Should a corporation be able to patent a widely used naturally occuring compound? Multinational Nestle is having a go. Nestle has applied for a patent for the medicinal properties of a compound found in Nigella sativa, a kind of fennel, used for more than a thousand years in Chinese and Indian herbal medicine.How can a naturally occuring compound that has been in use for so long possibly be subject to a patent? For those who like me feel that this is not something that can be subject to corporate ownership please sign the petition here: