Innovation Patent

Moving towards the Nano Age


Heralding the arrival of the fist wave of Nano therapeutics, India begins its tryst with the ‘Science of Minuscule’.

Indian innovation as large in its prowess in the field of Biomed is all set to usher in the Nano Medical era-one that is likely to be as promising and challenging.

In January this year, Dabur Pharma launched a novel nanotechnology-based drug delivery system, Nanoxel, for the anti-cancer drug Paclitaxel. This nanoscale drug delivery system is India‘s first indigenously developed nanotechnology based chemotherapy agent.

A number of nanobiotechnology companies have emerged recently, that are also looking at therapeutic benefits of nanomaterials.

Nano medicine and therapeutics are essentially multi disciplinary in their configuration. Encompassing diverse fields such as Biotechnology, energy, chemistry throw up a gamut of IP issues and a complicated legal landscape. Posing as a classic case of ‘sum of the parts larger than the whole’, policy makers are likely to grapple with issues both old and new.

This would entail an examination of existing patent provisions and available ‘policy levers’ that account for the multi and the interdisciplinary nature of this innovation. Is there a holistic solution within the existing legal framework to address the IP issues ? Else, do we consider a stand alone technology specific legislation that is in consonance with larger policy practicums’?

To examine this techno-legal dilemma perhaps calls for ‘peeling of the onion layers’ approach, where the IP issues specific to each discipline are examined independently and thereafter feasibility of an integrated Nano legislation is explored.

Choosing one over the other seems fraught with practical concerns. The answer seems to lie somewhere between the two!

A suggested way around the Nano path, would be to find solutions within the existing patent framework and provide for innovations current and yet to come, within the proposed Innovation Law.

Again, most Nano innovations are based on basic science discoveries. The implications of ‘Building block’ patents on further upstream Nano R&D , the granting of patents to Nano advances, and in a manner that ensures that the basic and advanced Nano tech synergise in an inter operable manner are vital IP issues in the Nano light. I definitely do see room for a Bayh Dole tweaked to the Indian context.

Not in the least, Nano medicine yet again throws up the gauntlet of ethical considerations that go with medical access and innovation as well as the incessant developing-developed divide.What is the Indian stance is anyones guess!

With a clear cut thrust on capacity building measures to bolster the Nano Age, India needs to engage in an exigent legislative exercise.An ‘Innovation Act that embraces within its mandate, a vision that accounts for current dynamics and provides flexible levers for future innovations points to the way ahead.

In postscript, a nano dose for the dyed in the wool desi…..Hail Charaka!

One of the areas that have caught the attention of the scientists and technologists working in the area of nanotechnology across the world is the use of bhasma in Ayurveda.

It has been found by several researchers that some of these formulations have nanoparticles in them. For many, it is still a great surprise that the 5000-year-old Indian system of medicine, had some knowledge of Nanoscience and technology, which modern medicine has started exploring in the 21st century.

A brownie point for ‘Advantage India’ alright!

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