Freeman Workshop Dec 6: Ruth Okediji on "Innovating Around Intellectual Property: Culture, Traditional Knowledge & Trade in the Goods that Embody Them"


Freeman Center for International Economic Policy, Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs, presents a Workshop on Global Policy


Professor Ruth Okediji

Law School

will speak on:

Innovating Around Intellectual Property: Culture, Traditional Knowledge and

Trade in the Goods that Embody Them

12:45 - 2:00 pm, Tuesday, December 6

170 HHH - Stassen Room Humphrey School, West Bank UMN Campus

The process and substance of efforts to protect the traditional knowledge (TK) of indigenous communities--both at the national and multilateral levels--reflect the resilience of the entrenched assumptions that sustain the global intellectual property (IP) system. For some observers, TK protection is simply another regime of proprietary rights that lacks appropriate mechanisms to support the production of public goods needed for economic development. Importantly, there remains a persistent notion that the two regimes can and will remain in distinct (if related) spheres and will realize independently verifiable objectives. Professor Okediji will argue that this is highly unlikely. Indeed, while negotiations over a TK treaty are advancing, there also has been an acceleration of efforts to strengthen the global network of IP regimes in ways that explicitly undermine innovation and heighten barriers to access to those very goods aimed at improving public welfare. The multilateral space for trade regulation is increasingly designed around strong legal protection for knowledge goods; in light of this TK protection as currently constructed may undermine the public welfare values of IP policy and simultaneously devalue the public interest norms around which TK is ideally organized.

All are welcome! Refreshments will be served

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