Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Coffee and Intellectual Property

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the it-puts-the-coffee-lotion-(tm)-on-its-skin dept.

Businesses 198

cervesaebraciator writes "A 'Coffee Branding Workshop,' sponsored by the World Intellectual Property Organization, was held recently in Arusha City, at which the Director General of the Tanzania Coffee Board presented a paper titled 'Supporting the Coffee Sector with added Value Products Through Intellectual Property and Branding.' The paper encouraged the use of intellectual property claims, including trademarks, copyrights, patents, and designs, as sources of income which can be used to support agriculture in Africa. The Director General claimed that '[Intellectual property rights] are the basis for today's knowledge based economy and international competitiveness.' This is no doubt related to a broader effort to advance western style intellectual property in Africa through claims of the benefits it offers agriculture. Promoting western style intellectual property law as a means of third world development is a popular strategy for WIPO, the only branch of the UN to have significant wealth deriving from contributions independent of Member States. On a related note of interest to Slashdotters, there is a history of tension between WIPO advocates and FOSS advocates." I hope they take advantage of the marketing possibilities offered by civet-processed coffee.

cancel ×

198 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

When are people going to learn (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42023519)

There is NO SUCH THING as "intellectual property". It's a farce. I, for one, am looking forward to a left-leaning "creative commons" Star Trek like world where profit means little, and the freedy people (Ferengi) are forbidden interlopers.

Re:When are people going to learn (5, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 2 years ago | (#42023593)

where profit means little, and the freedy people (Ferengi) are forbidden interlopers

Profit is just a price signal, it sends information. The problem with IP is that it gives governments an excuse to oppress the freedoms of the masses to reward the few.

Besides, Star Trek governments execute people who build robots. It's not all sunshine and roses there.

If they start patenting coffee ... (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 2 years ago | (#42023667)

... then someone else will try to patent tea, guava juice, soybean milk, coconut juice .... ... and ultimately someone will patent water.

Can you imagine the final outcome ?

Re:If they start patenting coffee ... (3, Funny)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 2 years ago | (#42023751)

I patent water distributed in/consumed from a handheld device.

Re:If they start patenting coffee ... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42023777)

"I patent water distributed in/consumed from a handheld device."

I patent what you said with round corners.

AC because moderated elsewhere.

Re:If they start patenting coffee ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42024479)

I patent water distributed in/consumed from a handheld device on the internet.

FTFY

Re:When are people going to learn (4, Insightful)

bhcompy (1877290) | about 2 years ago | (#42023721)

Star Trek is fictional. Roddenberry made a shit ton of money off his intellectual property, which he fiercely guarded.

I think it's also worth pointing out... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42023899)

...that without IP, you would not have Star Trek. Or Star Wars. Or Bladerunner. Or even Iron Skies, at least in its final form.

--fyngyrz -- anon due to mod points

Re:I think it's also worth pointing out... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42023931)

Not necessarily true. You can't say what would have happened because we currently have copyright laws and such.

Re:I think it's also worth pointing out... (2)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 2 years ago | (#42023955)

that without IP, you would not have Star Trek. Or Star Wars. Or Bladerunner. Or even Iron Skies, at least in its final form.

And without coffee we wouldn't have those things either because without coffee to drink the creators of those would have had a subtley different creative process and would have come up with something different. It's the butterfly effect. But in neither case does it mean that we wouldn't have something else in their place, maybe even something better.

Re:When are people going to learn (2)

davydagger (2566757) | about 2 years ago | (#42023811)

by star trek world, you obviously mean Next Generation, where the ferengi apear.

as much as I'd love to agree with you, thev'e banned alcohol in favor of synathol.

Star Trek TNG was more a politically correct dystopia like Demolitian Man, than something I'd want to live in.

I'm with Mr Scott, fuck that shit. At least he remembers the good old days of getting tanked and punching Klingons in the face for doing as little as dishonoring his ship.

Re:When are people going to learn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42024221)

Alcohol is not banned, is it not allowed on federation star ships for the crew to consume.

Re:When are people going to learn (1)

westlake (615356) | about 2 years ago | (#42024057)

There is NO SUCH THING as "intellectual property". It's a farce. I, for one, am looking forward to a left-leaning "creative commons" Star Trek like world where profit means little, and the freedy people (Ferengi) are forbidden interlopers.

What Star Trek series was ever set outside the insular world of the elite professional soldier? Whose every wish and whim is fulfilled by the state?

I share little in common Heinlein but an affection for characters who must live by their wits --- and tech that is good, sometimes very, very good, but never the genii in the bottle.

Re:When are people going to learn (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 2 years ago | (#42024599)

I kinda agree with you - intellect can't be a property. I'll allow that coyrights should be granted for a brief period, like a decade or so. Then, the "property" should become public domain.

But, hey, if the douches in Washington can play the "intellectual property" game, then why not some Africans? The United States doesn't have a monopoly on douchebaggery, does it?

Fuck IP. This is about coffee (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42023551)

My office basically shuts down when the coffee machine is broken. I am not saying this is correct (I don't drink coffee myself ... I prefer Coke). But I'm just saying - no coffee, no workee.

