The Problem with Patents: Traditional Knowledge and International IP Law

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The Problem with Patents
traditional Knowledge and International IP law
                                                                                    
				
DOCUMENT INFO
Description: With attractive pinkish-white flowers and lush green foliage, the Madagascar rosy periwinkle appears at first to be an innocuous, decorative plant. Inspired by its use traditional medicine, researchers at Eli Lilly eventually isolated two extracts -- vinblastine and vincristine. Both extracts have become powerful drugs, one to treat childhood leukemia, and the other to treat Hodgkins' disease. The story of Eli Lilly and the rosy periwinkle is one example that relevant NGOs label as "biopiracy," a term used to describe the appropriation, by outside forces, of legal rights over indigenous knowledge. In an effort to aid poor countries in the fight against biopiracy, NGOs all over the world are working with local people to create documentation for innovations and traditional knowledge. With enough political solidarity and initiative from developing countries, a new structure for international intellectual property law could be implemented -- one that would give individual countries more autonomy in determining IP rights.
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