Proprietary protection for traditional knowledge in agricultural commodities : providing legal certainty for international trade

  • Susan Secker

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The focus of this research is to determine whether the equitable construction of traditional knowledge can be characterised to give it the required level of certainty to recognise it as a legal construction that can have proprietary protection applied to it when it is used to develop agricultural commodities for international trade. Such a study is important in order to provide a greater understanding of the options for solutions to enable the proprietary protection of traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources that are utilised for the development of traded agricultural commodities. This is also relevant to the options for the provision of the legal certainty required for commercial transactions in these agricultural commodities on the international market. The research approach adopted in this dissertation includes the review and analysis of the key elements of the legal proprietary protection schematic, the construction of traditional knowledge, the parameters for international trade, the value and place of genetic resources for the provision of agricultural commodities and the international forums responsible for the governance of these areas. The findings from this research provide evidence that it is possible to provide proprietary protection to traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources utilised for the construction of agricultural commodities that are internationally traded. The dissertation recommends that this proprietary protection be given at a nation state level before embarking on an international certification mark of compliance.
Date of Award2013
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorMaree Sainsbury (Supervisor) & Murray Raff (Supervisor)

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