Tag Archives: IP

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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Lessons from Mexico to Canada: GM Crops as Threats to Indigenous Ways of Life

A legal battle over GMO crops in Mexico may shed light on how Canada will interpret Aboriginal and Treaty rights as they relate to economic and agricultural activity on land subject to those rights.   Glyphosate is a powerful herbicide. It was developed into a commercial product called Roundup by Monsanto in the 1970s, and…
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Indigenous Rights Affected by Canada’s Copyright Act: Issues and Opportunities

Canada is currently undergoing a review of the Copyright Act to determine whether the legislation has struck a fair balance between users, creators, and owners of literary and artistic works. These reviews take place every 5 years – the last one was done in 2012. There are potential ABS/Indigenous rights implicated in this review. Indigenous…
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