chapter  8
23 Pages

The limits of ABS laws

Why Gumbi Gumbi and other bush foods and medicines need specific indigenous knowledge protections
WithDaniel Robinson, Margaret Raven, John Hunter

The Australian system of access and benefit sharing (ABS) relating to biological resources provides inadequate protection to Indigenous knowledge (IK). This chapter explores a number of Australian examples where IK associated with endemic species has been utilised for research and/or commercialisation, and where patents have been obtained relating to such uses. It highlights issues and gaps that exist with the current Australian ABS regime. The chapter examines several other species of plants that have been patented, the issues associated with the patents, and concerns that are raised by Indigenous Peoples due to their 'prior art' and the spiritual and cultural significance of the plants. It presents methods for patent landscaping. The chapter also highlights the possibility of challenging patents and applications of concern. It deals with some patents of concern relating to Australian plant species which are known to have Indigenous uses.