Monday, March 23, 2009

Patenting turmeric?

I'm still here in India - spent this weekend in Goa where I had my first ever Ayurveda consultation, one of those things where they essentially tell you to meditate, get massages stop eating everything that you like eating to improve your health.  

I was reading up a bit more and thought I'd share this little gem of a fact of someone trying to patent the use of turmeric for healing that I found in Wikipedia, since we occasionally cover the most interesting items in patents:
In December 1993, the University of Mississippi Medical Center had a patent issued to them by United States Patent and Trademark Office on the use of turmeric for healing. The patent was contested by India's industrial research organization, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (C.S.I.R), on the grounds that traditional Ayurvedic practitioners were already aware of the healing properties of the substance and have been for centuries, making this patent a case of bio-piracy. 
Just last week the Indians were trying to figure out how to get around a catch-all patent that Blackboard has on e-learning.  

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