Published: Sunday 30 April 2000

Tired of government apathy towards patenting of knowledge indigenous to the people of India by individuals and groups in foreign lands, a petitioner has moved the Supreme Court. Earlier, neem, amla, mustard, castor, turmeric and basmati were patented by foreign companies. Now it is the turn of the karela (bitter-gourd), jamun (java plum), gurmar (gymnema) and baingan (brinjal), essentially for their anti-diabetic properties. The petition filed on March 13, 2000 deals with these recent patents that have been awarded to two non-resident Indians ( nri s) and their colleague Peter Gloniski of the Cromak Research Inc based in New Jersey, usa.

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