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The Prior Art Project
Alex Steffen, 1 Nov 03

Okay, this is less a resource than a request for help. Several people I've met in passing over the last few months have mentioned something called, I thought, "The Prior Art Project." Supposedly, a network of graduate students and field biologists is out there documenting traditional botanical practices and submitting them as "prior art" to patent authorities, preventing unscrupulous biotechnology prospectors from filing patents on traditional knowledge of plants and their medicinal properties (committing "biopiracy"), and keeping those cures in the global public domain. A great idea, if you ask me.

Except I can't find a thing about the Prior Art Project anywhere on the web. There's this essay calling for a prior art project in software, and this paper explaining how biotech prior art works in relation to indigenous knowledge, but that's it. Is this some sort of urban myth, or do I just have the name wrong? Any leads?

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