Re:Fuck IP. This is about coffee (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42023685)

Ultimately you're still drinking caffeine by drinking Coke. I guess that's the most important part though.

Civet IP? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42023553)

Has anyone patented civet-processed coffee? For those of you not up to date on this technology, civet cats eat the coffee berries including the "beans" which are the stones of the berries. After they go through the cat and are dropped behind it, men gather the "beans" and then roast them as usual for coffee beans from other sources. Some connoisseurs consider such beans to be the "ne plus ultra" of coffee.

Re:Civet IP? (2)

Golden_Rider (137548) | about 2 years ago | (#42023585)

Has anyone patented civet-processed coffee? For those of you not up to date on this technology, civet cats eat the coffee berries including the "beans" which are the stones of the berries. After they go through the cat and are dropped behind it, men gather the "beans" and then roast them as usual for coffee beans from other sources. Some connoisseurs consider such beans to be the "ne plus ultra" of coffee.

I guess those civet cats better get a good lawyer, then. Or get a license to poop.

Re:Civet IP? (4, Funny)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about 2 years ago | (#42023961)

I'm planning on bypassing the civet cats and just doing the job myself.

Any takers for beta-testing?

Re:Civet IP? (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#42023645)

Has anyone patented civet-processed coffee? For those of you not up to date on this technology, civet cats eat the coffee berries including the "beans" which are the stones of the berries. After they go through the cat and are dropped behind it, men gather the "beans" and then roast them as usual for coffee beans from other sources. Some connoisseurs consider such beans to be the "ne plus ultra" of coffee.

Civet processing is too old to be particularly patentable now. There are at least two patented enzymatic processing techniques designed to imitate the civit-shit process at lower cost; but you should be clear if you have actual cats doing the job.

Re:Civet IP? (4, Funny)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | about 2 years ago | (#42023707)

MEH!

Civet Coffee is so fifteen-seconds-ago. the latest and greatest thing is Elephant Coffee [odditycentral.com] !

Extra value because elephants are likely to become extinct any second now due to excessive poaching for ivory.

Re:Civet IP? (4, Funny)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#42023845)

Unlikely, now that elephants have coffee. They'll be way to fast for the poachers.

Re:Civet IP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42023949)

lolzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Re:Civet IP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42024111)

You do not want to mess with the Civet, those little fuckers can be mean.

Re:Civet IP? (1)

mathew42 (2475458) | about 2 years ago | (#42024591)

Civet Coffee is so fifteen-seconds-ago. the latest and greatest thing is Elephant Coffee [odditycentral.com] !

Extra value because elephants are likely to become extinct any second now due to excessive poaching for ivory.

It depends on if selling elephant processed coffee or ivory delivers more profit. One could argue processing coffee with elephants is a renewable resource, so it might be possible to make coffee elephants more profitable.

Re:Civet IP? (1)

Stirling Newberry (848268) | about 2 years ago | (#42023771)

First to file means its never too old.

Re:Civet IP? (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 2 years ago | (#42023943)

First to file isn't magically immune to prior art.

Re:Civet IP? (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 2 years ago | (#42024631)

In today's world, don't be to sure of that. The patent office may publish statements to the contrary, but I believe they just authorize everything to avoid any controversy or lawsuits.

Re:Civet IP? (1)

Cute and Cuddly (2646619) | about 2 years ago | (#42023963)

I wouldn't drink the stuff anyway. It is literally a load of shit!

Re:Civet IP? (1)

gmhowell (26755) | about 2 years ago | (#42024795)

So, basically the same process by which Cmdr. Taco made a website, with Timothy taking the role of the civet?

Bullshit. (5, Insightful)

pla (258480) | about 2 years ago | (#42023579)

Whether or not you can extract (and I choose that word deliberately) wealth from a nation through the fiction we call "intellectual property" has nothing to do with the long-term viability of that concept.

When people starve to death because Monsanto won't let them grow patented plants, we need to put the bastards up against the wall.
When people starve to death because Goldman Sachs has cornered the Red Spring Wheat market, we need to put the bastards up against the wall.
When people die of malaria because Novartis would rather profit than save lives, we need to put the bastards up against the wall.

"Intellectual property" literally means nothing more than "we value dollars over your life". Anyone using that as a defense for their actions counts as nothing short of a race traitor - To the human race.

The sooner We The People stop putting up with this shit, the sooner we can get back to improving our world rather than making sure the "right" people get paid for improvements 20 years ago.

Re:Bullshit. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42023639)

"Whether or not you can extract (and I choose that word deliberately) wealth from a nation through the fiction we call "intellectual property" has nothing to do with the long-term viability of that concept.

When people starve to death because Monsanto won't let them grow patented plants, we need to put the bastards up against the wall.
When people starve to death because Goldman Sachs has cornered the Red Spring Wheat market, we need to put the bastards up against the wall.
When people die of malaria because Novartis would rather profit than save lives, we need to put the bastards up against the wall.

