1. Hello I posted a link to a petition against Nestle because I'm against all intellectual property but now I fear because of my strong feelings on this position maybe I'm spread bunk news. So I Googled nestle and patent and a bunch of conspiracy sites came up. I'm I part of the problem. (Maybe this is the wrong section I don't really care if Fennel flower is a cure all or not.)

  2. Pete Tar

    Pete Tar Moderator Staff Member

    Certainly is saturation coverage at the moment.
    The only slight bunk I could find is that it's not 'fennel' (Foeniculum vulgare) as we know it but nigella sativa, or black cumin. It is known as fennel flower though.

    I don't know if it's even possible to claim a natural product as a patent unless you change it somehow. Or is it okay to patent a *use* of a naturally occuring product? Does that restrict others from using it?
    Also, bastards.

  3. Jay Reynolds

    Jay Reynolds Senior Member

    Nestle has responded.

    Here is a tip to use:
    Whenever you want to search for the opposition about an assertion, add a keyword selected to elicit an opposing viewpoint on the assertion such as ~hoax, scam, debunked or rebuttal~, which might help find results which contradict the assertion.

    I used ~Nestle patent hoax~, and this was within the google results.
    The embedded link within the quote below has more details and I expect that sumofus, who began the petition is already aware that they are spreading misinformation. Sad to see that but it happens all too frequently, and has fooled nearly 1/4 million people.

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  4. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
  5. NeoMike

    NeoMike New Member

    The response from Nestlé is not convincing. Remember we are dealing with big corporates with slick PR departments. There is always a chance that the briefing document given to SumOfUs was not factual - but it's pretty good, and unless you have loads of time to research this, the best option is to accept it. If Nestlé is correct they have nothing to worry about. SumOfUs will have raised the issue with the patent authorities, and that's good for society.
  6. solrey

    solrey Senior Member

    Patents covering processes for extracting certain compounds from plants are rather common. Those patents do not mean that the plant itself or common extraction methods such as alcohol tinctures are also patented. One example is a patent for extracting active compounds from common medicinal plants such as German chamomile, skullcap and valerian, using high pressure superheated water instead of alcohol. It does not prevent us from growing the aforementioned plants in our garden or making alcohol based tincture or tea for medicinal uses. Nor does it prevent other companies or persons from making and selling alcohol tinctures or other extracts or the dried herbs. Per patent law, patents are granted only for novel processes and unique uses that are only possible as a result of those novel processes.


    Nestle has discovered a compound in Nigella sativa that may be effective at treating or preventing food allergies by stimulating certain receptors. The patent would cover the use of certain compounds to stimulate specific receptors for the purpose of treating food allergies.

    Nestle has
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  7. NeoMike

    NeoMike New Member

    Thanks for your response solrey. It's not the legitimacy of the patent process at issue, it's the prevalence of Biopiracy. This is a commercial activity that not many people are aware of (including me up until a few days ago) - so I've started to notice it, and am pondering the ethics.

    There seems to be plenty of examples around, for example:

    In 2000, the German company Schwabe made significant profits on Umckaloabo, a product derived from the geranium, without compensating local communities. It then filed patents claiming exclusive rights to the medical use of the plant.

    In 2010, however, the patents were cancelled following appeals from theAfrican Centre for Biosafety in South Africa and the Berne Declaration in Switzerland, calling the patents "an illegitimate and illegal monopolisation of genetic resources derived from traditional knowledge and a stark opposition to the convention on biodiversity".

    Bélier said the law would help to protect biodiversity and ensure that people from the region are adequately compensated for their resource and their traditional knowhow.
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  8. billd

    billd New Member

    The "Inventing Patents" blog contains a level-headed response to this patent dispute: http://inventingpatents.com/nestle-patenting-fennel-flower/
    It's worth noting that Nestle is not patenting the flower itself but the application of a chemical from the plant in a specific and new application (or claimed as new by Nestle - if it's not new presumably they will lose the case.)
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  9. billd

    billd New Member

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  10. NeoMike

    NeoMike New Member

    Hi bild - Thanks for the link to the relevant patent (or one of them). I'm not a patent lawyer, so I can't comment on the broadness, or otherwise, of the claims. But these two look quite general:

    1. Use of an opioid receptor stimulating compound for the preparation of a composition to treat or prevent food allergy.

    4. Use in accordance with one of the preceding claims, wherein the opioid receptor stimulating compound is provided as a component of a plant or a plant extract, for example from Nigella sativa, Eupatorium ayapana, Satureja montana, Thymus or a combination thereof.

