China’s Position as Champion of Traditional Knowledge in International Law Fora

Traditional Knowledge (TK), Genetical Resources (GR), Traditional Cultural Expressions (TCE), are sometimes seen as spare change between the countries with a high and those of a low GDP per capita (the terminology of developed and developing countries is flawed as Professor Neuwirth of the University of Macau convincingly argues in Global Governance and the Creative Economy: The Developing versus Developed Country Dichotomy Revisited.) Simply put, the rich countries demand high IP standards from the poor countries and the poor countries get compensations for TK, GR and TCE back from the rich countries.

Traditional Knowledge is often used as the overarching term, which includes GR and TCE. Despite countless discussions at the TRIPS Council (WTO) and WIPO fora, no concrete results have been achieved. What is striking is China’s position as champion of TK, especially in regard to Traditional Chinese Medicine.

I wrote a blog for the Peace Palace Library in The Hague on the topic, see here.


continue reading…

Free Trade Agreement Between Costa Rica and China

Professor Aurelio López-Tarruella Martinez of the University of Alicante makes us aware via IP Tango that on August 1, 2011, two Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) entered into force: between Peru and Korea and between Costa Rica and China. Let’s focus on the latter.Professor López-Tarruella Martinez writes: “The FTA between Costa Rica and China includes specific provisions on generic […]

Green Gold Rush: The Interview, The Movie

Laurent Gaberell told me that he made a video documentary called Green Gold Rush about bioprospecting (the exploration of biodiversity for commercially valuable genetic and bio-chemical resources) and indigenous peoples. See the video here. The InterviewIP Dragon: Is traditional knowledge what the developed world wanted to give (as some would say “small change”) to the […]

How to Protect Traditional Chinese Medicine?

Recently I have been corresponding about Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and which intellectual property rights (IPR) can protect them. I just read Mr or Ms Jia’s interesting paper on TCM (Jia Q., The World Health Organization, ‘Traditional Chinese Medicine Could Make “Health for One” [Come] True’, 2006) which includes a very interesting chapter on intellectual […]

Guizhou Province Drafts Regulation to Protect Traditional Knowledge

Pliny Han of Xinhua reports: “Legislators in southwest China’s Guizhou Province are mulling a regulation aimed at protecting property rights for traditional knowledge, especially knowledge relating to biological resources, said sources with the provincial bureau of intellectual property right.” Read more here.

Medicine For Protection of Traditional Knowledge Is Patience

Yan Liang of Xinhua Online wrote the article: Greater international co-operation called for traditional knowledge IP protection. It’s about the interregional seminar of the intergovernmental committee on Traditional Knowledge, Genetic Resources and Traditional Cultural Expressions/Folklore (IGC), in Zhenghzou, organised by Wang Binying, WIPO’s Assistant Director General. Unfortunately, the results of the seminar were meagre. ““A […]