Monthly Archives: March 2019

Teff Flour Patent Controversy Settled: Dutchman Does Not Have Patent Right to the Ethiopian Food Staple

Teff is an Ethiopian ancient grain used to make injera, a spongy fermented flatbread that is a food staple of Ethiopian culture. In 2007, a Dutchman, Jans Roosjen, obtained two patents for teff flour. The Dutch District Court of The Hague recently invalidated those two patents in Ancientgrain BV v Bakels Senior NV, and Ethiopians are…
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WIPO IGC 39: Unraveling the Tiered Approach to TK/TCEs

One of the major innovations of the IGC, in its long-running search for international legal instruments for the effective protection of TK/TCEs (Traditional Knowledge / Traditional Cultural Expressions), is the idea of tiered or differentiated approaches to TK/TCEs. The essence of looking at TK/TCEs on a tiered basis is the recognition that some TK/TCE categories are diffused…
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GMO Crops, Risks to Biodiversity, and the Enduring Value of Indigenous Knowledge

As early as 2021, Bayer (previously Bayer-Monsanto) will release SmartStax Pro, the first federally-approved GMO to use RNA interference – a biological process that prevents cells from creating specific proteins – to defend plants against consumption by specific insect pests. Release of a GMO naturally corresponds with a reduction in biodiversity as the previous crops are outcompeted…
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