"Intellectual property" literally means nothing more than "we value dollars over your life". Anyone using that as a defense for their actions counts as nothing short of a race traitor - To the human race.

The sooner We The People stop putting up with this shit, the sooner we can get back to improving our world rather than making sure the "right" people get paid for improvements 20 years ago."

YES, YES, YES!!! Have guns, will travel.

Re:Bullshit. (3, Insightful)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#42023929)

They will exterminate us all and rain down total destruction before giving up this power. And they will laugh about it. That's what needs to be understood before going into battle with them. We have not seen the real face of this monster. We live because we comply.

Re:Bullshit. (2)

Bruce66423 (1678196) | about 2 years ago | (#42023669)

When pharmaceutical companies close down and noone has the money to do trials of new drugs because the health budgets are already out of control, I'm sure you won't be surprised. If Novartis has no prospect of a profit for its research into malaria, it's not going to do it. There is a role for IP, it's just that it's got out of hand. And Branding is a good thing - or would be if people weren't so insecure as to make fun of people who don't bother to spend silly amounts of money - because it allows a consistent expectations to be built up; you know what you are getting when you buy a brand - even if it's a 'no brand' discount store line. When it's a good shop, then it's reputation is on the line when it brands something.

You might like to read up this study (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42023713)

Except there were more medicinal compounds patented BEFORE patents were introduced.
http://levine.sscnet.ucla.edu/papers/ip.ch.9.m1004.pdf

And in Italy there was a measurable slowdown in development JUST AFTER INTRODUCTION of patents for medicines. Profits went up, new drugs went down. They simply didn't have to try so hard to compete.

Re:You might like to read up this study (5, Interesting)

arth1 (260657) | about 2 years ago | (#42023865)

Except there were more medicinal compounds patented BEFORE patents were introduced.
http://levine.sscnet.ucla.edu/papers/ip.ch.9.m1004.pdf [ucla.edu]

And in Italy there was a measurable slowdown in development JUST AFTER INTRODUCTION of patents for medicines. Profits went up, new drugs went down. They simply didn't have to try so hard to compete.

Also, a large part of the medications used today originated at publicly funded universities. The pharmaceutical companies' contribution is often to change a tiny bit, like the delivery mechanism, and then fight and bribe tooth and nail to get their own patented variety approved by the governments and the competitors' versions stalled.
There wouldn't be over 1200 registered pharmaceutical lobbyists in Washington if they didn't get even more return for that investment.

I used to use a cough decongestant made by a handful of pharmacists, who had made it for about two generations. Then came a big company and demanded a ban - it ate part of their market share in certain areas. It got banned because the combination of two ingredients in a specific ratio was "untested" - despite having been sold for well near 40 years with no documented ill effects, and sold in almost, but not quite, the same ratio by the big pharma company. It wasn't a consumer concern, it wasn't an FDA concern - it got pushed by a single company who wanted to sell their product.
Yes, sure, they're contributing... To my hatred of them and everything they stand for. I refuse to buy stock in any pharmaceutical company, no matter whether it's more profitable. Cause unlike them, I have scruples.

Re:You might like to read up this study (5, Funny)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | about 2 years ago | (#42023871)

I have scruples.

You should see your pharmacist, I hear these days there's a cream for that.

Re:You might like to read up this study (1)

JustOK (667959) | about 2 years ago | (#42024335)

But, it would likely involve a considerable amount of paperwork.

Public universities benefit from pharma patents (3, Informative)

perpenso (1613749) | about 2 years ago | (#42024185)

Also, a large part of the medications used today originated at publicly funded universities.

And many of these universities patent and license their work as well. Revenue from these licenses help fund medical/pharma research and the university in general.

For example the University of California is quite aggressive regarding patenting and licensing discoveries. Half of the revenue goes to the general UC budget, a quarter to the department where the discovery originated and a quarter to the employees who made the discovery.

BTW, the UC licensing program gives breaks to small local companies.

Re:You might like to read up this study (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42023895)

How can something be patented before patents were introduced?

You offer noise not data ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42024259)

Except there were more medicinal compounds patented BEFORE patents were introduced.

Compounds from decades and centuries past were the easier to obtain "low hanging fruit". Plus the regulations and litigation of the modern era has significantly driven up costs.

And in Italy there was a measurable slowdown in development JUST AFTER INTRODUCTION of patents for medicines.

That conclusion is an abuse of statistics. It was 9.3% over a *twenty* year period compared to 7.5% over a *four* year period. The change is insignificant. The periods of observation too different. Other significant factors not considered.

Re:You offer noise not data ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42024611)

Where's the data of the imaginary property goons? They always say it encourages innovation, but can they reasonably point to a society without IP that proves their point? No, because they've bribed just about every politician in every country to get their way! They're restricting our freedoms based on unfounded nonsense.

Re:You offer noise not data ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42024793)

" The periods of observation too different. "

There's no such rule in stats, you can estimate the change per year from both and estimate an confidence level for both.

"Other significant factors not considered."

