German pharmaceutical Schwabe announces withdrawal of 5 pelargonium patents
(26.04.10) (Johannesburg, Z?rich, Bonn) The African Centre for Biosafety (ACB), the Berne Declaration (BD) and the Church Development Service (EED) welcome the announcement by Schwabe today that it will not pursue five pelargonium related patents granted to it by the European Patent Office EPO). Mariam Mayet, African Center for Biosafety (ACB): ?Nevertheless, we regret that such action comes only after such patents have been challenged by us?.
Mayet announced that the Alice community’s battle will continue for appropriate relief as a result of Schwabe’s unlawful use of the community’s traditional knowledge for the production of Umckaloabo. ?The Alice Community has a real and meaningful stake in the future conservation and sustainable use of the pelargonium species in the South Africa and the protection of its Traditional Knowledge. The status quo will have to change including power relationships and ownership issues?, Mayet concluded.
?The next step will be to fight biopiracy beyond the patent system?, says Francois Meienberg of the Swiss based Berne Declaration. ?Biopiracy is about unlawful use, not only about patents. Users of biological resources and traditional knowledge must comply with the provisions of the