International Law and Indigenous Knowledge: Intellectual Property, Plant Biodiversity, and Traditional Medicine

International Law and Indigenous Knowledge: Intellectual Property, Plant Biodiversity, and Traditional Medicine

Weight 0.00 lbs
By Chidi Oguamanam
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2006
World Rights
376 Pages
ISBN 9781442612181
Published Oct 2010
Online discount: 25%
 $35.95    $26.96

In the past, efforts to reconcile the western concept of intellectual property with indigenous knowledge have not taken into account the schism between this knowledge and western scientific forms. As knowledge assumes increasing importance in the quest for self-determination, cultural survival, and economic empowerment, the gulf between indigenous and western scientific knowledge assumes a new meaning. In International Law and Indigenous Knowledge, Chidi Oguamanam argues that the crisis of legitimacy indigenous knowledge poses for the intellectual property system compels a re-thinking of the concept of intellectual property itself.

Drawing on interdisciplinary research, International Law and Indigenous Knowledge takes as its framework the legal doctrinal methodology, focusing on international legal and policy developments regarding the protection of indigenous knowledge. Using traditional medicine and biodiversity to illustrate his thesis, Oguamanam argues that recent international legal and policy developments in the direction of a cross-cultural approach to intellectual property rights are desirable trends. Such developments come closer to addressing the rift between western and non-western knowledge systems as well as the crisis of legitimacy in the conventional intellectual property system.

Chidi Oguamanam is a professor in the Dalhousie Law School, Dalhousie University.


PART ONE: General Introduction and Overview

  1. Introduction
  2. Knowledge: The New Frontier of the Indigenous Question
  3. Intellectual Property and the Search for Equity
  4. TKPT and Socio-Cultural Imperative
  5. Traditional and Western Scientific Knowledge Systems
  6. Science as a Site of Contest
  7. Indigenous/Traditional Knowledge
  8. Traditional Knowledge of Plant-Based Therapy (TKPT)
  9. Applicability of IPRs to Traditional Knowledge
  10. Chapter Synopsis

PART TWO: Introduction on Biodiversity, Traditional Knowledge and Intellectual Property and the Protection of Indigenous Peoples in International Law

  1. Introduction
  2. Biodiversity
  3. Traditional/Indigenous Knowledge Systems
  4. Intellectual Property Rights
  5. International Law Relating to Indigenous Peoples

PART THREE: International Law and Traditional Knowledge of Plant-based Therapy (TKPT)

  1. Introduction
  2. Indigenous Knowledge as Part of International Law on Indigenous Peoples
  3. The Protection of Traditional Therapeutic Knowledge
  4. Traditional Therapeutic Knowledge under the WHO
  5. State Practices and Traditional Medicine
  6. Summary

PART FOUR: The Socio-Cultural Context of Traditional Knowledge of Plant-based Therapy (TKPT)

  1. Introduction
  2. Traditional Therapy and Western Biomedicine: The Paradigmatic Divergence
  3. The Central Role of Plants in Traditional Therapy
  4. Traditional Therapeutic Systems: Beyond Active Substances
  5. The Performing of Healing
  6. Multivalence of Traditional Therapeutic Methods
  7. The Scientific Question and Situational Logic
  8. Summary

PART FIVE: Intellectual Property and Traditional Knowledge of Plant-based Thearpy

  1. Introduction
  2. Intellectual Property Rights in the Context of Traditional Medicine
  3. The Intellectual Property Debate
  4. Patients and TKPT: Investigating the Tradeoffs
  5. Tests of Patentability and Product of Nature Rhetoric
  6. The Case for Patentability of TKPT
  7. Beyond Patenting: Folkloric Protection for TKPT
  8. Intellectual Property at the Periphery: Geographical Indications
  9. Patenting TKPT: Some Reflections

PART SIX: Towards a Cross-Cultural Dialogue on Intellectual Property Rights

  1. Introduction
  2. Appraising the Discussion
  3. Indigenous Knowledge: Economic Reward vs Cultural Identity
  4. Indigenous Knowledge: Legal Empowerment From Within
  5. The CBD and WIPO: Embracing the Cross-cultural Dialogue
  6. Knowledge Protection Outside the Regime of Conventional Intellectual Property Rights
  7. The Cross-cultural Approach as a Framework
'This is the first study to my knowledge to address an intersection of issues which are extremely important in international law and policy. The scholarship is sound and the author is to be commended for his capacity to link legal, ethnobotanical, and anthropological literatures.'

Rosemary Coombe, Law, Communication and Cultural Studies, York University

'One of the most in-depth studies in the area of indigenous knowledge and property rights to date, this work provides a thorough examination of the role of law and public policy in addressing the rift between Western and non-Western knowledge systems and the crisis of legitimacy in the conventional intellectual property system.'

African Technology Development Forum Journal (Featured Book, Fall 2006)

'Dr. Oguamanam advocates for a "bottom-up" approach in dealing with how to best preserve and protect traditional knowledge ... In so doing, a solution can be crafted which will provide protection for traditional knowledge in a manner that is respectful of indigenous and local peoples' cultural identities. Ultimately, this type of solution will create a strong foundation upon which enduring indigenous political empowerment can be achieved.'

Graham Reynolds, Alberta Law Review Supplement

'International Law and Indigenous Knowledge by Chidi Oguamanam is a valuable contribution to the ongoing discussion over preservation of the integrity of traditional knowledge and Indigenous ways of knowing. The author provides solid scaffolds to navigate the complex negotiations and intersections between international law and Indigenous property rights in evolving, diverse contexts.'

Thom Alcoze, Canadian Journal of Native Studies