Well, I'm happy that you're reduced to saying "magic fairy made the change", and "there is no change, you can't prove a change", which is what your argument distills down to.

I stand by my common sense remark, companies with a locking don't have to compete so hard and don't have to make winning compounds so hard. Patents, even in Pharma are a disincentive to innovation.

Re:Bullshit. (2)

Stirling Newberry (848268) | about 2 years ago | (#42023779)

Nonsense, most of the investment in discovery is government funded. Pharma spends money on marketing, and more than half of the research is in targeting of existing drugs.

Re:Bullshit. (3, Informative)

demonlapin (527802) | about 2 years ago | (#42024023)

Pharma does a lot more than that. Try reading something like this [corante.com] , which is a blog by an actual medicinal chemist.

Re:Bullshit. (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 2 years ago | (#42024073)

It even goes deeper than that, look at the US (and most western governments) who literally pay people NOT to grow food and then buy "surplus" food at inflated prices to make sure that the price of food stays high.

Re:Bullshit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42024103)

I've said numerous times before that a series of assassinations, with judiciously chosen targets, could work wonders in this area.

Re:Bullshit. (1)

Kerstyun (832278) | about 2 years ago | (#42024105)

I'm a commie an I wan't free stuff

traslated that for you

Re:Bullshit. (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | about 2 years ago | (#42024169)

This war on invention is not something I can, in good conscious, take either side on. In some ways I see your points. On the other side grow non patented plants, or non red spring wheat. Would more or less people die of malaria if Novartis wasn't their trying to make a profit.

Re:Bullshit. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42024255)

Plant breeder/scientist here...

With plants and crops, the only thing Monsanto (or anyone) can patent is it's own genetic trait stack lines or asexually produced plants from a parent plant. The genetic traits are part of the general patent process...the asexually produced cultivars have it's own patent system.

Unlike what some scare-mongering anti-GMO sites would have people believe, there's plenty of options available in traditionally bred (including hybrid) plants. You won't see hybrid plants patented because they can't be...what they do have going for them on the company/corporate level is that they are usually bred with intensely developed parent lines which usually aren't on the market. If no one else can get these parent plants they can't make their own stabilized hybrids. It's like having the "secret recipe" for a product, only you have to develop the materials that made the hybrid in-house. That said, a company can develop a process for breeding outside of the GMO realm which can be traditionally patented, such as methods for haploid and dihaploid breeding processes. The world of plant breeding is more than just mixing a male source with a female recipient and some of these processes warren intellectual property.

Also, the reason there's so much GMO corn, soy, cotton, rapeseed (canola), and sugar beets is because the farmers prefer these cropping systems because they deliver more bang for the buck per acre and they're willing to pay for it. Hell, with corn hardly anyone saves seed anymore in the US because hybrids outperform (by a lot) traditional "open pollinated" varieties even if they don't want to touch GMO.

Re:Bullshit. (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 2 years ago | (#42024635)

Sucks that you can only be modded +5.

Re:Bullshit. (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 years ago | (#42024787)

When people die of malaria because Novartis would rather profit than save lives, we need to put the bastards up against the wall.

What on earth are you talking about? Novartis has a strong initiative for fighting malaria.

kopi luwak, aka cat shit coffee (5, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 2 years ago | (#42023603)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kopi_Luwak [wikipedia.org]

the ultimate real world "emperor's new clothes" joke

1. the dutch colonists didn't let the indonesian farmers enjoy their own coffee crop (consider them lucky, the dutch committed genocide to protect their nutmeg trade: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banda_Islands#Massacre_of_the_Bandanese [wikipedia.org] ). the farmers knew jungle civet cats raided the crops and ate coffee beans and shat them out mostly undigested. so, to enjoy coffee, the farmers processed cat shit to take the coffee beans out and brew coffee

cut to: clueless westerners, seeing locals drinking cat shit coffee, and thinking this is some exotic folkloric way to enhance coffee taste, start clamoring for this "authentic" way to enjoy coffee. add some marketing mumbo jumbo bullshit (i mean, catshit) about the civet cat digestive enzymes enhancing taste, and you have the birth of the world's most expensive coffee

rich morons deserve to fooled and fleeced of their money

in other words, i support the use of intellectual property law by poor states against the assholes who made up this lame legal framework. intellectual property law is of course a joke. and those who created it should, and shall, suffer for foisting this bullshit on the world

be careful what you create, western legal trolls. it has a way of coming back to bite you in the ass (out of which comes delicious coffee)

Re:kopi luwak, aka cat shit coffee (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42023761)

I like to pick the beans out of the cat shit before I eat the cat shit. It's nice to have a catbox because you can just foist it up on the dinner table, its rigid rectangular frame much like that of a T.V. dinner, and chaw down on cat logs and the crisp ammonia taste of the crunchy cat litter. It's like how they put sushi pieces on a bed of panko flakes for that crunchy texture. And don't forget that ammonia is also present in Brie, one of the finest cheeses in the world -- but I'm not here to eat sushi and cheese -- I'm here to eat cat shit.

*Mmmmm.* This log in particular tastes like a piece of mellow, earthy clay dug from near a fresh waterfall. Its texture is creamy and uniform, and its weighty density is unctuous and satisfying. And this cat litter, has a hint of floral scent -- did they use rosewater when they made this? The meal as a whole was well-prepared. I own six cats so there were plenty of leftovers to put in the fridge. I love my furry friends, and you should too.

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:kopi luwak, aka cat shit coffee (1)

firewrought (36952) | about 2 years ago | (#42023825)

be careful what you create, western legal trolls. it has a way of coming back to bite you in the ass

It's more likely that WIPO will be co-opted by first world interests and used to strong-arm developing nations into unfavorable positions, in some cases robbing them of their very inheritance (cref., WTO). More misery for Africa... that's my guess anyways.

Re:kopi luwak, aka cat shit coffee (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 2 years ago | (#42023937)

no what is going to happen is that china is going to start playing this game as it creates it's own "intellectual property"

and then wield this weapon internationally to autocratic extremes usually reserved for domestic considerations

look at their rare earth monopoly grab as a foreshadowing

western complaints will be accurately be labeled hypocrisy

the west created this absurd legal monstrosity. the west will suffer for it

Re:kopi luwak, aka cat shit coffee (2)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 2 years ago | (#42023857)

rich morons deserve to fooled and fleeced of their money

So you're saying that if someone is both wealthy and mentally challenged, it's morally appropriate for others to take advantage of their mental limitations to take their wealth by subterfuge?

That's a peculiar ethic.

Re:kopi luwak, aka cat shit coffee (2)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 2 years ago | (#42023901)

considering the peculiar ethics that the plutocrats openly stand for, it's more appropriately called fair game

Re:kopi luwak, aka cat shit coffee (1)

orangesquid (79734) | about 2 years ago | (#42024693)

"fair game" reminds me of Fair Trade.. something international trade grouips should definitely be prioritizing way about intellectual property agreement enforcement. Ugh.

Re:kopi luwak, aka cat shit coffee (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42024115)

So you're saying that if someone is both wealthy and mentally challenged, it's morally appropriate for others to take advantage of their mental limitations to take their wealth by subterfuge?

That's a peculiar ethic.

So you're saying that if someone is both poor and mentally challenged, it's morally appropriate for others to take advantage of their mental limitations to take their wealth by subterfuge?

That's a peculiar ethic.

And yet it happens everyday. Poor, uneducated people have their wealth taken away by subterfuge.

Re:kopi luwak, aka cat shit coffee (1, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 2 years ago | (#42024151)

the guy you're responding to is probably the kind of clueless fuck who sits with his friend complaining about the freeloading poor getting things they didn't work for, right after thanking his friend for his dad getting him that nice position at his dad's company

or complains about evil socialist redistribution, but not companies that redistribute wages lower than livability so the CEOs wife can have another vacation home

some people just don't fucking get it

Re:kopi luwak, aka cat shit coffee (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about 2 years ago | (#42023911)

be careful what you create, western legal trolls. it has a way of coming back to bite you in the ass (out of which comes delicious coffee)

Trolli luwak, aka lawyer shit coffee. Served in legal briefs, it is the supreme coffee. Get some now.

Re:kopi luwak, aka cat shit coffee (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 2 years ago | (#42023969)

* some restrictions and limitations apply. please familiarize yourself with the 659 page legal rider. if you don't have your own private legion of lawyer goons to ensure full legal compliance with our modest conditions, it is our right to take you for all you are worth

Re:kopi luwak, aka cat shit coffee (1)

KagakuNinja (236659) | about 2 years ago | (#42024399)

My in-laws from Vietnam told me about this stuff (which they called "fox-poop coffee"). It isn't just something marketed to "clueless westerners".

Re:kopi luwak, aka cat shit coffee (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 2 years ago | (#42024499)

i'm sure there are plenty of clueless easterners who pay sky high prices to eat shit too

Re:kopi luwak, aka cat shit coffee (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42024675)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kopi_Luwak [wikipedia.org]

the ultimate real world "emperor's new clothes" joke

1. the dutch colonists didn't let the indonesian farmers enjoy their own coffee crop (consider them lucky, the dutch committed genocide to protect their nutmeg trade: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banda_Islands#Massacre_of_the_Bandanese [wikipedia.org] ). the farmers knew jungle civet cats raided the crops and ate coffee beans and shat them out mostly undigested. so, to enjoy coffee, the farmers processed cat shit to take the coffee beans out and brew coffee

cut to: clueless westerners, seeing locals drinking cat shit coffee, and thinking this is some exotic folkloric way to enhance coffee taste, start clamoring for this "authentic" way to enjoy coffee. add some marketing mumbo jumbo bullshit (i mean, catshit) about the civet cat digestive enzymes enhancing taste, and you have the birth of the world's most expensive coffee

rich morons deserve to fooled and fleeced of their money

in other words, i support the use of intellectual property law by poor states against the assholes who made up this lame legal framework. intellectual property law is of course a joke. and those who created it should, and shall, suffer for foisting this bullshit on the world

be careful what you create, western legal trolls. it has a way of coming back to bite you in the ass (out of which comes delicious coffee)

So, are you going to beat up on lobster, kimchi, (any preserved food in age of refrigeration), hotdogs, BBQ meats, etc? Screw you dude, I don't care what the STORY is behind any of them, it's the taste, stupid.

I don't care what hotdogs are made of. If I lived somewhere they were hard to come by (say the ISS) and I had the money I'd still eat them, pigs lips, chicken nuts and all. If that makes me a rich moron, then seriously fuck off.

Bad summary (3, Informative)

_Ludwig (86077) | about 2 years ago | (#42023619)

The paper encouraged the use of intellectual property claims, including trademarks, copyrights, patents, and designs, as sources of income which can be used to support agriculture in Africa.

There’s no link to the paper, but that’s not what the linked article says. It says that they’re pushing an initiative to benefit African agriculture through IP and branding. Copyrights, patents, and designs are mentioned only in the context of the presenter explaining to the audience what “intellectual property” even means. (The fact that he felt the need to do that is telling.)

I suspect the main thrust would be developing geographical indicator branding, like appellations d'origine contrôlée or Cornish pasties; the article mentions Ethiopia’s success in this regard.

Re:Bad summary (2)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | about 2 years ago | (#42023731)

Copyrights, patents, and designs are mentioned only in the context of the presenter explaining to the audience what “intellectual property” even means.

Intellectual Property means somewhere a lawyer is getting rich off your product.

More than anything, IP in this context means WESTERN LAWYERS sucking the life out of impoverished African agriculturalists.

Re:Bad summary (1)

retchdog (1319261) | about 2 years ago | (#42023875)

sure, it's awful, but as far as history goes i'd rather have lawyers oppressing me than, say, the british east india company.

IP can protect the little coffee grower (4, Interesting)

perpenso (1613749) | about 2 years ago | (#42024325)

IP in this context means WESTERN LAWYERS sucking the life out of impoverished African agriculturalists.

That is not true, IP can protect the smaller and independent coffee growers. For example IP was used to protect the small coffee growers in Kona, Hawaii. Prior to their use of IP to protect the "Kona" brand, Kona blends from some major distributors contained very little Kona sourced beans. Not only did this reduce the sales of the Kona growers, diminish their brand by associating it with an inferior experience, but it was deceptive to consumers. I learned of this by sitting next to such a grower on a flight to Hawaii. In other words I am offering the perspective of a small and independent coffee grower.

Well this just makes sense (2)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | about 2 years ago | (#42023681)

It's perfectly natural for Coffee and Intelectual Property to go hand in hand.

Coffee is a diuretic, after all.

Re:Well this just makes sense (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 2 years ago | (#42023843)

I would have thought Intellectual Property is more like a laxative.

Bain consultants came up with... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42023691)

"Kenya: Home of the World's Finest Coffee, and Birthplace of the President of the USA"

Gypsies, tramps, and middlemen (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42023733)

From TFA...

The process of obtaining IP rights for these three products - collective marks for cotton and vanilla and a trademark for sesame - is well under way. The IP and branding strategies that have been developed under the project “will guarantee the origin of the selected products, and establish the link between their unique and distinctive qualities and their geographical origin,” Mr. Mengistie explains. “They will also make it possible to maintain and enhance the reputation and goodwill of the products by putting into place a quality control and certification system that will enable a range of actors involved in the supply chain to use the brand (be it protected as a certification mark, a collective mark, a trademark or a geographical indication) and to share in the benefits derived from marketing a unique, high-value product.”

Thing is, there is already vetting and accountability for quality, on the part of the manufacturers of the end-product. If, say, Nestle uses bad vanilla, it will damage consumer demand for the Nestle brand, so they do indeed already do the work necessary to avoid this. This insertion of additional "IP" seems entirely gratuitous middle-manning.

Let's clarify here. Some IP represents actual added value in terms of utilization of raw materials, via technology or other human ingenuity. Some is merely...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rent-seeking [wikipedia.org]

...Rent-seeking, establishing oneself as a "necessary evil" in the process of production simply by the nature of what all production is, and is of no wider value to society.

If you can't build a better mousetrap, make people pay for the mere notion of your Essential Mousetrap Definition (TM). To overload the metaphor, the rats trying to profit off of this particular gaming of the system (and the forms of it are ubiquitous and manifold) are going to bring down our economic ship which has historically required actual added value be offered somewhere.

We are making our world uninhabitable (1, Insightful)

kawabago (551139) | about 2 years ago | (#42023735)

Through Global Warming we are making our world uninhabitable. It would be really stupid to teach everyone else to do as we do. That is just speeding up the train to catastrophe.

Re:We are making our world uninhabitable (1)

Stirling Newberry (848268) | about 2 years ago | (#42023793)

Think of it as evolution in action, quoth the sage.

