Intellectual Property Regime, Indigenous Knowledge System and Access and Benefit Sharing: Drawing Lessons from Kani Case

Sachin Chaturvedi
JEL codes: 
RIS-DP # 129

Since the Doha Ministerial, the developing countries have been raising issues related to the indigenous knowledge system (IKS) and access and benefit sharing (ABS) in context of conflict between the CBD and the TRIPs. Though the Doha Development Agenda (Paragraph 19) did acknowledge the need of CBD and TRIPs relationship to be looked into, however most of the developed countries rejected ABS on the pretext that the ABS is not a viable preposition and that ABS should be addressed at the national level rather than placing it as part of multilateral regime. The emerging evidence from Kani case in India suggests that a nuanced approach to the benefit sharing regime may help in ensuring equitable distribution of gains through a formal mechanism which may prove out to be sustainable in long run. The study also shows that national regimes are not sufficient to check global misappropriation of IKS.