India to Sign Agreement with US to Prevent Wrong Patents

Union Evironment Minister Jairam Ramesh has said that India will soon ink an agreement with the US to stop grant of wrong patents of India’s traditional products like neem, turmeric and basmati rice to American companies.

It may be mentioned that India already has identical pact with the European Patent Office, under which, India’s Traditional Knowledge Digital Library – a database on herbs and plants used in Ayurvedic, Unani, Homeopathy and Siddha – is provided to European patent examiners for reference at the time of grant of patents.

Ramesh highlighted that in the US and Europe, nearly 1, 500 patents for Indian medicine-based products are issued every year and for stopping this to happen, the Digital Library is contemplating to document “oral knowledge” as well.

The minister called for sustainable use of India’s bio-diversity resources and said that the bio-reserves of the country face a “grave threat” from within and outside India.

There is a need for massive effort to prevent poaching by involving tribes and villagers, who live near forests and whose livelihood depends on them, in conservation effort.

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