There are many definitions that have been developed on what traditional knowledge is. Some scholars have argued that traditional knowledge is a method of reasoning that embraces complexity. The method incorporates various variables when it comes to its evaluation. Some people have ignored the essence of this method, while in some countries a lot of efforts are being channeled towards ensuring that the traditional knowledge systems are being protected.
This article will expand on what the traditional knowledge is all about and at the same time, it will focus on the many changes that have taken place over the years.
Basic information on the traditional knowledge
Basically, traditional knowledge refers to the knowledge gained through the traditional or ancient methods of learning. This method of learning was passed on from generation to generation within the community. The method involves know-how, practices, skills and knowledge. Moreover, the traditional knowledge adds up to the cultures of the community involved. In a broader sense, TK embraces knowledge and the cultural expressions of the communities. There are many contexts that are covered under TK and can be categorized into groups, such as technical, scientific, ecological, medicinal and agricultural knowledge.
There are is a correlation between traditional knowledge and intellectual property. Though there are many differences between the two that involves protection. Traditional knowledge is mostly passed on orally and this makes it hard to be protected by the intellectual property systems. As opposed to TK, intellectual property has two versions of protection; defensive protection and positive protection. Under positive protection, intellectual protected is protected in two manners that include preventing unauthorized use of the property and allowing the active exploitation of traditional knowledge with the community declared as the origin of TK.
Further details on the TK; basic features
Intellectual property covers the defensive protection that prohibits or rather excludes the third parties from deriving benefits from the property. Defensive protection involves the patent rights that entitle only the owner to his/her property without the interruption from third parties.
Traditional knowledge can be exploited in different forms, such as the production of indigenous craft objects, unauthorized use of indigenous imagery and much more. Moreover, TK includes traditional dances, music and much more. There have been many controversies on how the traditional knowledge should be utilized. This involves the protection system of TK and this covers the idea that the non-members of the communities where traditional knowledge originated from should be prohibited from its usage.
Conclusion on the potentiality of TK
Not all countries still appreciate the benefits of traditional knowledge, while others do. Some countries have gone a step further to come up with the traditional IP laws. The IP laws entail the copyright laws and a few examples of such countries include Hungary, Kazakhstan, Russia, Lebanon, Bulgaria, Armenia, Estonia and much more. However, these countries do not impose a restriction on the use of traditional knowledge. On the other hand, some countries have IP laws that cover traditional knowledge and they include Belgium, Sweden, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Poland, San Marino and much more.