortieth Session
Geneva, June 17 to 21, 2019: CONSOLIDATED DOCUMENT RELATING TO INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND
GENETIC RESOURCES
By: WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization)
April 2019
Key words: Folklore, protecting rights, traditional knowledge, intellectual property, genetic resources
https://www.wipo.int/edocs/mdocs/tk/en/wipo_grtkf_ic_40/wipo_grtkf_ic_40_6.pdf
This article put out by WIPO summarizes the meetings of the organization.

The Declaration of "Tlaxcala"
By: International Indian Treaty Council (IITC)
March 8, 2019
Key words: corn, agriculture
https://www.iitc.org/wp-content/uploads/Declaration-of-Tlaxcala-FINAL-FINAL-ENGLISH.pdf
This declaration discusses the significance of corn's ancestral knowledge to the indigenous peoples of North America, Central America, Caribbean, and South America. The declaration raises a call for indigenous populations to preserve the ways they have been planting corn and the significance corn has to their culture.

To share or not to share? Tribes risk exploitation when sharing climate change solutions
By: Paula Rosa-Aquino
Grist
Date: Nov. 21, 2018
Key words: Pollution, climate change, Indigenous knowledge, sharing, knowledge protection, exploitation, EPA, DOI, UNDRIP
https://grist.org/article/indigenous-knowledge-climate-change-solution/
Many Indigenous communities question whether there is a way to communicate their knowledge of the environment to non-indigenous peoples in a way that will benefit their tribes and the environment. There is concern as to how the knowledge will be applied. The article explains EPA, DOI, and United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples policies that do not go far enough to protect Indigenous knowledge. Stories of exploitation, when outsiders claim Indigenous knowledge as their own, are all too common but some people are pushed by their concern for climate change to share the knowledge they see as helpful for the entire globe.

Intellectual Property and Traditional Knowledge
By: WIPO
WIPO; Geneva, Switzerland
(no date)
Key words: property rights, laws, traditional knowledge, definitions, protection, medicine
http://www.wipo.int/edocs/pubdocs/en/tk/920/wipo_pub_920.pdf
The pamphlet gives many examples of traditional knowledge and explains how “tradition” is defined as not ancient, but connected to a particular group and passed on through the community. Medical knowledge of plants is sometimes appropriated by pharmaceutical companies and this organization seeks to protect indigenous people’s rights to this, and other types of knowledge.

Navigating Traditional Knowledge and Intellectual Property - The Story of the Yakuanoi
WIPO
March 19, 2018
Key words: Patent law, intellectual property, traditional knowledge
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bim1tFE6Tg&feature=youtu.be
Using real situations, WIPO developed a fictious tribe and situation to relay how an Indigenous community can attempt to rectify misappropriation of traditional knowledge.

Protecting traditional cultural expressions - some questions for lawmakers
By: Peter Jaszi
WIPO Magazine
Date: August, 2017
Key words: Indigenous knowledge, sharing, knowledge protection, exploitation, international laws, copyright laws
https://www.wipo.int/wipo_magazine/en/2017/04/article_0002.html
This article discusses important ideas that lawmakers should have in mind when protecting traditional cultural expressions. They discuss how not every gap needs to be protected by laws, such as constantly changing governmental positions. The author goes through different gaps in polices that need to be addressed by new laws. The author focuses on the downfalls of copyright laws in regards to the protection of indigenous culture.

Protecting traditional knowledge: a grassroots perspective
By: Catherine Jewell
Communications Division, WIPO Magazine
February 2017
Key words: International agreement, participatory process, intellectual property
http://www.wipo.int/wipo_magazine/en/2017/01/article_0004.html
In an interview with WIPO Magazine, Lucy Mulenkei, a member of the Maasai people of Kenya and an advocate for the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities, explains why achieving international agreement to protect traditional knowledge is important to the communities.

