Global Biopiracy
336 pages, 6 x 9
Release Date:01 Jul 2006
Release Date:08 Nov 2005
Release Date:01 Oct 2007

Global Biopiracy

Patents, Plants, and Indigenous Knowledge

UBC Press

Legal control and ownership of plants and traditional knowledge of the uses of plants (TKUP) is a vexing issue. The phenomenon of appropriation of plants and TKUP, otherwise known as biopiracy, thrives in a cultural milieu where non-Western forms of knowledge are systemically marginalized and devalued as "folk knowledge" or characterized as inferior. Global Biopiracy rethinks the role of international law and legal concepts, the Western-based, Eurocentric patent systems of the world, and international agricultural research institutions as they affect legal ownership and control of plants and TKUP.

The analysis is cast in various contexts and examined at multiple levels. The first deals with the Eurocentric character of the patent system, international law, and institutions. The second involves the cultural and economic dichotomy between the industrialized Western world and the westernizing, developing world. The third level of analysis considers the phenomenal loss of human cultures and plant diversity. Exhaustively researched and eloquently argued, Global Biopiracy sheds new light on a contentious topic. The impact of intellectual property law on indigenous peoples and informal or traditional innovations is a field of study that currently includes only a handful of scholars. Biopiracy will be an invaluable resource for students, teachers, and legal practitioners.

In this book, Ikechi Mgbeoji addresses biopiracy in an entirely new light. He masterfully unearths the technicalities and subtleties of the issue and exposes the under-appreciation of the role of women and farmers and the “masculinization” of knowledge. This book is a must read for those interested in biopiracy. James T. Gathii, Albany Law School
This book is at the forefront of the literature on this important topic ... Dr. Mgbeoji’s understanding of the relevant law and institutions, his impressive grasp of the literature across a range of disciplines, and his clarity of vision inform this book and its cogent message ... This book is very much a product of his unique intellect: it is a challenging, engaging, ambitious, and ultimately very important work. Teresa Scassa, Dalhousie Law School, Halifax
Ikechi Mgbeoji is a professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, and the author of Collective Insecurity: The Liberian Crisis, Unilateralism, and Global Order, also published by UBC Press.

Foreword / Teresa Scassa



1 Introduction

2 Patents, Indigenous and Traditional Knowledge, and Biopiracy

3 Implications of Biopiracy for Biological and Cultural Diversity

4 The Appropriative Aspects of Biopiracy

5 Patent Regimes and Biopiracy

6 Conclusion


Selected Bibliography


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