THE CONVENTION for Biological Diversity (CDB) has acknowledged the importance of traditional knowledge and stewardship of genetic ressources. The TRIPS agreement and the CBD are leading Brazil and other countries to change their legislation on intellectual rights and on access to genetic ressources and associated knowledge. Should one then extend the intellectual property system to cover local and indigenous knowledge? Or should one rather maintain it in the public domain and assure that local people participate in the possible benefits of commercial products derived from it? And then, what is the nature of local knowledge?