NEW DELHI: India has foiled an attempt by a company based in the UK to patent use of turmeric, pine bark and green tea for treating hair loss, the Centre said on Sunday.
“India once again has been successful in protecting its traditional knowledge by preventing an attempt made by Europe’s leading dermaceutical laboratory, Pangaea Laboratories Limited, to take patent on a medicinal composition containing turmeric, pine bark and green tea for treating hair loss,” said a senior official of the Union Ministry of Science and Technology.
The Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL), a unit of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), located the patent application filed at the European Patent Office by M/S Pangaea Laboratories Limited and filed pre-grant opposition along with prior-art evidences from the TKDL, proving that turmeric, pine bark and green tea are being used as a treatment for hair loss since long in Indian systems of medicine such as Ayurveda and Unani.
The Pangaea Laboratories Limited had filed the patent application at the European Patent Office in February 2011. The CSIR-TKDL Unit filed evidences on January 13 last year, after the patent application got published on website, pursuant to which the patent application was finally withdrawn by the applicant on June 29 this year.
Till date, the CSIR-TKDL Unit has achieved success in about 200 such cases without any cost. Recently, the TKDL Unit foiled an attempt of M/S Colgate-Palmolive Company to patent a mouthwash formula containing herb (Nutmeg or Jaiphal) extract used in Indian traditional systems of medicine to cure oral diseases, at the European Patent Office.
India submitted proof in the form of references from ancient books in this case, which said the herb and its extracts of Myristica Fragrans were historically used for oral diseases in Indian systems of medicine.
At the same time, various institutions of the CSIR filed applications for 14 patents in the country and for 22 abroad in April this year.