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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Traditional Knowledge

Christian Riffel

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 17 April 2024

Intellectual property — Indigenous peoples — Cultural property / heritage

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law under the direction of Professor Anne Peters (2021–) and Professor Rüdiger Wolfrum (2004–2020). 

1 In its most basic definition, the expression ‘traditional knowledge’ refers to intellectual achievements held by indigenous and local communities (Indigenous Peoples). Because intellectual achievements are neutral in terms of content, the decisive factor is the holders, whereas no ownership relationship is implied with the use of this term. Communities are deemed ‘indigenous’, according to Art. 1 (1) (b) Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention (‘ILO Convention 169’), ‘on account of their descent from the populations which inhabited the country, or a...
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