    My main concern is that when issues of biopiracy get to this level of detail - 99% of the general public will lose interest in it. That's why we need organisations like Sumofus to keep an eye on global corporations.
  11. Bill

    Bill Senior Member

    The question is not about the need for organizations like Sumofus. The quetsion is whether Nestlie is trying to patent Nigella sativa and about the legitimacy of Nestlie's patent application claims. The short answer is yes. This makes Nestlie no different than any other company that tries to patent the medical applications of chemical contained in plants. If the claims that Nestlie's patent application covers nothing new are correct the application will be denied. If Neslie's claims are true and the have applications for the compounds that meet the definition of novel (see below) the patent will be granted.


    Nestlie seem to be focused on specific allegies rather than general use.


    They also have specific symptoms they want to alleviate:


    If you read the supporting documentation you will see that the process is working the way it is supposed to and two of the five claims for novelty and inventive step have already been shown to be inadequate (last page).


    In my opinion if organizations like Sumofus are going to be the self appointed police they need to go into more explanation of what the corporation are trying to achieve and why. That would allow people to make an informed decision.
  12. billd

    billd New Member

    Sumofus's campaign does not come at zero cost. I came aware of this issue when a colleague posted the Sumofus Nestle claim on Facebook. The overview note was along the lines of: Nestle is an evil corporation, run by a nazi, they are trying to buy up and privatize our water supply, and now they are trying to own plants.
    Misinformation such as the claims made by this petition can be refuted but it's very difficult to go back and extract that out of people's minds. If you google this issue, you'll find the Sumofus claims and exact wording are now very widely distributed and will be considered a truth by many.
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  13. JennyJ

    JennyJ New Member

    Apparently Nestle is seeking patent of certain properties of black cumin and gene patents are nothing new. http://www.business-standard.com/ar...patent-bid-raises-hackles-114010700965_1.html

    To my knowledge, Nigella Sativa currently has 5 FDA separate patents in the USA for the treatment of:

    1. Inhibition of cancer cell growth, Patent no.- US5,653,981, Inventor- R. D. Medenica.
    2. Diabetes, No.-US 6,042,834, Inventor – Wasif Baraka.
    3. Improvement of the Immune System, No.- US5,482,711, Inventor – R. D. Medenica.
    4. Viral Infections, No.- US 6,841,174, Inventor – S.I. A. Shalaby and E. M. A. H. Allah.
    5. Psoriasis, No.- US 6,531,164, Inventor - H.H.R. Crede.

    Amazing stuff!

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  14. Brainiachick

    Brainiachick Active Member

    To the best of my knowledge when I last reviewed Nestlé's application, sometime ago, it was not to patent the fennel flower - that in itself as a patent claim would be rather difficult as they did not manufacture or invent the flower - rather it is a naturally occurring product. An inventor can only apply for patent of his invention, and I believe that Nestle application is only with respect to a particular, formerly unknown usage of the naturally occurring product which would firmly qualify under intellectual property laws in most jurisdictions. Clearly, Nestlé's actual claim differs significantly from the outcry/claims of the conspiracy theorists. I believe the original poster had, following our posts, seen the clarity between the two and had learnt the difference and made a clear comment/apology to that effect.
  15. Bill

    Bill Senior Member

    NeoMike seems to be the one misconstruing the intent of the patent. The claim of biopiracy doesn't seem to be supported.
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  16. Leifer

    Leifer Senior Member

    Slightly unrelated, maybe core influence.....

    Herbal remedy proponents have pointed to the benefits of Nigella Sativa.
    And this is but one source (although with a bad reputation here, WorldTruthTV)...

    A link supporting various claims is...
    ....where a study of "war victims" is focused on.

    I am suspicious of the accuracy in the GreemMedInfo link, where a study is pasted there, as evidence.
    I'm afraid my comment there may get deleted, so here it is....

    Last edited: Aug 7, 2015
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