Traditional knowledge: the challenges facing international lawmakers
By: Dr. Marisella Ouma
WIPO Magazine
February 2017
Key words: Equitable benefit sharing, Sui Generis protection system, international IP agreement
www.wipo.int/wipo_magazine/en/2017/01/article_0003.html
In this article, Dr. Marisella Ouma describes some of the national and regional laws that exist in countries like Costa Rica, Kenya, Peru and Zambia to protect traditional knowledge. While representing an important step towards greater protection from misappropriation and misuse of traditional knowledge, regional and national laws provide only fragmented protections. Here, Dr. Ouma argues for protections of traditional knowledge at the international level.

Protect and Promote Your Culture: A Practical Guide to Intellectual Property for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities
WIPO
2017
Key words: Indigenous empowerment, misappropriation, unfair competition
http://www.wipo.int/publications/en/details.jsp?id=4195
This guide includes examples and explains how communities can protect their intellectual property while using it on a broader scale.

Documenting Traditional Knowledge - A Toolkit
By: Begona Venero Aguirre, et al.
World Intellectual Property Organization
2017
Key words: Traditional knowledge, intellectual property, biodiversity, food and agriculture, health, environment
http://www.wipo.int/edocs/pubdocs/en/wipo_pub_1049.pdf
This toolkit aims to help readers devise a plan for protecting the intellectual property of TK while it is being documented.

Traditional Ecological Disclosure: How the Freedom of Information Act Frustrates Tribal Natural Resource Consultation with Federal Agencies
By: Sophia E. Amberson
Washington Law Review, 92:937-981
2017
Key words: Traditional Ecological Knowledge, Freedom of Information Act, Tribal resource consultation
https://digital.law.washington.edu/dspace-law/bitstream/handle/1773.1/1691/92WLR0937.pdf
When a federal or state agency administers environmental laws, such as the Endangered Species Act, the agency often consults with tribes. During these consultations, tribes often disseminate traditional ecological knowledge (TEK)—knowledge acquired by a tribe that is a mix of environmental ethics and scientific knowledge about tribal use. However, these consultations may be susceptible to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).This Comment explores the dichotomy between the purposes of FOIA and the protection of tribal culture and knowledge.

University IP policies: perception and practice
by Ruth Soetendorp, Mandy Haberman & Steve Smith
Intellectual Property Awareness Network Education Group, United Kingdom
December 2016
Key words: Intellectual property awareness, intellectual property education, labor market shifts
http://www.wipo.int/wipo_magazine/en/2016/06/article_0009.html
“Students are destined to be key workers in the knowledge economy. They will be dealing with intellectual property (IP) during their studies and future careers. So how well do they understand it? Recent research from the United Kingdom suggests there is much room for improvement.”

Background brief No. 10: Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources
World Intellectual Property Organization
2016
Key words: Intellectual property, misuse of patents, access and benefit sharing
https://www.wipo.int/publications/en/details.jsp?id=4011
In this briefing, the tie between genetic resources and intellectual property is discussed at length with the association of patents. The briefing discusses solutions and requirements that should be in place for databases and information systems and patents.

The Protection of Traditional Knowledge: Rev. 2, September 23, 2016
World Intellectual Property Organization
2016
Key words: Intellectual property enforcement, scope of intellectual property protection, intellectual property mediation
http://www.wipo.int/edocs/mdocs/tk/en/wipo_grtkf_ic_32/wipo_grtkf_ic_32_4.pdf
In this revised draft, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) addresses and works to further its efforts to provide guidance and policy to protect traditional knowledge. Among the aims of this WIPO document are to assist traditional knowledge-holders in preventing the misappropriation of their knowledge and control the ways in which it is used.

