Thursday, March 10, 2005

Take that you no-good bio-pirates

Nice to see there's been a big setback for bio-pirates, those companies that raid traditional knowledge and patent anything worthwhile.

The European Patent Office has disallowed a patent on the medicinal properties of the Neem plant

But the Indian government successfully argued that the medicinal neem tree is part of traditional Indian knowledge.

The winning challenge comes after years of campaigning and legal efforts against so-called "bio-piracy".

Leading the campaign in the neem case was the EU Parliament's Green Party, India-based Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology (RFSTE) and the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM).

This historic precedent must be further developed

Linda Bullard, IFOAM
"Denying the patent means upholding the value of 'traditional' for millions of [people] not only in India but throughout the South. The free tree will stay free," said RFSTE director, Dr Vandana Shiva.

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