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Bio-Piracy : Whose mistake?

datspreets Goldie

I-F Crazy Creatives
Joined: 10 April 2005
Posts: 1741

Posted: 22 December 2005 at 3:50am | IP Logged

For those not familiar with the term Bio-Piracy - it is populary used to describe theft of therapies,medicines & medical inventions of a region/country by anothher country's companies & then getting them patented & claimign them to be tehir own discovery/finding.

Yesssss,recently I read about India being teh worst hit by Bio-Piracy.Many medical practices/systems liek ayurveda,Unani & Sidha which originated in India about 1000s of years ago are being passed off by other nations as their discoveries and correspondingly are patented. A few egs of teh same -

  • In 1995, Us patent Ofice granted a patent on the wound healing property of turmeric.Indian scientists protested,fought a 2yr long legal battle and finally won it.
  • Indian scientists won another battle against European Patent Office who patented an anti-fungal product derived from neem tree which already is a part of traditional indian knowledge.

India has mainly suffered because infon exists in huge books maily in sanskrit, which have never or hardly been read,translated or even published in any other language.Hence public has no clue about their existance.Ther are nearly 150000 recorded ayurvedic,unani,siddha medicines  some 1500 asanas in yoga all origanting in India.

Now a project worth $2 million has been rolled out by Traditional Knowledge Digital Library which will bring out an encyclopedia of India's traditional medicines 7 hence stopping their piracy.Smile


Enough of the boring facts.LOL

Lets get to the real thing !

The debate lying here in :


Whose fault is it?or rather who is to balme fpor bio-piracy?

Indian's or the unaware patenting firms?










hazelgirl IF-Rockerz

Joined: 25 June 2005
Posts: 5745

Posted: 22 December 2005 at 6:37am | IP Logged
no idea.... Wink Wink

thanx,,for the info Tongue
Aparna_BD IF-Dazzler

Joined: 01 July 2005
Posts: 4924

Posted: 22 December 2005 at 8:16am | IP Logged
I would say Indians for having the wealth of knowledge .....but not getting things patented before some one else tries to !!
Rindam Senior Member

Joined: 24 October 2005
Posts: 821

Posted: 22 December 2005 at 8:54am | IP Logged
Before anyone asks anyone else not to patent they must ensure that they have a good patenting system and law in their own country.

The US and Europe have two welld eveloped systems and are different in who has the first right to patent. When a patent is disputed by two companies or two claimants, the US looks at who did the research first (to put it in very layman terms), Europe looks at who applied for the patent first, no matter that someone else could have published a paper or an abstract or done any reserach prior.

Turmeric itself cannot be patented unless someone invented it, it is not inventable since it is a discovery probably unless one synthetically made turmeric. Please read the claims of the patent issued or application. Benefits from turmeric could be patented

Also, anything that has been known for several years cannot be patented. The USPTO is flooded with tens of thousands of applications every year. India does not even have a proper system in place, so how does one begin to protect their intellectual property? One cannot stop anyone else from patenting, that is against international law. A Scientist might think of "scientific integrity" and "ethics" but corporate america (or anyone else for that matter) doesnt have to. It's business,

And of course Biopiracy, every new drug researched for several years most often in the US is pirated in India for cheaper. Who can stop that. For one drug as simple as a new version of tylenol to come into the market has such a long regulatory pathway its frustrating. And before you know there is a clone in India. How about that?

Also patenting is a method of sharing information, so if something must be kept secret companies call it a trade secret and file for that. Noone patents what is to be kept secret becasue the life of a patent is 17-20 years. After that everyone is free ot use the innovation. This is to avoid monopoly in the market and ensure that various small companies can also compete.

It works both ways, one has to deal with it and create their own system to protect intellectual property. The key to why the US is what it is today, and why most Indians gain recognition here in the US. They innovate-
Rindam Senior Member

Joined: 24 October 2005
Posts: 821

Posted: 22 December 2005 at 6:27pm | IP Logged

Hun, nothing personal but I see lots of statements in your debate kick off that I find confusing,

Your last statement Is India to blame or patenting firms?

First, patenting firms- Who are these firms you are referring to, Corporations in the US or worldwide or lawfirms that draft the applications?

Secondly, India, are you referring to the whole country? Who would own the knowledge that we have, the goverment, people, universities in India. For those authors are long gone.

Any published document is a method to share information. Once published everyone has a right to read it and/or apply it. Everyone has a right to knowledge, no one country or person can own it.

US as a country really does not own any patents, unless it is through the public universities that the Federal or State govt fund. Corporations own patents which give them a right to apply for the patents and make products for a certain period.

Now if Indian companies start to do this then they must, it costs about 10000 USD for the process of one patent application. I dont see the big Indian companies do this, lots of chieftains of these are on the worlds rich list. Take some money out of their pockets and serve their shareholders by innovating.


dare_dis_devil Groupbie

Joined: 07 December 2005
Posts: 136

Posted: 25 December 2005 at 10:31am | IP Logged
hey....interesting topic there....

well, i agree with rindam wen he says...."Any published document is a method to share information. Once published everyone has a right to read it and/or apply it. Everyone has a right to knowledge, no one country or person can own it.".....

so u knw may b the whole "aping the west" thingie applies here too..... we Indians were perhaps just busy aping the technologies, medical inventions, etc. of the west....n we completely n totally ignored the wealth of knowledge n experience that our own culture has..... so, one can't really blame US or ne othr country 4 piracy.....itz just that they made better n' faster use of information available....

n' in case.....whtever is in d whole med scenario is getting better day by day...n luk...good for the, as long as tht's happening....i dont think we shud u abt dis whole "patenting" issue....

thts just my way of luking at dis whole thing... Smile Smile Smile
nightangel IF-Sizzlerz

Joined: 20 May 2005
Posts: 11469

Posted: 26 December 2005 at 3:00am | IP Logged
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Dr. D3@t}{ Groupbie
Dr. D3@t}{
Dr. D3@t}{

Joined: 03 December 2005
Posts: 111

Posted: 27 December 2005 at 12:17am | IP Logged
cant say anything about it Ouch
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