Jessica Haddock

Abstract: One recent trend in biotechnology development, the prospecting of flora and fauna by pharmaceutical companies to develop new drugs to combat diseases, occurs primarily in areas home to indigenous populations. However, as natural habitats slip away, biotechnology companies have begun to partner with indigenous groups to harness their untapped knowledge and promote environmental sustainability. This paper finds that western legal provisions for Intellectual Propriety rights—namely copyrights, patents, trademarks, and trade secrets—do not necessarily protect the rights of indigenous peoples. In order for indigenous groups to be more justly compensated for the information they provide to biotechnological companies, the UN, NGOs, and states must establish a more coherent and robust international framework for indigenous rights.   

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