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October 31, 2012

Government revokes Avesthagen's Jamun patent


As per a report by Times of India, Indian government has revoked a patent that had been granted by the Indian Patent Office to Avesthagen. The patent titled, “A synergistic ayurvedic/functional food bioactive composition (cincata) and a process of preparation thereof” and bearing application number 1076/CHE/2007 was filed on 23 May, 2007 and was granted on 25 April, 2012. Based on the TOI article, it is fair to assume that such revocation might have been provided under Sec. 66 of the Patent Act, which provides central government with the power to revoke patents.

It is also interesting to note that the Indian patent had a family patent application in Europe. The European family patent application had received third party observations from CSIR based on TKDL data. Furthermore, the applicants failed to response to the cited objections. The European application was finally deemed to be withdrawn due to non payment of renewal fee.

On the other hand, the Indian family patent seemed to have overcome all issues to finally receive a patent grant. Although, the examination reports were not available at this time, it would be interesting to note if the examiners had cited the same references, what EPO considered to be novelty anticipating.

In light of these facts, the following questions come to mind:

1. Is the Indian Patent Office really using TKDL to grant worthy patents?

2. Did CSIR submit the observations it submitted to EPO to IPO as well. If yes, why no pre-grant representation or post-grant opposition filed. (On a lighter note, did CSIR think that IPO examiners at Chennai would be able to find and understand the Tamil references and cite in examination reports, whereas EPO guys wouldn’t.)

These questions will hopefully be answered once the documents relating to the decision is accessible. 

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