Friday, March 14, 2008

India, Brazil 'impeding' patent harmonisation: experts

Countries like India and Brazil are "impeding the process" of patent harmonisation by mixing up issues of traditional knowledge and genetic resources with IPR, a group of international experts on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) said today. "India and Brazil are the only two countries to rake up such issues. They are trying to kill patents and destroy efforts of patent harmonisation," Martin J Adelman of the George Washington University Law School told reporters here.

To prove his point, he cited the recent Novartis case in which the Swiss firm's petition challenging section 3(d) of Patents Amendment Act, was dismissed by the Madras High Court. The court last year dismissed two writ petitions challenging constitutional validity of section 3d of the Patent (amendments) Act 2005.

India's wealth was not dependent on traditional knowledge but the strides it makes technologically and scientifically. "Everybody will be richer if India and Brazil recognise that traditional knowledge is not a patent issue," he said.
Heniz Bardehle, partner of German firm 'Bardehle, Pagenberg, Dost, Altenburg and Geissler,' said the patent system was only for novelty and new inventions and not for the traditional knowledge. The patent was a worldwide mechanism to create wealth, he added. Herbert C Wamsley, Executive Director of US-Intellectual Property Owners Association, said patent system in India was about to expand in enormous way with patent applications trebling in the last five years. Over 28,000 applications had been filed in the country, he said.

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