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Intellectual property

October 26, 2011

Tem Smitinand’s book ‘Thai Plant Names’ was published in 1980 and then revised after his death and published again in 2001. It is an important check-list of Thai plants and numerous Thai names are included in addition to the scientific names. Unfortunately the book is sold out by the publisher (Royal Forest Department), and we may have to wait another ten years for the next revision.

When I visited the Chiang Mai University herbarium the curator, Mr James Maxwell, showed me another publication from 1948 which is surprisingly similar to Smitinand’s of 1980: Winit, W.P. (Wanankorn Phya) 1948. Siamese Plant Names. Royal Forest Department. Bangkok. 504 pages.

Surprisingly this book is not even mentioned in Smitinand’s 2001 edition, but evidently this is the foundation of Smitinand’s book. Although a dead scientist could not care less, I think we should acknowledge the original author of historical reasons, and acknowledge the fact that the Royal Forest Department published important books already in 1948. Tuning an already existing book or invention is less difficult than being the original author or inventor. Giving all the credit to Tem Smitinand is like claiming Toyota invented the automobile.

Text & Photo: Eric Danell

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jan Henriksson permalink
    October 26, 2011 11:50 AM

    Hej Erik.
    Som svensk hær och intresserad i plantor ,buskar och træd, har børjat att plantera en del på tomten, men har ingen kunskap i Thai språket och har dærfør problem med att finna fram och vælja rætt plantor hær.Tar del i vad du skriver hær, men skulle gærna ha råd var jag kan køpa bøcker om væxter som ær bra och møjligt att odla hær.
    Vistas størsta delen av året hær, Chiang Mai.
    Kommer att besøka Dokmai garden, men åker hem en tur næsta vecka, behøver skaffa ny visa, gærna før ett år i taget nær jag kommer hem.

    • October 27, 2011 7:16 PM

      Mycket välkommen när det passar! Dokmai Garden har drygt tusen växtarter så ett besök här är en bra start. Vi har en del litteratur till salu och kan tipsa om andra titlar när Du kommer hit.

      Allt gott hälsar Eric

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