Patent Regime in India Related to Micro-organisms | A Critical Analysis

Kumar Salva Raghuvanshi
National Law School of India University, Bengaluru

A patent for a new invention in the field of patent law, grants the inventor an exclusive right to exclude others from using the invention within a specified jurisdiction for a limited period of time (20 years). In sum, an invention is patentable if it is novel, non-obvious, and useful, involves inventive step, is having industrial applicability and is not excluded subject matter. A patent for any invention comes into existence only when it has been registered. In some countries including India there is a requirement of examination as to whether the patented invention satisfies the statutory conditions of patentability or not. The application must also disclose and describe the invention sufficiently for it to be put into effect by a person skilled in the art. Since, the late 1970 scientist in India have been applying their engineering to cause living organisms to express genetic material from outside their own species, with an extraordinary result. A new strain of plants produces higher yields, resists viruses and pests, and is productive in formerly unwelcome climates and promotes the agricultural sector which is considered to be backbone of Indian economy. These scientists with these latest inventions thought for their protection under Patent Law regime and hence the prospect of patents on “living inventions” ultimately provoked a dreadful clamour, with intense public concern overly a field of law often considered obscure. However, the legislators, considering the holistic impact of the “patentability of microorganisms” in India, made a departure from the discovery of microorganisms to invention of microorganisms so as to reward only the genuine invention. In this paper the researchers will try to answer as to how and why patenting of living organisms in India is a need of hour towards promoting scientific development. For the aforesaid purpose the research will be largely doctrinal, analytical and comparative in nature depending on primary and secondary source material.

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Posted by Suvid Chaturvedi