Protecting Tradition and Culture in India: Development of A Sui Generis System

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Author : manishranjan
Published on : May 26, 2016

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Protecting Tradition and Culture in India: Development of A Sui Generis System

The traditional cultural expressions also known as “the expressions of the folklore” has its root in the culture of the indigenous local communities. “Traditional knowledge” is employed to mean knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities to such an extent that most of the time it becomes their social identity and the means of earning their living. Whereas, the futile and nearly stagnant protection laws of our country makes the Traditional Knowledge and Expressions vulnerable to attacks in the International market.

These situations raise unique IP challenges and, in response, institutions and researchers in many countries are developing new frameworks for understanding the legal, cultural and ethical implications of caring for TCEs. Apart from the increasing competition in the International Market there are various other debate points in this issue which makes it a major IP topic for the ongoing worldwide debates and the centre of the rising treaties and agreements.

The previous activities of WIPO and other leading organizations like UNESCO in the field of Intellectual Property and Traditional Cultural Expressions popularly known as TCEs, have over a period of more than 30 years, identified and attempted to address several legal, conceptual, operational and administrative needs and issues related to the protection of TCEs.

The references of which can be taken from the Berne Convention which made an attempt to provide the copyright protection for Folklore at the international level or the WPPT & WCT adopted in 1996 recommended that “provision should be made for the organization of an international forum in order to explore issues concerning the preservation and protection of expressions of folklore, IP aspects of folklore, and the harmonization of the different regional interests.