Vandana Shiva:”United States patent system is somewhat perverted”

Q: You describe a dramatic case in which some American researchers traveled to India and basically co-opted time-honored and widely known folk-remedies for purely commercial purposes.

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Shiva: Absolutely. I have called this phenomenon of stealing common knowledge and indigenous science “biopiracy” and “intellectual piracy.” According to patent systems we shouldn’t be able to patent what exists as “prior art.” But the United States patent system is somewhat perverted. First of all, it does not treat the prior art of other societies as “prior art.” Therefore anyone from the United States can travel to another country, find out about the use of a medicinal plant, or find a seed that farmers use, come back here, claim it as an invention or an innovation, take a patent on it, and grab an exclusive right to the use of the products or processes that are linked to that knowledge.

Source: http://scott.london/interviews/shiva.html

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