Learning from fashion! (4, Interesting)

Volanin (935080) | about 2 years ago | (#42023775)

Although not directly related to coffee, there is a very interesting TED talk from Jojanna Blakley that touches this exact point. She compares the fashion industry, in which there are pratically no copyright law or intellectual property, to the entertainment industry where this is heavily overblown. Link: http://www.ted.com/talks/johanna_blakley_lessons_from_fashion_s_free_culture.html [ted.com]

not impressed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42023813)

while there is economic activity to be had by creating fences around ideas and words, one real reason IMO that non-industrial economies are mired in poverty is that the current economic valuation systems DO NOT VALUE life-associated products. It is well known that MOTHERHOOD, CLEAN WATER and a HUNDRED SUCCESSIVE GENERATIONS OF HEALTHY WILDLIFE are worth NOTHING, but taking all of the silver from the ground, killing all living things around it, and polluting the water with mercury for a hundred years, is the source of great wealth.

We are living in a world where the tide has changed, humans now drive the show to a great extent, and one of the largest steering mechanisms known, money, is valued in stupid ways from the past.

Intellectual property (2)

OhANameWhatName (2688401) | about 2 years ago | (#42023817)

Intellectual property is antithetical to the production of anything. It's a way to keep 80% of the population (the proportion not required to support human needs) busy arguing about the nuances of ownership whilst the people producing the required goods are starving to death in sweatshops around the world. IP is a means to enforce modern slavery, nothing more.

Africa is full of international tension, starvation, warlords, drug abuse, HIV and incredibly, incredibly poor people. There's only 2 ways a director general of a UN body could keep a straight face while talking about the 'knowledge economy' in Africa:
1/ He's an imbecile
2/ Botox

nuff said.

Re:Intellectual property (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42024191)

[quote]Africa is full of international tension, starvation, warlords, drug abuse, HIV and incredibly, incredibly poor people.[/quote]

That may be, but RIAA's executives need to buy the new iYatch model launched this year. The wants of the few outweight the needs of the many.

Where is the news? (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 2 years ago | (#42023829)

Patents and copyrights can already be asserted in most African nations, as they're signatories on many of the various copyright and patent treaties (PTC, Berne, etc)

If fleas could talk (4, Insightful)

xs650 (741277) | about 2 years ago | (#42023851)

When I hear crap like that I am reminded that "If fleas could talk, they would tell you how they benefit dogs."

Re:If fleas could talk (1)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | about 2 years ago | (#42023909)

s/fleas/lawyers/

Vermin by any other name.

Ho! Ho! Ho! Green Giant! (1)

westlake (615356) | about 2 years ago | (#42023863)

Seeds. Canned goods. Fresh fruits and vegetables. Corporate agriculture and agricultural co-ops began branding products no later than the 1880s.

Think about it for five minutes and you'll remember dozens of slogans, jingles and characters, some of them older than your great-grandparents. Branding works. IP has market value.
.

Re:Ho! Ho! Ho! Green Giant! (1)

JustOK (667959) | about 2 years ago | (#42024567)

Myanmar decorticate

Fuck them! (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#42023877)

"Intellectual property rights" are the basis for today's starvation and scarcity based economy and world wide suffering.

These goddamn people should be strung up. Unfortunately they are killing people and they are winning. It's gonna take a hell of a lot more than these symbolic 24 hour strikes to get any results. You better know they will start shooting before they give up one bit of their power. Can we stand up to it? If not, the battle is already lost.

Re:Fuck them! (3, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 2 years ago | (#42024149)

IP is not the reason for starvation. While IP is in no way a good thing (applying rules used for scarce goods doesn't work when the goods are not scarce) it is government practices that create starvation. From corrupt African countries refusing to distribute aid to their people to western countries who pay people not to farm and actively try to maintain high food prices for their farmers. Those policies are the reason for starvation, not Monsanto's patented crops.

Why not? (1)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | about 2 years ago | (#42023971)

After all, "Juan Valdez" is a complete marketing dynasty. So effective that people actually think that Colombian coffee actually ** IS ** the richest in the world (it's not, Kona richer). In Colombia there are Juan Valdez coffee shops, etc. More power to them.

Re:Why not? (2)

JustOK (667959) | about 2 years ago | (#42024573)

Plus, he caused that Gulf Oil spill in Alaska.

Because Africa is well known for creating IP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42023985)

Not mega corporations who bribe their ways into creating the IP laws, and use this as an excuse to take complete control of developing countries.

Not that IP is inherently evil, it's just been manipulated into being evil. Increasing it's power will only make it worse.

Re:Because Africa is well known for creating IP (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 2 years ago | (#42024127)

IP -is- inherently evil (aside from trademarks which are used for the consumer's benefit to prevent fraud). Our entire system of property is designed with scarcity in mind. You can't, for instance, have two people each eat the same hamburger in its entirety. Nor could one person who wants to drive to San Fransisco and one person who wants to drive to New York City share a car (assuming that they each wanted to arrive in their cities at the same time). Thus we have ownership. If we could duplicate cars or hamburgers with minimal to no raw materials it would be rather silly to prevent someone from duplicating a hamburger or car.

