Indian Government Protects Native Plants

July 1, 2000

1 Min Read
Indian Government Protects Native Plants

Indian Government Protects Native Plants

NEW DELHI--In an effort to strengthen Indian patent laws over medicinal plants and to keep foreign firms from patenting them, the government here will introduce new laws to protect 2,001 Indian medicinal plants from foreign patents.

The list of plants will be accessible on a government-funded website, which has not yet been launched. Among the plants listed on the site will be Darjeeling tea and Basmati rice, margosa and neem. The site will explain why those plants are protected and what makes them specific to India.

According to the proposed new laws, "inventors" [those who create a new product or process for an industrial application that involves an "inventive step"] will have 20 years of patent protection for any kind of invention. The patent holder would be able to prevent third parties from selling or importing said product in India without consent. In addition, marketing approvals for those other than the patent holder can only be awarded [by the appropriate regulatory authority] three years before a patent expires, and only with the intention of developing and marketing that product in India.

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