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 11: Conclusion

Jane E. Anderson


This book began with the premise that in all the writing dedicated to discussing indigenous knowledge and intellectual property law, none had looked at the production of this category in law, and what the effects of this position were. Curiously little investigation in this area has been directed to the way in which law grants property rights in intangibles, nor how this has been justified through particular categories and forms of classification. This work has provided an account of the complicated emergence of indigenous knowledge, as a discrete category, in intellectual property law. Whilst the work has primarily been restricted to an Australian context, similar examination could be extended into other national sites. This would further illuminate the multiple ways in which indigenous knowledge has been produced within legal discourse, and the regimes of truth about its inclusion and properties that have subsequently been generated. Significantly this work has looked to the internal mechanisms of the law to explain problems of accommodating indigenous difference. This investigation has revealed that the hidden dilemma of providing protection for indigenous knowledge resonate with tensions that characterise intellectual property as a whole: namely how it is possible to justify property rights in any intangible subject matter. Intellectual property is always being presented with ‘new’ knowledges as subject matter and thus it is always in a position of managing difference. Owing to its adaptability in the face of new developments, and we may consider digital technology and biotechnology as...

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