Turmeric patent case

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  • 1. Turmeric patent case
  • 2. History 17th century Kerala: The Portuguese had anchored off the Malabar coast and were received with warmth by the Zamorin. After a few days, the palace guards rush breathless into the court, lit with alarm. "Your Majesty, the foreigners are on the hill slopes," they report. "uprooting pepper vines and carrying them away to the ships. If they begin to grow these in their lands we will lose our trade." The Zamorin is unperturbed: "Ah, don't worry too much. They may take the vines but how can they take our monsoons."
  • 3. Issue of patent May, 1995 the US Patent Office granted to the University of Mississippi Medical Center a patent [#5,401,504] for "Use of Turmeric in Wound Healing.
  • 4. Awaken to intellectual property right The patent was promptly challenged by Dr. R A Mashelkar, an Indian scientist who has done much to awaken India to Intellectual Property Rights issues. Director general of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) (1995-2006)
  • 5. The case
  • 6. Prevention of further cases CSIR, India, is directing the creation of a massive data base that will record all practical ideas proposed in Indian knowledge systems. Once created this will deny bio-pirates -- on the basis of prior knowledge of their use having existed.
  • 7. THANK YOU!