An Indigenous small business owner in Queensland is locked in a legal battle over the use of a native tree in her bush medicines.
Lee Doherty is the owner of the Golden Gumby Gumby Company, an online business selling traditional medicines made using the Gumby Gumby tree. She was horrified to receive a cease and desist letter, claiming her business infringed a patent and trademark held by another Gumby Gumby medicine supplier.
The case raises serious questions over the trademarking of Indigenous words and cultural practices, and highlights similar cases of cultural misappropriation.
*GumbyGumby.com was contacted for comment, but declined.