With the adoption of the TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) Agreement in 1994, intellectual property rights became institutionalized within World Trade Organization (WTO) law as a means of harmonizing disparate national policies and protecting and incentivizing innovation for the advancement of society as a whole. Over time, however, the benefits of this agreement have become increasingly questioned by developing countries, NGOs, and trade scholars. In addition, its implementation has revealed significant tensions with the field of human rights, particularly indigenous rights. These tensions have divided the international trade system, and are strongly responsible for the continued impasse of the current Doha trade round. This paper first examines the theoretical and legal foundations that underlie the current intellectual property rights system and its particular relationship with indigenous rights. Secondly, a case study of the Potato Park, an association of six indigenous communities in the highlands of Peru, is presented as an example of how these tensions might successfully be managed at the local level.
In Partial Fulfillment of the Master of Public Policy Degree Requirements
Escalating Tensions: The Emerging Relationship Between Intellectual Property Rights and Indigenous Rights in Peru.
Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
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