The application of existing IPRs to traditional knowledge in general has been extensively examined in the literature89 and debated in some fora.90 Considerable attention has also been paid to the possibility of developing sui generis regimes.91 In this section the use of some forms of IPRs to protect TRM is examined. Special attention is given to patent protection, given that it enables the exercise of exclusive rights over TRM knowledge or over its possible uses.92
89 See, e.g. Dutfield, 2000a.
90 See, e.g. GRULAC, 2001.
91 See section IV.e below.
92 In contrast, trademarks and geographical indications only protect signs used to identify products, not the underlying knowledge as such.