[rumori] Re: IP killed the Internet

From: { brad brace } (bbraceATeskimo.com)
Date: Tue Aug 28 2001 - 04:44:40 PDT

[ There's probably some clever granular analogy for Rice and
MP3s...] /:b

> From: APFEJ <sobacineATsri.lanka.net>
> RiceTec Inc. a Texas-based US corporation has lost the Basmati Battle.
> RiceTec had made 20 far-reaching claims related to Basmati in Patent No.
> 5663484. As a result of a Supreme Court case filed by the Research
> Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology, the Government of India
> challenged 3 claims related to rice grain (No.s 15-17) in April 2000.
> RiceTec had given up 4 claims. However, the claims related to seed had not
> been challenged. The re-examination request filed in the USPTO by the
> Government was done in the name of Agricultural and Processed Food Products
> Export Development Authority (APEDA) and no challenge was made to the
> remaining claims, thereby totally sidelining the issue of protection of
> farmer rights. The Government of India through the APEDA focussed only on
> protecting traders' interests which are linked to grain, but not farmers
> rights which are linked to seeds.
> The Research Foundation had continued its campaign for the defense of
> farmers' rights and basmati seed. It continued to call for the cancellation
> of false claims to invention related to Basmati lines. Citizens across the
> world had been mobilised to defend farmers' rights. As a result of citizens
> pressure the US Patent and Trademark Office (US PTO) has cancelled claims
> 1-3, 5-7, 10, 14, 18-20 which were not challenged by the Government of
> India though they are extremely broad in scope and had the potential to
> undermine the rights of farmers growing.
> The Patent Examiner has also changed the title of the patent from "Basmati
> Rice Lines and Grains" - covering a broad generic claim to invention of
> Basmati, to invention of Basmati to "Rice Lines Bas867, RT 1117, RT1121"
> which are restricted to the specific breeding done by RiceTec and not
> open-ended as the original patent was, which covered wide ranges of plant
> height, grain size, aromatic quality including the qualities of our
> traditional Basmati. The patent holder now cannot claim the unique
> qualities of our Basmati nor the unique name "Basmati".
> The surviving claims 8, 9, 11, 12 &13 are narrow and related only to the
> varieties actually bred by RiceTec. These claims are "deemed free of prior
> art". The cancellation of other claims now prevents the potential use of
> the Basmati patent against growing traditional Basmati.
> The Research Foundation's Campaign Against Basmati Biopiracy" was based on
> three injustices inherent in the original Basmati patent:
> 1. ignoring of traditional breeding by farmers
> 2. giving a broad-based patent to RiceTec which covered the traditional
> Basmati varieties in its scope
> 3. hence undermining farmers' rights both by negating farmers breeding and
> by allowing the establishment of a monopoly which could prevent growers of
> traditional Basmati from free use of their own seed.
> On each of these 3 counts, we have won the Basmati Battle.
> The media reports that RiceTec has won the appeal that have appeared in the
> Indian national dailies "The Indian Express" and "The Hindustan Times" are
> false.
> RiceTec has been forced to give up the title of its patent, it has been
> forced to give up 15 of its 20 claims, including those with the most
> far-reaching implications related to biopiracy.
> This is a victory for India, not RiceTec and it is a victory which was
> fought for only partially by the Government. The global citizen's Campaign
> Against Biopiracy which was successful in getting the Neem Patent cancelled
> has also succeeded in having the false and far-reaching claims in the
> Basmati case cancelled. The Basmati Battle has been won by us. The patent
> on rice and patent on seed battle is still to be won.
> The surviving claims now need to be challenged as part of the larger
> movement against patents on life and patents on rice. The campaign against
> patent on rice is now being launched by the Research Foundation against
> patents held by Monsanto and Novartis, including patents on "Golden Rice".
> by
> Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology
> A-60 Hauz Khas
> New Delhi - 110016
> India
> International Center for Technology Assessment
> 310 D Street NE
> Washington, DC 20002

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