Tag Archives: biopiracy

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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Implications of Digital DNA on the Nagoya Protocol

“Biopiracy” refers to the phenomena whereby plants and animals are physically removed from Indigenous communities, without their knowledge or consent, in order to extract and manipulate genetic material from those plants or animals. This is typically done to commercialize some characteristic of the plant or animal that has marketable properties. For example, the anti-freeze proteins…
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A Potential Breakthrough in Alzheimers Research from Nigeria: ABS Implications

As noted elsewhere on this blog, traditional knowledge is increasingly seen as a source of scientific innovation with commercial applications. A recent example of this phenomenon comes from the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom, where researchers suggest a plant extract from Nigeria may help combat Alzheimer’s disease.  The extract from the leaves, stem and roots…
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WIPO Special Committee on Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge, and Traditional Cultural Expression Shies Away from Consolidating its Mandate but Agrees on Lack of Indigenous Participation

The World Intellectual Property Organization’s specialist committee charged with negotiating text-based instrument(s) for the effective protection of Genetic Resources (GRs), Traditional Knowledge (TK), and Traditional Cultural Expressions (TCEs), on Friday June 16 2017 concluded its 34th session with partial agreement on its mandate and on the fate of the committee and its work program. On…
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