Patent of Ayurvedic system of medicine in India

Patent of Ayurvedic system of medicine in IndiaUnder the Agreement on Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) to which India is committed, every country is required to accord to the nationals of other members, treatment which is no less favourable than it accords to its own nationals with regard to the protection of intellectual property.

The Government has taken measures to safeguard the national interest in respect of grant of patents based on indigenous medicinal / herbal products / plants, besides exclusions provided for in the Patents Act 1970. These exclusions and measures are outlined below:

• Patents cannot be granted to plants, including medicinal/ herbal plants, or any part thereof including seeds, varieties and species and essentially biological processes for production or propagation of plants as per section 3 (j) of the Patents Act, 1970.

• An invention, which in effect, is traditional knowledge or which is an aggregation or duplication of known properties of traditionally known component or components, is not patentable under Section 3(p) of the Patents Act, 1970.

• The Government has established the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) with the objective of preventing misappropriation of Indian traditional knowledge on Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha medicinal systems. The TKDL has been prepared in five languages, namely English, French, German, Japanese and Spanish in patent compatible format. It makes available Indian traditional knowledge which are already in public domain, to the patent examiners so that such patent applications which claim Indian traditional knowledge are rejected at the examination stage itself.

• The TKDL has been made available to select Patent Offices in the world for conducting prior art search for Indian traditional knowledge and not to grant patent if the subject-matter under the patent application pertains to the Indian traditional knowledge.

• Council of Scientific and Industrial Research files opposition in various patent offices across the world against any patent applications based on Indian Traditional Knowledge.

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