This volume on Access to Knowledge and Traditional Protection features articles by four contributors on contemporary issues in the domain of intellectual property, development policy and associated innovation in India. The authors adopt an interdisciplinary approach and closely examine Intellectual Property policy and its impact on access to knowledge.
In the volume, Sudhir looks at issues through the prism of knowledge management. He traces the emergence of traditional knowledge policy and the scope for implementing related legislation. He invokes and elaborates on the ‘Offensive’ and ‘Defensive’ approaches to protect traditional knowledge.
The ‘Defensive’ approach involves the strategy of mounting legal challenges on foreign companies who patent traditional knowledge. This approach, Sudhir argues, seems to have only resulted in public victories without any significant impact in the actual goal of protecting traditional knowledge. He also elaborates on the other strain in the ‘Defensive’ approach : proactive efforts to document Indian traditional knowledge in order to preserve it.
The ‘Offensive’ approach encourages Indian companies to pre-empt foreign ones and acquire patents first. After having elaborated on the ‘Offensive’ approach, Sudhir goes on to explore the possibility of creating collective property interests within traditional knowledge which could be formalised by issuing licenses for fees.
He makes an analogy between the states regulation of knowledge resources and the state’s management of natural resources : conservation initiatives often do not benefit vulnerable communities.
Published Online: 29 April 2014
Series: Access to Knowledge
Collections: Bloomsbury Open Archive 2008-2012
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