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In a national context, geographical indications (GIs) are well entrenched in European historical, cultural and legal traditions, particularly in the production and marketing of wines and spirits. Arising from recent developments at the international level in the areas of intellectual property law, traditional knowledge, and biodiversity however, many developing countries, Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities are considering using GIs to protect traditional knowledge in developing countries and to promote trade and overall economic development. Despite the considerable enthusiasm over GIs in diverse quarters in this respect, there is appreciable research dearth on how far and in what context GIs can be used as a protection model for traditional knowledge-based resources.
This book critically examines the potential uses of geographical indications as models for protecting traditional knowledge-based products and resources in national and international intellectual property legal frameworks. The book evaluates the development potential of GIs in relation to ensuing changes in international intellectual property law and policy-making to address the inadequacies of the existing global Intellectual Property Rights system in accommodating traditional knowledge. The book analyzes the reception, interest and nuanced reactions towards GIs from developing countries and advocates of development in the various legal and non-legal regimes that provide alternative platform for discussions and elaboration of intellectual property policies, such as the World Trade Organization, World Intellectual Property Organization, the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Food and Agricultural Organization.
The book argues for a degree of balance in the approach to the implementation of global intellectual property rights in a manner that gives developing countries an opportunity to protect traditional knowledge-based products and to benefit from the flexibility inherent in providing a means of GIs protection to suit different circumstances on a case-by-case basis.