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Patently Absurd

Rotten tomato for Monsanto

Issue Date: Jan 31, 2015
European patent No.1812575 was extraordinary on a number of counts. It was held by Monsanto of the US. Ah, yes, Monsanto, one of the top agribiotech companies in the world, but this patent had nothing to do with genetic modification (GM).It covered conventionally bred tomatoes with natural resistance to a fungal disease called botrytis. Even more astonishing, the tomatoes used for this patent were accessed from the international gene bank in Gatersleben, Germany. And in the scientific community everyone knew these tomato varieties had the desired resistance.

A victory and a retreat on CLs

Issue Date: Jan 15, 2015

He had a dream and a copyright

Issue Date: Dec 31, 2014
Narendra modi or, perhaps, his advisers choose gifts for heads of state with some thought. When the prime minister went to Washington in September for bilateral talks with Barack Obama, he gave the US president memorabilia related to Black rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

Wooing the judges, openly

Issue Date: Dec 15, 2014
LObbying takes place in various guises and is not always subtle or hidden from public view. When the Intellectual Property Owners Association of the US or IPO sent a 17-member delegation to Chennai and Delhi in November, it made no bones about its agenda.

Cipla's audacious move

Issue Date: Nov 30, 2014
India's fourth largest pharmaceuticals company Cipla has thrown a bombshell. It has made a generic version of a patented Novartis drug used to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and has, at the same time, asked the government to revoke the five patents that the Swiss company holds on the drug Indacetorol.

Patent issues delaying Ebola cure

Issue Date: Nov 15, 2014
This is  the rather hair-raising story of how intellectual property rights (IPRs) have taken precedence over human lives in complete disregard of the catastrophic effects of a global public health emergency.

Big step for biocultural rights

Issue Date: Oct 31, 2014
As the 12th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) got under way in Pyeongchang in the Republic of Korea it had a momentous achievement to celebrate. CBD’s top decision-making body kicked off its meeting on October 6, just days ahead of the Nagoya Protocol coming into force on October 12.

Pursuing a nationalist IPR policy

Issue Date: Oct 15, 2014
IT was an unexpected announcement that conveyed a strong message. “We are very strong in IPR (intellectual property rights) and we want to protect our national interest. That does not mean we are going to be regressive or restrictive, but it is the duty and right of the government to protect the IPR of our country.” That was Union minister for commerce and industry Nirmala Sitharaman at a recent meeting where she outlined the objectives her ministry had set for itself.

ICAR chases patents for pickle

Issue Date: Sep 30, 2014
If there is a quintessential Andhra dish, it is gongura. This is a sour, leafy plant—usually described as sorrel (hibiscus sabdariffa) and sometimes as roselle—that is added to traditional dishes of the Andhra cuisine to give these an unmatched zing.

Tesla's `insane' move to free up patents

Issue Date: Sep 15, 2014
Perhaps only Elon Musk could have done this. After all, only a revolutionary can set off a revolution. Musk is an engineer-turned-entrepreneur who has set up impossible businesses—an electric car company, Tesla, and a rocket building company, SpaceX.
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