Ethiopia wins back Teff

Melat Mulugeta

Teff has been the basic grain for Ethiopia’s staple food, Injera for millennia. But a Dutch company registered a European patent for teff-related products, claiming that these were “invented” by a certain Jans Roosjen, a senior company official in 2003. Ethiopia has been in a legal battle for years to regain the patent rights. The rights are quite valuable to Ethiopia since it helps to exploit the growing global market for Teff.

After years of debate, the Hague Court ruled in favor of Ethiopia, and the announcement was made today after the waiting period for an appeal passed.