New Jersey-based company get patent rights on karela, brinjal

CSIR to provide information about Indian herbs to create awareness

Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

Cromak Research Inc, a New Jersey-based company, has been granted patents for derivatives of karela (bitter gourd), jamun (syzygium cumini ) and brinjal. The company is owned by non-resident Indians.

Patent number 5900240 was given for anti-diabetic properties, despite their use being mentioned in several ancient Indian texts.

R A Mashelkar, director general, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR ), says, "Every year around 300,000 to 400,000 patent applications are submitted in the US. It is very difficult for them to confirm whether such products already exist in the market. Thus, it is important to create awareness about such plants through an electronic database. CSIR now plans to translate ancient literature and provide this information in English to spreadawareness about Indian herbs."

According to sources in the patent cell of the department of science and technology, the patent document does not mention that the medicinal value of these plants though they are indicated in Wealth of India, a compendium of Indian medicinal plants. It clearly says that these extracts can lower sugar levels.

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