09:00 - 10:30 // Thursday 5 October 2023

Intellectual property, traditional knowledge, traditional cultural expressions, and genetic resources - How to deal with and balance their interoperability?

How to deal with the interface between intellectual property (IP) and traditional knowledge (TK), traditional cultural expressions (TCEs), and genetic resources (GRs)?

What are the most important questions that arise when considering the role of IP principles and systems vis-a-vis protecting TK and TCEs from misappropriation, generating and equitably sharing benefits from their commercialisation, and the role of IP in access to and benefit sharing in GRs?

What about ethical concerns where cultural communities wished to benefit from the economic advantage attached to treating their expressions of folklore (TCE) as a commodity or when they wished to protect their folklore so that its evolution faithfully respected their traditions and modes of life?

Which system(s) is/are more appealing: defensive protection of traditional knowledge such as improvement in the availability, searchability and exchangeability of TK as prior art, or affirmative protection of TK such as use of existing intellectual property or contractual rights or the development of sui generis rights or is it a mix and match of both?

What about the role of TK databases that may be used as evidence of prior art to defeat a claim to a patent on such TK?



Swarup Kumar

Swarup Kumar (IN)

FICPI Deputy Secretary General
Kumar & Sardana Associates (KSA)







Marion Heathcote

Marion Heathcote (AU)

Principal, Davies Collison Cave

Image: Edward Kwakwa

Edward Kwakwa (GH)

Assistant Director General, Global Challenges and Partnerships Sector, World Intellectual Property Organization

Shoshanna Paul

Shoshanna Paul (CA)

Lawyer, Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP