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PERSPECTIVES

Protection of spiritual. At the same time, the inevitability


of participation in the global trade order

Traditional Knowledge strengthens the case for equipping tradi-


tional knowledge holders with the legal
tools and wherewithal to participate in
Role of the National IPR Policy the market economy, proactively assert
their rights over their traditional know-
ledge and derive benefits from its use.
Indrani Barpujari, Ujjal Kumar Sarma It is in the above context that the pre-
sent article seeks to revisit the primary,

W
The new National Intellectual hile protection of traditional still unresolved issues regarding the pro-
Property Rights Policy advocates knowledge within the ambit of tection of traditional knowledge and
the conventional intellectual their tentative solutions, as the provisions
an aggressive, neo-liberal agenda
property rights (IPRs) regime is fraught of the National IPR Policy have a direct
of commodification of knowledge, with difficulties owing to the inherent or indirect bearing on the issue. The
and extends this to traditional mismatch between the two, there is some discussion is rooted in the context of the
knowledge as well. However, sort of consensus on the imperative of key theoretical perspectives, and national
extending the reach of IPR and/or spe- and international frameworks, initiatives,
there is a need to revisit the
cially designed sui generis regimes to and debates in the arena.
primary, still unresolved issues traditional knowledge, primarily as a
regarding the protection of key strategy to prevent misappropriation Contestations on Commodification
traditional knowledge and their (CBD 2007; WIPO 2008). In line with this The issue of commodification of traditional
perspective, traditional knowledge and knowledge, which the National IPR Policy
tentative solutions. Considering
the interests of the “less-visible intellectual seeks to promote, can be approached
the inevitability of participation property generators and holders” have through the theoretical lens of Foucauldian
in the global trade order, a case is found space in the new National IPR Policy neo-liberalism as well as that of Gramscian
made for equipping traditional released by the Department of Industrial “cultural hegemony.” When bolstered by
Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Government empirical evidence, this attests to the
knowledge holders and indigenous
of India in May 2016. The policy, while incongruity of imposing market values on
and local communities with the recognising that the “monetisation of traditional knowledge, which is priceless,
wherewithal to participate in the knowledge” is not a part of the Indian usually held collectively and generated
market economy, proactively ethos, argues that this does not fit with in “simple societies,” subscribing to a
the global regime, thereby necessitating completely different world view and
assert their rights over their
a transformation of knowledge into in- rationality, apart from that of profit-
traditional knowledge, and derive tellectual property assets, for which making. It can be challenged on the
benefits from its use. “value” and “economic reward” could be grounds of ethical correctness in put-
obtained through commercialisation. ting a price on something which is price-
The policy advocates an aggressive, less, or whose value is more than merely
neo-liberal agenda of commodification of monetary, which, according to Karl Polanyi
knowledge (including traditional know- (2001), produces “fictitious commodities.”
ledge), seeking to bring about “a major The processes of commodification of bio-
paradigm shift of how knowledge is resources and associated knowledge,
viewed and valued—not for what it is, but unleashed through world trade and IPR
for what it can become.” The imposition of regimes, are but an integral facet of
market values upon traditional knowledge, neo-liberalism, which, according to Michel
enforced through international agree- Foucault, is characterised by
ments and national laws enacted in con- the consistent expansion of the economic
formity with the former, has been per- form to apply to the social sphere … trans-
ceived by many as antithetical to the pose economic analytical schemata and cri-
Indrani Barpujari (indranib22@gmail.com)
normative ethos of traditional knowledge teria for economic decision-making onto
works with the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of
spheres which are not, or certainly not ex-
Good Governance and Policy Analysis, Bhopal. and the “lifeworlds” of indigenous and
clusively, economic areas. (Lemke 2001: 197)
Ujjal Kumar Sarma (uksarma.iifm@gmail.com) local communities (ILCs), for whom tra-
teaches at the Indian Institute of Forest ditional knowledge is intrinsically linked to The playing out of these forces leads
Management, Bhopal.
their sustenance: economic, cultural and to the unfolding of a situation which can
Economic & Political Weekly EPW OCTOBER 13, 2018 vol lIII no 41 29
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be construed as that of Gramscian “cul- out, there is a misplaced tendency to possessing specialist knowledge, express
tural hegemony,” where the dominant romanticise small-scale societies and a reluctance to share the knowledge,
world view of the neo-liberal trade order the proclivity to marginalise and under- owing to its being embedded within the
is imposed and prevails as the norm for play the calculative, impersonal, and socio-religious beliefs of the community
the culturally diverse ILCs or the holders self-aggrandising features of non-capi- and their allegiance to its traditional ethos,
of traditional knowledge, who are now talist societies. Further, Igor Kopytoff which permits the use of the knowledge
required to protect their knowledge (1986: 68) shows that commodities con- only for the welfare of the society and
under the terms of an entirely alien stitute “a universal cultural phenomenon,” not for profit.
regime. This reflects, in the words of with societies differing only in the ways
Morgan Robertson (2004: 371), “a success- “commoditization as a special expres- Protecting Traditional Knowledge
ful attempt by capital to colonize and sion of exchange is structured and related Developing countries, traditional know-
dominate the rationalities of other sys- to the social system, in the factors that ledge holders and ILCs largely realised
tems, with which it articulates.” Further, encourage or contain it, in the long-term the imperative for the protection of tra-
the promise of socio-economic develop- tendencies for it to expand or stabilize, and ditional knowledge under the IPR regime
ment, which is the standard bait for in the cultural and ideological premises administered internationally through
participation in the neo-liberal regime, that suffuse its workings.” The cultural the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects
remains unrealised in most instances. study of commodities further indicates of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS),
There is already mounting evidence that that things can move in and out of the 1992, in the wake of certain cases of
the neo-liberal environmental policy commodity state, that such movements biopiracy of plants such as neem, turmeric,
frequently tends to disadvantage the can be slow or fast, reversible or terminal, and ayahuasca. In these cases, patents
poor and the powerless with the oppor- normative or deviant and, often, dealings were obtained in developed countries on
tunities being “more apparent than real” with strangers may provide the context for genetic resources and associated tradi-
(Castree 2010: 31). commoditisation of things that are other- tional knowledge from the developing
According to Foucault, the hallmark of wise protected from commoditisation countries, without prior informed consent
neo-liberalism is that the market serves (Appadurai 1986). of and benefit-sharing with the traditional
as the organisational principle for state In a similar vein, studies have indicated knowledge holders, and without any
and society, and the individual is now that the idea of the San of the Kalahari significant innovation (TRIPS Secretariat
expected to be an “autonomous entre- desert (the holders of traditional knowl- 2002). While certain patents could be
preneur,” with full responsibility for his edge associated with the Hoodia cactus) revoked through costly litigation in the
own investment decisions (Lemke 2001). as “pristine hunter-gatherers” is a myth. courts of the United States (US), develop-
In a situation where an individual is Over time, their cultural identity has ing countries stepped up defensive meas-
bereft of the wherewithal required to become multilayered and complex, and ures through changes in their national
participate as an “autonomous entrepre- they have become increasingly drawn IPR regimes, which parties to the TRIPS
neur,” it is but expected that they will into the local, if not the world, economy were also mandated to amend, to bring
not be able to reap the benefits of the as a result of which commodification the same in line with the minimum
commodification of traditional knowledge. of their traditional knowledge through standards laid down by TRIPS.
Saskia Vermeylen (2008), in her case a benefit-sharing agreement is widely Given this background, it is but obvious
study of the San in Southern Africa— accepted (Vermeylen 2005, 2008). The that the National IPR Policy insistently
who had entered into a benefit-sharing present authors’ own research among makes the case for defensive measures,
agreement for the commercialisation of the members of the Karbi tribe of Assam or measures which are primarily targeted
the Hoodia cactus—argues that com- shows that there are marked intergen- at preventing IPR claims on traditional
modification had transformed the very erational differences within the same knowledge being granted to unauthorised
nature of the traditional knowledge from community regarding perceptions about entities. It extensively advocates the use
being “a life force” to a “slimming aid,” knowledge, knowledge-sharing and IPRs of documentation (strengthening and
while not doing anything substantial for (Sarma and Barpujari 2012). The study expanding the Traditional Knowledge
the traditional knowledge holders for found that the younger generation, par- Digital Library [TKDL]), as a means to
whom these were merely “desperate ex- ticularly the educated youth, exhibit less establish prior art, made available to
changes as the last resort to improve reverence for the traditional knowledge of patent examiners across the world, there-
their lives.” the tribe and tend to dismiss many indig- by preventing IPR claims to traditional
At the same time, the idea that com- enous healing practices as superstitions. knowledge being granted to unauthorised
modification is in sharp variance with However, ironically, they display consid- entities, while also encouraging the pos-
the ethos of traditional knowledge and erable enthusiasm for the potential com- sibility of its greater use for further re-
ILCs is countered by a large body of mercialisation of this knowledge, and the search and development. In line with
work, particularly that of anthropologists idea of IPR over the ideas of knowledge- India’s efforts at the international level
working on the cultural study of commo- and benefit-sharing. On the other hand, to enhance such protection within exist-
dities. As Arjun Appadurai (1986) points the older generation, particularly those ing international patent law standards
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through the expansion of the Patent render these requirements ineffective Trademarks. These expressly state that
Cooperation Treaty’s minimum docu- and that there should, therefore, be pro- no patent shall be granted without the
mentation to include TKDL (WIPO 2015), visions in the patent law to ensure that necessary permission from the NBA in
the policy talks about the need to main- these requirements are not reduced to cases where the invention uses biological
tain sustained efforts in this direction just a formality (WTO 2003). material from India or the source and/or
(Clause 4.9). Accordingly, the Indian Patent Law has the origin of the biological material is
a disclosure requirement with respect from India as per the disclosure in the
National Patent Laws to source or geographical origin of bio- specification. Clauses 14.16.8 and 4.20
It has been recognised that there are logical material used in the patent appli- of the National IPR Policy attest to the
a number of gaps in securing positive cation and whether the invention or any importance which it accords to the
patent protection for traditional knowl- claim under it is anticipated in tradi- setting up of an effective coordination
edge, which includes both a formal gap tional knowledge, oral or otherwise, the between the Patent Office, the NBA, as
in the legal scope of possible protection non-compliance of which is a ground for well as concerned ministries/departments
as well as practical gaps (WIPO 2008). opposition and revocation of the patent to enable harmonious implementation of
Concerns have also been manifest through- under Section 25 of the Patents (Amend- the said guidelines, secure an effective
out the world about persons other than ment) Act, 2005. The case has long been Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) regime,
those belonging to ILCs or traditional advanced that these provisions in the and achieve the overall goal of protect-
knowledge holders exploiting or abusing national patent legislation could be further ing traditional knowledge from misap-
the patent system to secure patents over bolstered by the disclosure of evidence of propriation. While the guidelines con-
traditional knowledge which are legiti- prior informed consent and benefit shar- stitute a step in the right direction, the
mately the property of the former (TRIPS ing, as well as by harmoniously linking case for amendment of the patent legis-
Secretariat 2002). The Indian Patents the same with relevant provisions in the lation to add stronger legal teeth to
(Amendment) Act, 2005, in conformity Biological Diversity Act, 2002 (TERI 2013). the disclosure requirement still holds
with this line of argument, has kept The Biological Diversity Act, 2002 is a (TERI 2013).
traditional knowledge out of the pur- sui generis legislation enacted to honour Though protection against misappro-
view of patents. There is some consensus India’s commitments at the CBD for the priation along with an ABS regime have
that defensive protection can be further conservation of biological diversity, sus- been the key strategies employed by
strengthened through the incorporation tainable use of its components, and the developing countries to protect traditional
of traditional knowledge-specific disclo- equitable sharing of benefits arising out knowledge, positive protection has also
sure requirements within the patent law of the commercialisation of biodiversity been deployed to the extent possible,
at the national level. and associated knowledge. Section 6(1) of whereby traditional knowledge holders
This has to be fortified through a corre- this act lays down that can avail themselves of IPR protection
sponding amendment of the TRIPS Agree- no person shall apply for any intellectual
through the use of conventional IPR s.
ment to incorporate a disclosure require- property right, by whatever name called, in or There is some recognition that certain
ment, regarding the origin of genetic outside India for any invention based on any forms of intellectual property may be
material and associated traditional know- research or information on a biological resource more amenable to traditional knowledge
ledge used in the invention, which deve- obtained from India without obtaining the protection than others, such as geo-
previous approval of the National Biodiversity
loping countries (including India) have graphical indications, copyrights, farmers’
Authority before making such application.
been pushing for in the TRIPS Council for rights, etc (WIPO 2002). The ability to
quite some time (WTO 2011). The incor- The National Policy has taken cognisance extend the life of geographical indications
poration of such a disclosure provision of the long-felt need for better harmonisa- indefinitely and the possibility of collective
in the IPR regime is considered essential tion of the Patent Office with the National ownership of such rights suggest that
for achieving harmonisation of the TRIPS Biodiversity Authority (NBA), constituted these may be especially suitable for pro-
with the Convention on Biological Diver- under the Biological Diversity Act, 2002, tecting traditional knowledge (Commis-
sity (CBD) (1992) and the Nagoya Protocol with respect to patent applications involv- sion on Intellectual Property Rights 2002).
(2010) within the former, which man- ing the use of biological resources and Accordingly, the National IPR Policy places
dates the fair and equitable sharing of associated traditional knowledge. considerable emphasis on geographical
benefits arising out of the utilisation of It provides the necessary support for indications as “an area of strength and
genetic resources and associated tradi- policy measures which have been taken optimism for India, where it has accorded
tional knowledge. India, along with other up by the Patent Office to achieve better protection to a number of handmade
developing countries, has stressed at the coordination with the NBA, namely in and manufactured products, especially in
TRIPS Council that leaving the conse- the form of the Guidelines for Processing the informal sector” and seeks to en-
quences of disclosure of source of origin, of Patent Applications Relating to Tradi- courage further registrations. In India,
evidence of prior and informed consent, tional Knowledge and Biological Material, since the first geographical indication
and fair and equitable benefit-sharing 2012, released by the Office of the Con- was registered in 2004, the number of
outside the realm of patent law would troller General of Patents, Designs and geographical indications registrations,
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especially for traditional knowledge has and Folklore (IGRTKF), set up by the 2002, with the draft Traditional Knowl-
gone up substantially. However, case World Intellectual Property Organization edge Rules or the Rules for Protection,
studies of select geographical indica- (WIPO) as well as by the Working Group Conservation and Effective Management
tions, along with a stakeholder survey on Access and Benefit Sharing of the of Traditional Knowledge relating to Bio-
(Nanda et al 2013), indicate that there CBD (2006). The IGRTKF has expressed logical Diversity, 2009, brought out by
are numerous challenges, with benefits the view that such a system need not the NBA after a long drawn consultative
not percolating to the real producers be construed entirely from scratch, but process with relevant stakeholders. These
owing to lack of awareness, difficulties could borrow elements already available rules, proposed within the framework
in maintaining quality post-registration, in the existing mechanisms of intellec- of the biodiversity legislation, are pri-
etc. Hence, care and caution has been tual property protection, both in the marily aimed at strengthening rights
advised when traditional knowledge context of traditional knowledge and against “misuse, misappropriation and
holders/producers from ILCs seek to outside it, which could be transported to abuse” (negative rights) of the traditional
obtain geographical indications, as the the sui generis system (WIPO 2002). Given knowledge holder. These provide an
costs of seeking and enforcing geographi- the holistic nature of traditional knowl- institutional mechanism for registering
cal indication protection might be prohibi- edge and the need to respond to the traditional knowledge and lay down the
tively high, requiring substantial invest- cultural context, the IGRTKF has recom- procedures for accessing the same, while
ments and resources to ensure that the mended that the sui generis system, also enjoining statutory bodies to facili-
quality, reputation, and other characteris- which national laws or measures could tate the traditional communities to exer-
tics of the protected product are standard- give effect to, should take a comprehen- cise their collective rights to their own
ised and maintained (Rangnekar 2003). sive approach and contain certain legal access and use, and to regulate access by
At the same time, the international elements for effectiveness. others. These rules have, however, not
regime on geographical indications under A number of countries such as Peru, been notified till date and no action has
the TRIPS Agreement provides for two Philippines, Brazil, Thailand and others been forthcoming on the same for the
levels of protection, with a higher level which are rich in traditional knowledge, past few years.
of protection reserved only for wines and have ILCs dependent on it for liveli- Another effort has been made to create
and spirits (Article 23), which is more hood, have gone ahead in giving effect to a stand-alone framework dedicated to
in the interest of developed countries. sui generis legislations which recognise the protection of traditional knowledge
Developing countries’ efforts at the TRIPS the intellectual property of traditional in its entirety with the drafting of the
Council for an extension of this provi- knowledge holders over their knowledge, Traditional Knowledge (Management and
sion for products of importance to them the right to withhold access as well as Protection) Act, 2010 by the National Law
has not met with much success till date accord pre-eminence to customary law School of India University, Bengaluru,
(WTO 2008). Hence, persistent efforts at over these matters. The use of the princi- which seeks to set up a new institutional
the international level are required to ples of customary law as the basis of any mechanism under a new statutory body:
make the IPR regime more equitable and regime for the protection of traditional the Traditional Knowledge Authority. The
beneficial for developing countries. While knowledge and the interests of ILCs has merit of a stand-alone framework stems
the National IPR Policy makes the right also been recognised in the Nagoya from the fact that a secondary legisla-
noises when it refers to the need to Protocol (2010), with Article 12(1) enjoin- tion within the Biological Diversity Act
“engage constructively in the negotiation ing that “Parties shall, in accordance will provide protection only to traditional
of international treaties and agreements with domestic law, take into considera- knowledge associated with bio-resources,
in consultation with stakeholders,” such tion indigenous and local communities’ and not to other kinds of traditional
a pronouncement has to be backed by customary laws, community protocols and knowledge, which will need to be pro-
concerted action to defend the interests procedures, as applicable.” The Protocol tected through a separate legislation. Also,
of the country and its people in a proac- also seeks to ensure that the exchange the Biological Diversity Act facilitates
tive fashion. takes place according to community pro- ABS, but does not confer positive protec-
tocols, drafted by a community in line tion to the rights of traditional knowledge
A Sui Generis Regime with their customary laws and values, as holders in their traditional knowledge.
The National IPR Policy surprisingly does mandated by Article 12(3)(a). At the same time, the Federation of
not take into account the past initiatives in In India, there have been several Indian Chambers of Commerce and Indus-
the country to give effect to a long-felt need attempts in the direction of developing a try’s Task Force on Traditional Knowledge,
for devising a stand-alone, sui generis sui generis regime, which can be basically at the request of the DIPP, has worked
mechanism for traditional knowledge. categorised into two kinds: through sec- towards the development of sui generis
The case for a traditional knowledge- ondary legislation within the framework traditional knowledge IPR s, modelled
specific sui generis mechanism has been of existing legislation, and through a on the conventional IPR s, but adapted to
advocated by the Intergovernmental stand-alone mechanism. An attempt has the unique context of traditional knowl-
Committee on Intellectual Property and been initiated within the umbrella frame- edge, which has also been taken as the
Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge work of the Biological Diversity Act of basis to develop a draft legislation in a
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TERI (2013) study. This represents a on behalf of the traditional knowledge knowledge is perceived to be the main
unique effort, sharply different from the holders) is the principal entity responsible reason for inadequate protection, in the
above-mentioned initiatives, in its endeav- for granting access and determining the absence of which national action to pro-
our to provide for the protection and terms of benefit-sharing. A sui generis tect traditional knowledge is considera-
registration of sui generis IPRs of tradi- regime for protection of traditional knowl- bly watered down.
tional knowledge holders over their tra- edge also has to take a call on whether it At the same time, the case for building
ditional knowledge (traditional knowl- would provide positive and/or negative capacity of the traditional knowledge
edge patents, traditional knowledge copy- protection, lay down conditions for se- holders to protect and derive economic
rights, etc). Such a sui generis system is curing prior informed consent as well as gain from their traditional knowledge,
designed to enable traditional knowledge access, terms or clauses of the ABS con- through their participation in the preva-
holders to secure IPR like protection over tract, provisions dealing with benefit- lent regime cannot be overemphasised.
their traditional knowledge, and expected sharing, a mechanism for registration of As WIPO (2006) observes, the protection
to create the necessary conditions where- traditional knowledge, remedies/penal- provided should directly reflect the actual
by they can benefit from their traditional ties against infringement of the rights aspirations, expectations and needs of
knowledge and exploit its potential for conferred, etc. the traditional knowledge holders. How-
wealth creation, including by granting Despite the silence of the National IPR ever, it is easier said than done. The non-
access to third parties. Policy on the likelihood of a dedicated inclusion of traditional knowledge holders
None of the above-mentioned initia- sui generis regime for traditional knowl- in the process of agenda setting and de-
tives have borne fruit till date. However, edge in the near future, hope is to be cision-making at the international, na-
the case for arriving at tenable legal pro- found in the need expressed by the policy tional and local levels and the lack of
visions geared to the unique context of to review existing intellectual property their practical capacity is one key reason
traditional knowledge and sensitive to laws, update and improve them or to for the non-effectiveness of existing or
the needs of ILCs and traditional knowl- remove anomalies (Clause 3.1), as well envisaged legal provisions (Sarma and
edge holders in a changed world cannot as to undertake in-depth studies on the Barpujari 2012). This is also perhaps the
be overemphasised. Learnings from sui same (Clause 3.6). reason for adopting a “protectionist” ap-
generis models abroad as well as the proach by the state (as in India), where the
challenges in their implementation indi- The Way Ahead state decides how benefits are to be dis-
cate that while devising such a regime, a From the above discussion, it thus bursed: ploughed into a benefit-sharing
number of factors need to be considered emerges that comprehensive protection fund, to be used for the benefit of com-
(TERI 2013). First, such a system must of traditional knowledge can be secured munities who need it the most.
consider the kind of traditional knowl- only through a multipronged approach This, thus, necessitates sizeable invest-
edge which the regime wants to bring which includes using the conventional ments by the state in the direction of
within the ambit of protection, depend- IPR regime to the extent feasible to secure capacity building. It is pertinent that the
ing upon its own country priorities and both negative and positive protection, discourse on traditional knowledge and
policy commitments (individual and/or increased interface between the IPR IPR should be placed in the local social
collective, private or in the public do- regime and other regimes (biodiversity, and economic context in which the
main). Second, it has to lay down clearly ABS regimes), amendments to the existing communities are living (Strathern 2000)
the rights of the ILCs over their knowl- legislation to further strengthen the tra- and protection mechanisms built from
edge in relation to the rights and the role ditional knowledge enabling provisions, the bottom up. Biocultural protocols, as
of the state. as well as considering the case for a sui envisaged by the Nagoya Protocol, aspire
The Peruvian legislation, to cite an generis mechanism. Such efforts are, to the same. Unfortunately, the Guide-
example, recognises upfront the rights however, not enough in a globalised lines on Access to Biological Resources
and powers of indigenous peoples and world order and it is indispensable that and Associated Knowledge and Benefit
communities to use and share their collec- the interests of a developing country like Sharing Regulations, 2014, which were
tive knowledge as they see fit. From this India, with rich traditional knowledge brought out as secondary legislation
declaration stems the other provisions of and ILCs dependent on it for livelihood, under the Biological Diversity Act to
the law, whereby the state merely acts as prevail in the rule-setting organisations give effect to the requirements of the
the facilitator and the ILCs, through their at the global level, be it the TRIPS or CBD. Nagoya Protocol, fail to incorporate the
representative organisations, have primary This is a concern which the National IPR same, a situation which needs to be
rights and roles with respect to prior Policy rightfully takes cognisance of, urgently rectified.
informed consent, licensing, use of the along with the need to continuously Finally, while concerns about the im-
resources of the Fund for the Development engage at various international fora, for position of alien values over traditional
of Indigenous Peoples, representation of developing a legally binding interna- knowledge and its commoditisation re-
ILCs in the implementing agency, etc. On tional instrument to protect traditional main, the need of the hour is to create an
the other hand, in India, under the knowledge. The lack of an internationally enabling environment for traditional
Biological Diversity Act, the state (acting binding legal instrument for traditional knowledge holders and ILCs to participate
Economic & Political Weekly EPW OCTOBER 13, 2018 vol lIII no 41 33
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in the neo-liberal order on equal terms http://unctad.org/en/PublicationsLibrary/ic- http://www.wipo.int/edocs/mdocs/tk/en/


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and benefit from it too. The challenge for
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policymaking, as Vermeylen (2008: 224) tion of Ecosystem Services: Wetland Mitigation ledge: Revised Outline of Policy Options and
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lectual, Biological and Cultural Property in Intellectual Property Organization, Geneva,
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that “the integrity of the said knowledge TRIPS Secretariat (2002): “The Protection of Tradi- edocs/mdocs/pct/en/pct_mia_22/pct_mia_22_8.
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Exploring Views on the Commodification of — (2011): “Draft Decision to Enhance Mutual
Arjun Appadurai (ed), Cambridge: Cambridge
Traditional Medicinal Knowledge,” Applied Supportiveness between the TRIPS Agreement
University Press, pp 3–63.
Geography, Vol 28, No 3, pp 224–35. and the Convention on Biological Diversity,”
Castree, Noel (2010): “Neoliberalism and the Bio-
WIPO (2002): “Elements of A Sui Generis System World Trade Organization, Geneva, https://www.
physical Environment: A Synthesis and Evalua-
for the Protection of Traditional Knowledge,” wto.org/english/tratop_e/trips_e/ta_docs_e/4_
tion of the Research,” Environment and Society:
World Intellectual Property Organization, Geneva, tncw59_e.pdf.
Advances in Research, Vol 1, No 1, pp 5–45.
CBD (2006): “International Regime on Access and
Benefit Sharing,” Montreal: Convention on Bio-
logical Diversity, https://www.cbd.int/abs/in- Journal Rank of EPW
fokit/brochure-en.pdf.
— (2007): “Development of Elements of Sui Generis
Systems for the Protection of Traditional Economic & Political Weekly is indexed on Scopus, “the largest abstract and citation
Knowledge, Innovations and Practices to Iden- database of peer-reviewed literature,” which is prepared by Elsevier N V (bit.ly/2dxMFOh).
tify Priority Elements,” Montreal: Convention on
Biological Diversity, https://www.cbd.int/doc/ Scopus has indexed research papers that have been published in EPW from 2008 onwards.
meetings/tk/wg8j-05/official/wg8j-05-06-en.
pdf. The Scopus database journal ranks country-wise and journal-wise. It provides three broad sets
Commission on Intellectual Property Rights (2002): of rankings: (i) Number of Citations, (ii) H-Index, and (iii) Scimago Journal and Country Rank.
Integrating Intellectual Property Rights and
Development Policy, London.
Presented below are EPW’s ranks in 2015 in India, Asia and globally, according to the total cites
Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion
(2016): “National IPR Policy,” New Delhi: (3 years) indicator.
Government Press, http://dipp.nic.in/policies-
rules-and-acts/policies/national-ipr-policy. ● Highest among 37 Indian social science journals and second highest among 187 social
Kopytoff, Igor (1986): “The Cultural Biography of science journals ranked in Asia.
Things: Commoditization as Process,” The
Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural ● Highest among 38 journals in the category, “Economics, Econometrics, and Finance” in the
Perspective, Arjun Appadurai (ed), Cambridge: Asia region, and 37th among 881 journals globally.
Cambridge University Press, pp 64–91.
Lemke, Thomas (2001): “The Birth of Bio-politics: ● Highest among 23 journals in the category, “Sociology and Political Science” in the Asia
Michel Foucault’s Lecture at the Collẻge de France region, and 17th among 951 journals globally.
on Neo-liberal Governmentality,” Economy and
Society, Vol 30, No 2, pp 190–207. ● Between 2009 and 2015, EPW’s citations in three categories (“Economics, Econometrics,
Nanda, Nitya, Indrani Barpujari and Nidhi Srivastava
(2013): “The Protection of Geographical Indica-
and Finance;” “Political Science and International Relations;” and “Sociology and Political
tions in India: Issues and Challenges,” Briefing Science”) were always in the second quartile of all citations recorded globally in the Scopus
Paper, New Delhi: TERI. database.
Polanyi, Karl (2001): The Great Transformation:
The Political and Economic Origins of Our Times, For a summary of statistics on EPW on Scopus, including of the other journal rank indicators
2nd ed, Boston: Beacon Press.
Rangnekar, Dwijen (2003): “Geographical Indica-
please see (bit.ly/2dDDZmG).
tions: A Review of Proposals at the TRIPS
Council,” International Centre for Trade and
EPW consults referees from a database of 200+ academicians in different fields of the social
Sustainable Development and United Nations sciences on papers that are published in the Special Article and Notes sections.
Conference on Trade and Development, Geneva,

34 OCTOBER 13, 2018 vol lIII no 41 EPW Economic & Political Weekly