Nowadays many cases of stealing traditional knowledge from developing countries take place and these have been committed by developed countries. These happen because there are no firm and certain rules in the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Right (TRIPS) aboutÂ the legal protection of traditional knowledge. This statement was made by Prof. Dr. Hawin, L.L.M., from UGM Law Faculty, Friday (11/9), at the Multimedia Room, UGM.
Prof. Hawin mentioned at the discussion entitled â€TRIPS Agreement: Controversy, Opportunities, and Challengesâ€, that the absence of a firm regulation to protect traditional knowledge would open more opportunities for developed countries to patent the traditional knowledge they stole from developing countries.
Actually there is an article in the TRIPS related to traditional knowledge. Article 27 paragraph 3 b permits the WTO member countries to exempt from those that can be patented. This regulation, however, is too weak to protect the traditional knowledge because the term used in the paragraph is â€œmayâ€ which gives freedom for participant countries to exempt from it or not.
Further, Prof. Hawin said that many parties proposed to amend the contents of the Article. This needs to be done in order to give protection to the traditional knowledge and to treat participant countries as equal. The improvement can be made by making the regulation compulsory for all WTO members, while maintaining the exceptions in it.
Meanwhile, Poppy S. Winanti, M.P.P., M.Sc in the discussion held by the World Trade Center of Study (PSPD) UGM said that the TRIPS agreement forces Indonesia to issue a new law and amend the Intellectual Properties Right Law (HKI).