Working paper

An overview of legal instruments and other measures to aid in the protection and valuation of Indigenous knowledge

Indigenous enterprise development Indigenous knowledge Intellectual property Patents Australia


This paper outlines the legal instruments and other measures used to support the protection of Indigenous Knowledge (IK), with a view to attributing market value to IK. These instruments are categorised as either enforceable instruments or voluntary protocols, standards and guides. Enforceable instruments have a clear connection to market value, typically being tradeable with a cost incurred to protect their attributable IK. While legal costs, patent prices and licence fees are private, it may be possible to gain access to summarised and de-identified data. Non-enforceable rights such as protocols, codes of conduct and certification may involve compensation or payments designed to protect IK. Price premiums may help to capture the market value of attributable IK, but require careful methodological consideration. A diverse range of instruments helps to provide choice to Indigenous Peoples and creates a system that may support the development of social and market norms that encourage the recognition and protection of IK.

Publication Details
CAEPR Working Paper No. 133/2019
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