Trade Policy at Work

Towards Effective Protection of Traditional Knowledge: Resolving Conflicts between TRIPS and CBD

The WTO’s agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) remains one of the most important yet controversial agreements on Intellectual Property. Among controversial issues is its conflict with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) regarding the protection of traditional knowledge. This note to outlines relevant TRIPS issues in relation to traditional knowledge, and highlights the need to continue rethinking discussions and agendas on TRIPS so that its benefits are maximised for all countries.