Pelargonium: Disputed Patents
Berne Declaration and Partners in South Africa filed a complaint with the European Patent Agency
Local communities in South Africa have been using the Cape Pelargonium to treat bronchitis and other diseases since time immemorial. Schwabe Pharmaceuticals, a German company that makes a tidy profit from a Pelargonium-based product named UMCKALOABO, is seeking various patents on the medicinal uses of the Cape Pelargonium. Together with their partners in South Africa (the Alice Community, African Center for Biosafety) the Berne Declaration filed a complaint with the European Patent Agency against two of their patents on may 2008.