The previous sections have indicated different objectives and the scope available for the protection of TRM under IPRs. This section discusses some of the problems to be faced in order to implement different forms of IPRs-based protection. Such problems include - but are not limited to - the boundaries of the public domain, the attribution of rights, and enforcement issues. This section also discusses a number of policy options relating to the IPRs protection of TRM.
It must be acknowledged from the outset that the vast literature available on this subject exhibits a great variety of opinions on the desirability of extending IPRs protection to traditional knowledge, ranging from rejection of such possibility as inappropriate or likely to distort, rather than support, indigenous systems, to the belief that IPRs may benefit both knowledge holders and the society as a whole.131 These different views arise from multiple philosophical, legal and ethical perceptions of the status of such knowledge and the role of local/indigenous communities, as well as from diverging opinions and expectations as to the socio-economic implications of IPRs protection. The discussion that follows is essentially underpinned by concerns about the possible implications of IPRs in the area of public health.
131 See, e.g. Blakeney, 2000.