AHG Statement on Trademark of Traditional Herbal Preparations
The American Herbalists Guild (AHG) is a non-profit, educational, member-based association of herbal practitioners founded to represent the goals and voices of herbalists specializing in the medicinal use of plants. The AHG’s primary goal is to promote a high level of professionalism and education in the study and practice of therapeutic herbalism, whether based on modern biomedical, traditional, or other approaches.
The AHG opposes the granting of a trademark to a traditional herbal preparation predating any single company’s product. We believe the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office should respect the traditional use of herbs as a common good predating the modern use of trademarks. We urge the Office to review all applications with regards to traditional use and no longer grant trademarks if the product concerned has a generally accepted and historically known use.
The AHG stands firmly with the herbal community in believing that traditional herbal preparations, names, recipes, formulations, etc. should be available freely to all. We believe that no trademark or other exclusive right, commercial or otherwise, including other intellectual property rights such as copyright, patent, etc. should be granted to any company or individual for a traditional or historically generic term or preparation.
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