Microbes can be patented

Mashelkar report says modified organisms are intellectual property

THE expert group on patent law headed by R A Mashelkar has recommended that microbes like bacteria, fungi and virus should be patented if they have been modified. The committee has also said India cannot limit its patents to new chemical substances in pharmaceutical products. The recommendations were submitted to the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry in early April.

A similar report submitted by the committee in December 2008 had to be withdrawn following charges of plagiarism (see

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