"n the computer world, there have been a number of efforts to
provide prior art to patent offices, either after a patent is
granted, in order to have it rescinded, or -- even better -- as
part of the examination process. That's fine for a community with
easy access to online source materials, but what about other
fields, where prior art exists in other forms like books, or
"This is a particularly thorny problem for the sphere of
traditional medicine. Substances derived from plants, for example,
may have been in use for literally thousands of years, and yet
patents may still be granted -- especially in Western countries
ignorant of other ancient medical traditions."
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