Controversy erupts over Peter Nabokov's publication of 'The Origin Myth of Acoma Pueblo'
by Khristaan D. Villela
Pasatiempo
Thursday, January 21, 2016
Key words: Sacred knowledge, collective intellectual property, Indigenous sovereignty
http://www.santafenewmexican.com/pasatiempo/columns/viajes_pintorescos/controversy-erupts-over-peter-nabokov-s-publication-of-the-origin/article_1bcbe12b-b5c2-527e-93e9-1759fec994c5.html
This article reflects on issues of intellectual property protection by looking at a situation where an external author published privileged sacred materials. It examines western vs Indigenous ideas about the meaning of intellectual property and explores concepts of restricted access to sacred text and communal intellectual property ownership.

Background brief No. 9: Documentation of Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions
World Intellectual Property Organization
2016
Key words: Unwanted disclosure, misuse of patents, documentation for preservation
http://www.wipo.int/edocs/pubdocs/en/wipo_pub_tk_9.pdf
This brief discusses legitimate and illegitimate purposes for documenting traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions and argues that documentation of TK and TCEs should not be an end in itself but should only be done for specific purposes. The brief also discusses complications surrounding documentation of TK and TCEs and strategies for navigating around them.

Advancing the Lore: A Proposed Legal Framework for Filipino Traditional Knowledge Protection and Commercialization
By:
Gonzalo D. V. Go III & Paolo Miguel S. Consignado
Ateneo Law Journal, 60:4:992-1031
2016

Key words: Indigenous People’s Rights, Property Rights, Property Laws, Traditional Knowledge
http://ateneolawjournal.com/main/varticle/894
This article talks about traditional knowledge in the Filipino culture, the clash of traditional knowledge and intellectual property rights. The authors then move into ways traditional knowledge can be protected and proposes legal frameworks that can be used to protect individuals and traditional knowledge.

Background brief No. 7: Customary Law and Traditional Knowledge
World Intellectual Property Organization
2016
Key words: Combining customary law and intellectual property law, traditional knowledge protection, knowledge management
http://www.wipo.int/edocs/pubdocs/en/wipo_pub_tk_7.pdf
This brief discusses the interplay between customary law and intellectual property law with relation to traditional knowledge. It explores the way that customary law can be used in conjunction with intellectual property laws to protect traditional knowledge.

Background brief No. 1: Traditional Knowledge and Intellectual Property
World Intellectual Property Organization
2016
Key words: Defensive protection, positive protection, genetic resources, sacred knowledge
http://www.wipo.int/edocs/pubdocs/en/wipo_pub_tk_1.pdf
This brief discusses intellectual property and the way it interacts with traditional knowledge, and how existing international frameworks may be used to protect that knowledge.

Appropriation (?) of the Month: An Ethnopharmaceutical Adventure
Posted by Kristen Dobbin
March 24, 2015 - 15:56
Key words: Confidentiality, cultural appropriation, research ethics
http://www.sfu.ca/ipinch/outputs/blog/appropriation-month-ethnopharmaceutical-adventure
This is a case study of researchers attempting and failing to secure a patent, regarding the use of well known indigenous medical treatment.

Indigenous Knowledge and Intellectual Property Rights
By: Jane E. Anderson
International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2:11
2015
Key Words: Intellectual Property, rights, protection, colonialism, colonial legacy, appropriation, legal frameworks, indigenous people, patents
https://static1.squarespace.com/static/55cfbe2de4b02774e51fac68/t/55d4e42be4b0a5b2038487a0/1440015403119/Anderson+ESBS.pdf
This article explores the question of using Western notions of property and ownership to indigenous knowledge systems and how to protect traditional knowledge through intellectual property law. Western science appropriates indigenous knowledge of plants, animals, and medicines and access to patents for biodiversity is controversial as well as difficult to achieve.

Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions
World Intellectual Property Organization
2015
Key words: Intellectual property, public domain, cultural appropriation
http://www.wipo.int/edocs/pubdocs/en/tk/933/wipo_pub_933.pdf
This booklet provides background, definitions, and a general overview intellectual property concerns as they relate to genetic resources, traditional knowledge, and traditional cultural expressions.

