For decades, Eastern traditional medicine has been misappropriated by others who claim it as their own and attempt to obtain patent protection for it. As long this practice has existed, the international community has pushed back against it. Several countries and international bodies have created databases of traditional knowledge, hoping to preclude the issuance of patents on that knowledge. Other countries, like Thailand, have extended intellectual property protection to the traditional knowledge stakeholders themselves. However, a recent change to US patent law may have the unintended consequence of helping resolve the issue of biopiracy
Ryan D. Levy and Spencer Green,
Pharmaceuticals and Biopiracy: How the AIA May Inadvertently Reduce the Misappropriation of Traditional Medicine,
23 U. Miami Bus. L. Rev.
Available at: http://repository.law.miami.edu/umblr/vol23/iss3/5