Friday, March 10, 2006
Trading in Tradition
As considered in previous blogs, free trade agreements (FTAs) are being examined as tools by which to impose legal obligations beyond those contained in multilateral agreements, such as the WTO Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). In a recent article produced by GRAIN in collaboration with Dr Silvia Rodriguez Cervantes, concerns are raised that traditional knowledge and indigenous peoples are increasingly vulnerable within such agreements because there is no international system of protection for traditional knowledge at the present time. Described in the article as "the latest threat to traditional knowledge," bilateral and regional FTAs are examined for the way in which they address traditional knowledge through the exclusive monopoly rights of intellectual property systems.