IP attempts to use property rights designed for scarce goods in an environment where there is no scarcity. Naturally, it fails.

Re:Because Africa is well known for creating IP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42024273)

The point of IP is to ensure artists and inventors earn an income, and so continue to pursue their profession. It's been corrupted, like most laws, so that the intermediaries, (mostly large corporations), make most of the money. Extending IP to agriculture, where there are no artists or inventors is just plain calamatus.

Re:Because Africa is well known for creating IP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42024747)

The point of IP is to ensure artists and inventors earn an income, and so continue to pursue their profession.

It's inherently evil because it inherently violates actual property rights, promotes censorship, and lets artists and inventors get off even if they failed to come up with a viable business model.

To any moral person, that is nothing but evil.

Civet process coffee is the bomb (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42024015)

Don't knock the Civet coffee until you've tried it, its the bomb.

Re:Civet process coffee is the bomb (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42024493)

dont you mean its the shit?

of course (1)

nimbius (983462) | about 2 years ago | (#42024205)

in 2003 WIPO would move to have open source stricken from the books as it were. We were relishing the much famed third stage of Ghandis "first they ignore you" speech. Ironically enough, "intellectual property" was also a consideration when british colonialists slaughtered en-masse many on the indian subcontinent for daring to make their own salt, tax free mind you, from sea water.

Coffee is a globally traded commodity, and many blends are in fact copy written. try to grind your own Folgers, BlueBottle or Stumptown analogue, and you'll likely find an armada of lawyers jackbooted at your doorstep. men will fight as dogs will bark for money so long as American capitalism(c) is touted abroad as some panacea for the malady of the third world; much of which, wrought by first world hands to begin with. Intellectual property is just another system by which the stratification of social classes is enforced. Much as knowledge was the privy of lords and kings in the middle ages, such is the knowledge today the privy of a christened few who hold the 'intellectual' rights.

only when enough people, and perhaps they already have, realize this model to be corrupt to the core, will there be much interest in combating it. a MjÃlnir of sorts was forged in 1989 by a man named Richard Stallman which has to date been the only effective weapon against "intellectual property." I would predict a GPLv3 coffee would elicit no less than cringing terror in the body WIPO. I smile to think it might be considered as an alternative in places like Malawi and Columbia, but am resigned to conclude it will be smeared into taboo and counter-culture.

Re:of course (2)

baegucb (18706) | about 2 years ago | (#42024733)

Please learn the difference between copywrite and trademarks. I can blend any coffees I want, I can't call them Folger's etc.

It depends ... (1)

PPH (736903) | about 2 years ago | (#42024215)

... on how the brands are defined and used.

Champagne must come from the Champagne region of France. Parmesan (Parmigiano-Reggiano) must be produced in a limited number of Italian provinces. There are other examples of such branding that convey the quality and source of various products. If this is what they are after, I'm fine with it.

But if the goal is to sell a particular brand name associated with a region or culture to a corporation for their use on any old product, forget it. I'm not in favor of some growers commoditizing their reputation.

Calm down (4, Informative)

eddeye (85134) | about 2 years ago | (#42024477)

All IP is not created equal. Here they are simply talking about trademarking by regions. Why? Because of vanilla. Madagascar vanilla was recognized as the best in the world. But Madagascar farmers got like 10 cents per pod, while the pods sell in NY for 50 dollars a pod (made up numbers, but you get the point). So the farmers create a geographical indicator (GI) for Madagascar vanilla, certify their product, and now make 25 dollars per pod.

Coffee is just following this model, so you can market Zimbabwe coffee and Ghana coffee and wherever else and the farmers get to keep a greater share of the profits. Honestly I don't see how this is anything but good - poor farmers keep more of the market value of their product.

When you hear the word IP, don't foam at the mouth picturing Simon Legree twirling his mustache. Stop, think, and listen. IP is just a tool, it can be used for good or ill.

That actually is a good thing (3, Interesting)

SpaghettiPattern (609814) | about 2 years ago | (#42024709)

I'm reading Michael Porter's "Competitive Strategy". Apparently it's the manager's bible.

Porter advocates that competition to be the best is not a viable path to follow. Instead value must be created, the value chain must be enforced and the influences concerning 1) threats of competition, 2) threats of substitution, 3) bargaining power of customers and 4) bargaining power of suppliers must be managed well. Porter mentions patents and IP as factors but, of course, takes no political position.

So, the most important issue here is that it's actually good that coffee producers actively consider competitive strategy. It should result in a more balanced coffee market whereby 1) we value and pay more for it and 2) the value chain of producing countries is enforced.
It remains to be seen whether the distribution of this newly created wealth will be undertaken fairly.

Whether IP is good or bad is besides the point. It's merely a factor in developing and managing a business strategy. IP is available to any body or organisation in equal quantities.

I also realise I'm on /. and that IP is discussed vigorously here. My stance on IP is one with a good deal of skepticism. IP is derived form an intellect which always belongs to a person. I reject the concept of collective intellect whereby a business believes it nourishes and/or owns it.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?