Traditional knowledge and traditional cultural . A gLAWcal comment on Jianqiang Nie "The Relationship between the TRIPs Agreement and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD): Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folk Protection from a Chinese Perspective"

While Traditional Knowledge often encompasses the variety of ways that products may be produced using knowledge gathered through generations of individual in the same community, there is a categorization of knowledge and practices that do not often result in a product being produced, categorized as Traditional Cultural Expressions (TCEs). Again, the modern interpretation of IP law are often at odds with the general ideas of TCEs, and are insufficient to cover and protect these items. Generally, TCEs can be much more varied and diverse than Traditional Knowledge (TK). This provides much more complication for those writing regulatory rules of TCEs as compared to TKs. In China, this is often given a status that allows for much more discretion in applying protections. Unlike the assumptions for TK, TCE is often well-known in terms of the broader community of who “owns” that entity. An entire culture may have a style of expression that is readily apparent to those with even a small amount of recognition for the culture, often outside of the culture entirely. While this may provide a scenario in which it may be “easier” to attribute ownership to, it certainly isn’t applicable if the TCE is more niche and specific to a subset of that broader culture. Regulators should instead focus on protecting the TCEs of indigenous peoples further, bringing that consideration in line with a host of other regulatory carve-outs that protect and elevate the status of entities that arise from these nations.