Guarding Against Exploitation: Protecting Indigenous Knowledge in the Age of Climate Change
By: Joseph Brewer and Elizabeth Ann Kronk Warner
2015
Key words: Traditional knowledge, indigenous knowledge, climate change, intellectual property
https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2567995
Two University of Kansas professors, each citizens of Native American tribes, share examples of how tribes are using traditional knowledge to address the effects of climate change, discusses existing United States and international intellectual property law, and suggests tribes might be better served by using their own law-making abilities to protect TEK.

New video explores questions at the heart of IPinCH
Intellectual Property Issues in Cultural Heritage (IPinCH)
Published: June 20, 2014
Key words: Definition of cultural heritage, cultural heritage ownership, communal ownership
http://www.sfu.ca/ipinch/news/ipinch-news/new-video-explores-questions-heart-ipinch
This video is an introduction to the organization, IPinCH, an interdisciplinary organization based at Simon Fraiser University that studies intellectual property issues relating to Indigenous peoples.

Developing Policies and Protocols for the Culturally Sensitive Intellectual Properties of the Penobscot Nation of Maine
By: Bonnie Newsom, with contributions from the Penobscot Nation Intellectual Property Working Group and Julie Woods. University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
April 2014
Key words: Intellectual property decision-making process, intellectual property negotiation, intellectual property management
http://www.sfu.ca/ipinch/sites/default/files/resources/reports/penobscot_final_report_2014.pdf
This publication details how, “Indigenous communities face legal, social, cultural, and economic challenges when attempting to protect or manage their intellectual property (IP). One such challenge is the lack of a community-based infrastructure that formalizes processes for confronting IP issues. This deficiency is particularly apparent in the field of archaeology, where IP and cultural heritage issues are being contested on a number of domestic and international fronts. To mitigate this challenge, the Penobscot Nation in Maine, with support from partners at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass), engaged in a community-based initiative to develop tribal protocols, tools, and an internal infrastructure to address IP issues related to archaeology and heritage-based places.”

Protecting Traditional Environmental Knowledge and New Social Movements in the Americas: Intellectual Property, Human Right, or Claims to an Alternative Form of Sustainable Development?
By: Rosemary J. Coombe
Florida Journal of International Law, 17:115-135
2014
Key words: Zapatista, Chiapas, Mexico, laws, TEK, cultural rights, sustainable development, neoliberalism
https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2463888
This article discusses some of the issues that the Zapatista face in preserving their TEK from a legal standpoint in the Chiapas region. The article looks at different laws that might preserve the TEK in the area. These laws are tied to social movements where Indigenous peoples call for their political autonomy from Mexico. The article uses TEK and the Zapatista movement as a way to come to a new sustainable development in the area as well as a way to preserve cultural rights.

Writing, Speaking and Performance: The Dialectic in the Law
by David Stephenson
IPinCH
Published on Nov 15, 2013
Key words: Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, cultural tourism, Indigenous storytelling, cultural revitalization
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64iYzh4GITA
The speaker in this video talks about several case studies, which give examples of local Indigenous knowledge and how it can be used for land management and cultural tourism. He highlights the importance of the interplay and conversation between local Indigenous experts and external authorities, such as western legal structures in order to spur vibrant cultural projects and cultural revitalization.

Justice forward: Tribes, climate adaptation and responsibility
By: Kyle Powys Whyte
Climatic Change
2013
Key words: government-to-government, trust responsibility, multiparty governance, climate change, legislators
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10584-013-0743-2
In this paper, an alternative model is proposed regarding the obligations toward working with indigenous people on climate change. When policies like the inclusion of multiple knowledge sources in climate research are viewed as systems of responsibility, the focus becomes what legislators can do, rather than the ways in which they are limited.

