Patenting traditional knowledge (TK) without the consent of right-holders is a contentious issue. There are a number of proposals that seek to defeat Western patents of TK by using a database to defeat novelty. Legal protection of these databases, particularly in the USA, appears to be a concern of many potential TK right-holders. There are provisions in international and US law that can protect a TK database from infringers.
Eiland, Murray Lee
"Digital Rights Management and the Traditional Knowledge Database,"
1, Article 38.
Available at: http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/ebl/vol2006/iss1/38