Law, Knowledge, Culture
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Law, Knowledge, Culture

The Production of Indigenous Knowledge in Intellectual Property Law

Jane E. Anderson

This informative book investigates how indigenous and traditional knowledge has been produced and positioned within intellectual property law and the effects of this position in both national and international jurisdictions.
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Chapter 1: The Cultural Life of Law

Jane E. Anderson


‘Intellectual property’ has become internationally recognised as a term covering a collection of intangible rights and causes of action developed by western nation states at various times to protect particular aspects of artistic and industrial output – copyright, designs, patents, trade secrets, passing off, aspects of competition law and trade marks. A description of, purpose for and scope of intellectual property law has been defined internationally through The Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organisation 1967 (WIPO).1 In general, intellectual property laws seek to ‘promote investment in, and access to, the results of creative effort, and extend to protecting the marketing of goods and services’.2 As a signatory to the Convention, Australia promotes the protection of intellectual property in Australia and throughout the world through a variety of conventions and agreements. One reason for this is that intellectual property is increasingly an important mechanism of world trade.3 Thus the regime of intellectual property law in Australia is in keeping with the definitions provided through the WIPO Convention and subsequent agreements made through this international body.4 With a direct relationship between intellectual property, economics and trade becoming more explicit critical evaluation of intellectual property and its history have emerged.5 Critical interest has been facilitated in part by concern for new and emerging technologies and related practices, such as developments with digital technology and biotechnology.6 Much of this commentary has involved an evaluation of the role of intellectual property laws in facilitating commodification and the development of new...

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