started this petition to
Benoît Battistelli , President, European Patent Office ( EPO)
By way of a background, a
2005 agreement between Ethiopia and the Dutch company HPFI gave HPFI access to
12 Ethiopian teff varieties, which it was to use for developing new teff-based
products for the European market. In return, the company was to share
substantial benefits with Ethiopia.
the high expectations were never met: The only benefits Ethiopia ever received
were 4000 Euro and a small, early interrupted research project.
And then, in 2009, the company went bankrupt. In the years prior to bankruptcy,
however, HPFI managed to obtain a broad patent on the processing of teff
flour in Europe, covering ripe grain, as well as fine flour, dough, batter and
non-traditional teff products. This patent, along with other values of
the company, had then been transferred to new companies set up by the same
Here is the full report: http://www.fni.no/news/121112.html
This is important because Teff and its entire value chain of production has been owned by the Ethiopian peasant farmers for thousands of years.