IPO issues guidelines on patents related to traditional knowledge and biological material

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On November 8, the Indian Patent Office (IPO) issued guidelines on how the Patent Office is going to deal with patent applications related to traditional knowledge and biological material. The guidelines include the allotment and screening process for patent applications related to traditional knowledge and biological material, examination process for such patent applications (including a set of guidelines for determining novelty and inventive step), the role of National Biodiversity Authority.

The IPO has also asked for comments and/or suggestions regarding the same, where the comments and/or suggestions may be provided by November 22, 2012.

This is a welcome move from the IPO and clarifies its position on patent applications related to traditional knowledge and biological material, which were being granted in India, but at the same time, similar patent applications were being prevented from being patented using Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) in other countries.

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