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Traditional Knowledge, Genetic Resources, Customary Law and Intellectual Property

A Global Primer

Paul Kuruk

The book examines the national, regional and international frameworks of protection of traditional knowledge in all regions of the world. It also discusses options to enhance the existing legal regimes including the use of customary laws and protocols; the adoption of mutual recognition agreements premised on the principle of reciprocity; and the disclosure of source or country of origin of traditional knowledge in intellectual property applications.
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Chapter 8: Emerging trends of protection in Africa

Paul Kuruk


The chapter explains how rights and obligations in traditional knowledge are created under African customary laws with reference to social criteria depending on the degree of kinship, age, gender or role of an individual in society, and are enforceable by sanctions. It describes the protection of folklore under national laws distinguishing between laws that contain specific references to folklore and those that do not. This is followed by a survey of sui generis national frameworks adopted in some African countries to remedy gaps in the protection of traditional knowledge under intellectual property law. The chapter also discusses African regional arrangements for the protection of traditional knowledge, noting in this context, the provisions of the Swakopmund Protocol developed by the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization; the Revised Bangui Agreement adopted by the Organisation Africaine de la Propriete Intellectualle; and the African Model Legislation prepared by the Organization of African Unity.

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