Category Archives: Biological Diversity

Biological Diversity Geographical Indication Plant Variety Protection Traditional Knowledge

Rice & IP: The ongoing Basmati imbroglio, the ‘Green Rice’ mystery & the IR8 celebrations


Over the last year with the Monsanto-Nuziveedu dispute, India has witnessed one of its biggest IP disputes in the agricultural sector. The Basmati GI dispute also has huge implication but as I’m reminded, often, by several people, geographical indications (GI) do not qualify as IP. These disputes aside, we’ve also come across two other very interesting cases of green rice and IR8 celebrations. Basmati rice – When did geography become an issue? As we’ve written earlier on SpicyIP, there is…


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Biological Diversity

Bombay and Uttarakhand High Courts Clarify Points on Benefit Sharing under the Biological Diversity Act


Two recent orders from the High Courts of Bombay and Uttarakhand raise jurisdictional and substantive points relating to the benefit sharing mechanism provided for under the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 (‘BDA’) along with the Biodiversity Rules, 2004. Both cases discuss the alternative of taking the cases at hand to the National Green Tribunal (‘NGT’) instead, and examine its jurisdictional powers. Regular readers of the blog will recall our previous posts on the topic, but read here and here for some…


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Biological Diversity Patent

The Moo Point: Cows and Bulls lock horns with IPRs


The good old cow was mooing along and minding her business when suddenly the Narendra Modi government was elected and she was catapulted from minor celebrity status to headline grabbing stardom. Everyone wants to protect her; self-appointed cow vigilantes have cropped all over the country who have no qualms in committing murder in her name.  Prime minister Narendra Modi last week issued a statement condemning self styled cow protectors as “anti-social”. Recently a PIL was also filed in the Supreme…


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Biological Diversity

Brazilians (Finally) Seek Permission to Milk the Benefits of the Ongole Bull


The Times of India reports that a Brazilian team has made an application to the National Biodiversity Authority to obtain 5,000 units of the germplasm of the Ongole Bull, a species of cattle indigenous to Andhra Pradesh. The Ongole Bull, which takes its name from the region where its mainly bred (the Ongole Taluka in southern Andhra Pradesh) is a large species of cattle which serves well in draught prone areas. This makes it naturally popular in AP, where it…


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Biological Diversity Copyright Drug Regulation Patent Trademark Traditional Knowledge

Need Your Feedback: Report on Indian IP and Public Health


A month or so ago, I’d sent around an email to our SpicyIP mailing group asking for inputs on a report on IP and public health (for the WHO India Office). The report (authored by some of the SpicyIP team) deals with patents for the most part, but also contains chapters on trademarks, copyrights and traditional knowledge/biodiversity. The idea was that it would serve as a basic primer for those interested in a quick overview of the key legal issues around…


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Biological Diversity

[SpicyIP Tidbit] Nagoya Protocol to enter into force in October


The Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing is all set to enter into force from October 12, 2014 pursuant to its ratification by 51 countries (ratification by 50 countries being the threshold requirement). The Nagoya Protocol, which aims to protect countries from biopiracy and misappropriation of biological resources, was agreed to in October 2010. India had signed the same in 2011 an the Union Cabinet had ratified it in 2012. (Swaraj’s post on the same is available here). The…


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Biological Diversity Patent Traditional Knowledge

Ministry of Health announces AYUSH Open-Access Research Portal for Medicinal Herbs and Plants


Today we draw the attention of our readers to a press release issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare as recently as on December 10, 2013, regarding documentation of certain medicinal herbs in India. The information in the release consists of the official reply of the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Shri Gulam Nabi Azad in response to an issue raised in the Rajya Sabha. The release voices an intimation by the Department of Industrial Policy…


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Biological Diversity

An initiative to kill the Knowledge Initiative on Agriculture


While the Indo-U.S. civil nuclear agreement continues to flounder in the ‘Intensive Care Unit’ of the Prime Minister’s Office, Indian bureaucrats look all set to kill yet another high level Indo-U.S. bilateral agreement called the Knowledge Initiative on Agriculture (KIA). The KIA which was announced on July 18, 2005 by the then U.S. President George Bush and the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was intended to  facilitate technology transfer and research in the field of Indian agriculture. The aim of…


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Biological Diversity

Guest Post: The complex problem of developing modern drugs from Ayurveda


Today, we have for our readers, a guest post by Priyanka Pulla, a freelance journalist, on the difficulties in developing modern drugs from Ayurveda. A couple of weeks ago, Priyanka had written this excellent piece, titled “Ayurveda: Hoax or Science?” which featured as the cover story on Open magazine. After reading the story, I invited Priyanka to write us a guest post on the Ayurvedic drug industry and she has indulged us with the following post on the issues faced…


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Biological Diversity

Off-topic: Press Release Journalism by the Times of India in the ESG-Monsanto case


Image from here Earlier this year, on the 10 of May, 2010 one of India’ national newspapers, Hindu carried a first of its kind story alleging that its rival competitor and the largest selling English newspaper in the world, the Times of India was publishing advertisements for Monsanto’s Bt cotton crop as ‘news’ without informing its readers that the same was an advertisement – a phenomenon known as ‘paid news’ in India. I won’t get into the accuracy of Hindu’s…


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