INTRODUCTION - Biopiracy is combination of terms like bio and piracy. Bio means living beings that include plants and animals whereas Piracy means without proper compensation OR copy of the original. Biopiracy relates to undue advantage of living beings, Unauthorized Valuable Traditional knowledge by Multinational Companies. Biopiracy can be defined as Use of Bio resources by Multinational Companies or other organization without proper authorisation from the countries and from the people concerned without compensatory payment. Example – Basmati Rice, African super-sweet berries, Azadirachta Indica Neem, Enola Bean, Rosy Periwinkle, etc. In India, There are more than 2 Lakh varieties of Rice. Basmati Rice is one of the famous Variety of Rice which itself has 27 varieties. In 1997, US Company got Patent from Trade Mark and US for Basmati Rice that actually belongs to India. They have crossed Basmati Rice and Semi dwarf Variety and made new variety that has been named as Novelty for which the application for patent was given in US. But the product cannot get patent as it is obtained from the patent Variety of Rice, Basmati. This is called Biopiracy. To avoid such cases, every country has made its rules for Biopiracy. India also has its rules for Biopiracy. According to that Indian Patent Bills had passed.
BIOPIRACY - Biopiracy can also be defined as using the nature knowledge of indigenous people, without permission of financial gains. Biopiracy means not only the smuggling of diverse flora and fauna, but mainly the appropriation of population’s knowledge and biological resources. Biopiracy also causes the loss of control of traditional populations over their resources. In other words, Collection of Genetic material of plants, animals and other biological resources that have been identified and developed and are owned by companies and manufacturers through Patents, without their prior consent.
WHY THERE IS NEED TO STOP BIOPIRACY? • Biopiracy is the illegal appropriation of lifemicroorganisms, plants and animals and the traditional cultural knowledge that accomplishes it. • It is illegal because, in violation of international conventions and corresponding domestic laws. It does not recognise, respect or adequately compensate the owners for their traditional knowledge related to their propagation, use and commercial benefit. • There is a need to stop Biopiracy because of the patenting of biological materials, the locals of the affected country would have less. If not, none at all, access to those new developments which is possibly their original idea or discovery in the first place. Those who are granted the parents would have exclusive rights to their invention and can therefore raise the prices if they choose to.
TYPES OF BIOPIRACY There are two different kinds of access in Biopiracy. Legal Access and Illegal Access 1. Legal Access: - Legal Access relates to the right to Intellectual Property. Many non-governmental organisations consider biopiracy as an application for a patent on a plant Or for the simple application of traditional knowledge where there is no representation of an innovation or inventive activity. Using such patents, industry seizes the natural characteristics of genetic resources or traditional knowledge from the southern countries. In such cases, the burden of proof lies on the injured parties, who often have financial issues or doesn’t have legal knowledge to initiate a procedure for the re-examination of the patent. 2. Illegal Access: - Illegal Access is characterised by practices contravening the principles of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and its implementation in national legislation. The CBD entrusts each country with the management of its genetic resources. To guarantee such sharing, any person or institution wishing to access genetic resources must obtain Prior Informed Consent (PIC) from the owner. Moreover, any rewards arising from traditional knowledge, must be shared in a fair and equitable manner between the parties, known as Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS). If these rules are infringed, this is defined as biopiracy.
INDIAN PATENT BILLS The Indian Patents Act, 1970 came into force in the year 1972, amending and consolidating the existing law relating to Patents in India.The Patents Act, 1970 was again amended in 2005, wherein product patent was extended to all fields of technology including food, drugs, chemicals and micro-organisms. A provision has been introduced to enable the grant of compulsory licenses. Provisions related to pre-grant and anti-post protests have also been introduced. A private bill has been presented, that is known as the Protection of Indian Traditional Knowledge Act 2016.The bill includes the characteristics of traditional knowledge and what it incorporates, and makes the Central and State Governments the custodians of all the traditional Knowledge in India. The turmeric battle, more commonly known as ‘haldighatikiladai’ casts a light on the urgent need to protect Traditional Knowledge, the inadequacy of the laws surrounding its protection.
PROCEDURE OF PATENT Step 1: Write about inventions with each and every detail Step 2: It must involve a diagram, drawing and sketch explains the Invention Step 3: To check whether the Invention is patentable subject or not Step 4: Patent Discovery Step 5: File Patent Application Step 6: Publication of the application Step 7: Request for Examination Step 8: Answer the objections Step 9: clearance of objections FAMOUS CASE LAWS 1. Kava (Fiji and Vanuatu) 2. Quinoa (Andes) 3. Banaba and other Medical Plants (Philippines) 4. Bitter Gourd (Thailand) 5. Neem Tree (India) 6. Rosy Periwinkle (Madagascar)