Traditional knowledge, traditional cultural expressions, and intellectual property law in the Asia-Pacific region

Research output: Book/ReportEdited Book/Anthologypeer-review


Among the many contentious matters thrown up by the relentless march of economic globalization, those forms of knowledge variously known as ‘indigenous’ or ‘traditional’ remain seriously threatened, despite numerous transnational initiatives and highly publicized debate. It is not proving easy to bring these holistic worldviews into accordance with the technical terms and classifications of intellectual property law. The contributions in this volume contrast efforts to find solutions and workable models at the international and regional level with experiences on the ground. Legal policies related to ‘indigenous knowledge’ in settler societies such as Australia and New Zealand are compared with those in densely populated neighbouring countries in Asia, where traditional knowledge is often regarded as national heritage. While many of the chapters are written by lawyers using an interdisciplinary approach, other chapters introduce the reader to perspectives from disciplines such as legal sociology and anthropology on controversial issues such as the understandings of ‘art,’ ‘culture,’ ‘tradition,’ ‘customary law’ and the opportunities for traditional cultural knowledge and traditional cultural expressions in an Internet environment. Experienced observers of the international debate and regional experts discuss international model laws as well as legislation at regional and national level and the role of customary law. The authors provide practical proposals for solutions and models as well as empirical studies of their implementation in various countries.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAlphen aan den Rijn
PublisherKluwer Law International
Number of pages394
ISBN (Print)9789041127211
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameMax Planck Series on Asian Intellectual Property Law
PublisherWolters Kluwer


  • Asia
  • Traditional ecological knowledge
  • Intellectual property
  • Ethnoscience
  • Cultural property
  • Pacific Area


Dive into the research topics of 'Traditional knowledge, traditional cultural expressions, and intellectual property law in the Asia-Pacific region'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this