Info Service on Intellectual Property Issues (Oct16/04)
We are pleased to share with you the attached new research paper tilted "Clarins Raw Deal for Africa" by Edward Hammond.
The paper is the result of research into patents and commercialisation of uses of harungana (Harungana madagascariensis), a small tree native from Madagascar across Africa to Senegal. It has many traditional medicinal uses, including treatment of skin problems. Recently, harungana has become the headline ingredient in a line of very expensive skin creams sold by French luxury goods maker Clarins.
This case highlights the need for disclosure of country of origin and evidence of fair and equitable benefit sharing arrangements in patent applications. It also emphasises the need to ensure effective implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity and its Nagoya Protocol on access and benefit sharing, at the national level in user and provider countries, and internationally to address potential cross-border misappropriation of biological resources and associated traditional knowledge.
The paper is also available at: http://twn.my/title2/briefing_papers/No84.pdf