- Traditional Medicine > Traditional, Complementary and Herbal Medicine
- Public Health, Innovation, Intellectual Property and Trade > Intellectual Property (IP) and Trade
(2001; 88 pages)
6.2.3 The limits of law
With the exception of contracts, the options discussed above have a major weakness: their impact is limited to the country concerned. So even if a suitable and efficient national system would be developed, this would not be able to prevent the misappropriation of indigenous knowledge and of national biological resources abroad; as a result it's overall impact would be limited. However, if groups of countries, such as the Andean Community, ASEAN or the OAU, implement a consistent and coherent regional system for the protection of traditional (medicinal) knowledge and genetic resources, they would have more impact; moreover, this could encourage other (groups of) countries to do the same. Ultimately, this may create the critical mass needed to make progress at the international level.
A lack of capacity for monitoring of infringements and for enforcement, by right-holders and Governments, may further limit the actual impact of the before mentioned legal options.