The Everyday Dictionary of Law
The Everyday Dictionary of Law provides legal vocabulary currently in use in common law jurisdictions such as most notably, in the United States. The dictionary is compiled specifically for commercial and intellectual property law practitioners, which provides simple definitions and meanings in American English, for legal terms (including Latin terms) used in formal correspondence, court proceedings, and motion practice as well as common language words that are frequently used in the same. It is a simple reference guide for attorneys, paralegals as well as casual readers who need to check the meaning of a particular legal term in due course of their work.
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The experts at the Meeting of the Group of Technical and Legal Experts on Traditional Knowledge Associated with Genetic Resources in the Context of the International Regime on Access and Benefit-Sharing discussed the terms “public domain” and “publicly available” with special reference to traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources: “The term public domain, which is used to indicate free availability, has been taken out of context and applied to [traditional knowledge] associated with genetic resources that is publicly available. The common understanding of publicly available does not mean available for free. The common understanding of public availability could mean that there is a condition to impose mutually agreed terms such as paying for access. [Traditional knowledge] has often been deemed to be in the public domain and hence freely available once it has been accessed and removed from its particular cultural context and disseminated. But it cannot be assumed that [traditional knowledge] associated with genetic resources that has been made available publicly does not belong to anyone. Within the concept of public availability, prior informed consent from a [traditional knowledge] holder that is identifiable, could still be required, as well as provisions of benefit-sharing made applicable, including when a change in use is discernible from any earlier prior informed consent provided. When a holder is not identifiable, beneficiaries could still be decided for example by the State.”