Indigenous Knowledge

We define Indigenous Knowledge (IK) as the traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

What is IK?

IK is a broad term that covers a range of knowledge held and continually developed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Even though the word ‘traditional’ is often used to describe this concept, it's important to remember that IK continues to evolve.

If you want to learn more about IK, have a look at the video below.

What is Indigenous Knowledge?

What do we mean when we talk about Indigenous Knowledge?

In Australia, Indigenous Knowledge is the traditional knowledge and cultural expressions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Traditional knowledge can be practices, skills, innovations and processes. This knowledge could be agricultural, scientific or technical. It could also include knowledge about animals and plants.

Indigenous Knowledge also includes traditional cultural expressions like language, stories, art, dance, and architecture.

Indigenous Knowledge can be part of your business in many ways. Along with its personal and community value, it can also be a valuable business asset.

Check out IP Australia’s Indigenous Knowledge Hub.

We use the above definition to cover knowledge that could form part of an IP right. Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP) is another term that's sometimes used interchangeably with IK. They're similar concepts but ICIP can have a broader scope.

Can I use IK in my business?

Along with its personal and community value, IK can be a valuable asset and part of your business in many ways. If you want to work with IK, IP can offer some types of protection.

How IP can protect IK

How we're supporting the protection of IK

We regularly release publications, research and consultations on ways to improve the protection of IK in the IP system.

Check out our case studies for insights on how businesses are using the different elements of IP to commercialise their ideas.

For regular updates, join our mailing list.

Sign up for regular IK updates

Related content

Patents Trade marks Plant breeders rights Design rights

Protection of Indigenous Knowledge

If you're using Indigenous Knowledge (IK) to create something new and unique, IP rights can legally protect aspects of the IK and contribute to your product's value.

Patents Trade marks Plant breeders rights Design rights

How to engage with Indigenous Knowledge

If you're using Indigenous Knowledge (IK) in your business, seeking informed consent from its Traditional Custodians can help ensure you're treating it respectfully.

Patents Trade marks Design rights Plant breeders rights Apply Amend Enforce

Get professional assistance with your intellectual property

If you need some help or advice, intellectual property (IP) professionals can assist you along your IP journey.