The Role of Intellectual Property Rights in Preserving the Spirit of Innovation, Experimentation and the Conservation Ethic at the Grassroots Level

United Nations Environment Programme (2003)

This paper deals with the complexity of knowledge systems that evolve in a socio-cultural and institutional context. The interaction between private, community and public domain knowledge is analysed to assess the ways in which the contributions of different actors in the conservation as well as evolution of knowledge, innovation and practice can be isolated. The relationship between social, ethical, natural and intellectual capital is then discussed in order to highlight the overlap of intellectual property (a small subset of intellectual capital) with natural, ethical and social capital.

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