Research Regulation in American Indian/Alaska Native Communities: A Guide to Reviewing Research Studies
By: Puneet Chawla Sahota
NCAI Policy Research Center
2012
Key words: Research proposals, regulations, policy
http://www.ncai.org/policy-research-center/initiatives/Research_Regulation_in_AI_AN_Communities_-_Policy_and_Practice.pdf
This article suggests some helpful guidelines that tribes might want to follow when reviewing research proposals. The article suggests that all research proposals need to be well and fully written, when submitted to a tribe. There is a list of suggested things to look for in a research proposal such as funding, ways of protecting confidentiality, as well as data control and ownership.

Justifying Intellectual Property in Traditional Knowledge
By: Djims Milius
Intellectual Property Quarterly
2009
Key words: Traditional knowledge promotion, protection, Africa, Caribbean, China, India, indigenous peoples, patents, protect culture, policy, international trade, WTO, governments, communal ownership
http://www.privatelaw.uct.ac.za/usr/private_law/attachments/djims_report1.pdf
The journal article reviews case studies from around the world to explore how traditional knowledge such as fishing and hunting methods, usage of plants and animals for medicinal needs, food processing and cooking techniques, and agricultural skills can be documented, preserved, and protected.

Traditional Knowledge & Indigenous Peoples
By: Ulia Popova-Gosart (ed. and translator)
WIPO
2009
Key words: Intellectual property, laws, protection of knowledge, climate change, Indonesia, Caribbean, Australia, Saami community
http://www.wipo.int/edocs/pubdocs/en/tk/1014/wipo_pub_1014.pdf
In the linked collection of papers, eight authors explore how traditional knowledge can be preserved through access to rights of intellectual property.

WIPO INTERGOVERNMENTAL COMMITTEE ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND GENETIC RESOURCES, TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE AND FOLKLORE
Traditional Cultural Expressions/Expressions of Folklore and Traditional Knowledge
Comments of the United States of America
Washington. DC
March 30. 2007
Key words: Traditional cultural expression definition, traditional knowledge definition, penalties for misappropriation
http://www.wipo.int/export/sites/www/tk/en/igc/pdf/usa_tk-tce.pdf
This article represents the perspective of the United States as to the defining and protecting of traditional knowledge as well as what penalties should be imposed on those who misappropriate and misuse traditional knowledge.

Traditional Knowledge & Intellectual Property: A Handbook On Issues & Options For Traditional Knowledge Holders in Protecting Their Intellectual Property & Maintaining Biological Diversity
By: Hansen, S & J Van Fleet
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Human Rights Program
2003
Key words: Traditional knowledge identification, intellectual property protections, intellectual property strategy
https://community-wealth.org/sites/clone.community-wealth.org/files/downloads/book-hansen-vanFleet.pdf
This handbook provides an overview of intellectual property mechanisms that can be used to protect traditional knowledge and discusses strategies for their implementation. The handbook also discusses strategies for the identification of traditional knowledge.

Protecting Indigenous Knowledge and Heritage: A Global Challenge
By: Marie Battiste and James (Sákéj) Youngblood Henderson
Purich Press
2000
ISBN:1-895830-15-X
Key words: Intellectual property policy, Indigenous language protection, Indigenous art protection, Indigenous knowledge transmission
https://books.google.com/books?id=hXc9DAAAQBAJ
Whether the approximately 500 million Indigenous Peoples in the world live in Canada, the United States, Australia, India, Peru, or Russia, they have faced a similar fate at the hands of colonizing powers. That has included assaults on their language and culture, commercialization of their art, and use of their plant knowledge in the development of medicine, all without consent, acknowledgement, or benefit to them. This book looks at the issues from an international perspective and explores developments in various countries including Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and also at the work of the United Nations and relevant international agreements.

Methodology for the Development of National Intellectual Property Strategies - Toolkit
By: WIPO
2016
Key words: National intellectual property, national consultation, WIPO methodology
http://www.wipo.int/publications/en/details.jsp?id=3158&plang=EN
This handbook from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) provides a guide and methodology for the development of national intellectual property strategies.

Last updated: April 26, 2019