“Reap what you have not sown” Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Intellectual Property Laws in South Africa
by George Sombe Mukuka
ISBN: 978-0-9869857-4-4
Pages: 236
Print version: Available
Electronic version: Free PDF available

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About the publication

The aim of this book is to analyse the current status of indigenous intellectual property rights protection in South Africa. The current intellectual property laws and legislations in South Africa do not fully protect indigenous knowledge systems and in some instances the indigenous knowledge is misappropriated, abused without proper recognition and acknowledgement of the custodian of this knowledge.

The book suggests that in order for us to fully understand the developments of intellectual property in South Africa, we need to look at similar developments in the United States and Australia. Using conceptual tools dealing with post-colonial, contested culture and legal theories such as the natural-law and the economic model, the book tries to analyse the current predicament: how can one possibly marry indigenous property rights and the western legal frameworks in a practical and ethical way?

About the editor:

George Sombe Mukuka holds two PhD degrees; in History from the University of KwaZulu-Natal and in Archaeology from the University of the Witwatersrand.

Table of Contents

  • Abbreviations
  • Foreword
  • Chapter one: Introduction
    1.1 Indigenous knowledge systems
    1.2 Intellectual Property Laws of South Africa
    1.3 Aim of the study
    1.4 Conclusions
  • Chapter two: Conceptual framework
    2.1 Conceptual framework
    2.2 Orientalism as a way of describing postcolonialism
    2.3 Contested Cultures
    2.4 The natural law theory
    2.5 The Economic Philosophy
    2.6 The use of the theories
    2.7 Conclusions
  • Chapter three: The role of indigenous knowledge in South Africa
    The Hoodia (Hoodia gordonii) and the African Potato (Hypoxis rooperii)
    3.1 Introduction: a need for protection
    3.2 The Hoodia gordonii
    3.3 The Africa Potato (Hypoxis rooperii)
    3.4 Conclusions
  • Chapter four: Divergent approaches to indigenous communities
    The legal regimes of the United States and Australia
    4.1 Introduction
    4.2 The need for protection of Native American graves
    4.3 The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA)
    4.4 Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP) Project in Australia
    4.5 Conclusions
  • Chapter five: Intellectual Property Laws in South Africa
    5.1 Introduction
    5.2 South Africa’s intellectual property system
    5.3 International obligations
    5.4 Intellectual property advisory committee
    5.5 International practice in protecting indigenous knowledge systems
    5.6 Other relevant legislations
    5.7 In terms of the Acts and legislations – scope of protection
    5.8 Conclusion
  • Chapter Six: The Protection of Indigenous Knowledge through the Intellectual Property System: Policy and Bill (2007)
    6.1 Introduction
    6.2 The Protection of Indigenous Knowledge through the Intellectual Property System: A Policy Framework (2007)
    6.3 Protection using the intellectual property system of South Africa
    6.4 Conclusions
  • Chapter Seven: Way forward
    7.1 Introduction
    7.2 The theories which informed this study
    7.3 Protection of indigenous knowledge systems under current intellectual property laws
    7.4 Broader issues with regard to forms of protection of indigenous knowledge systems
    7.5 Areas to be addressed in indigenous property right protection
    7.6 Input from some international legal systems
    7.7 Ways of protecting indigenous property
  • References
  • Appendix

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