Patentability of Biotech Innovation in India and World- Critical Analysis

Patentability of Biotech Innovation in India and World- Critical Analysis


India is a number of the top 12 biotechnology destinations inside the world and has the third-biggest biotechnology enterprise in Asia-Pacific. India’s biotechnology industry is evolving hastily and growing at a compound annual boom rate of 20%. As in step with Bio spectrum’s 11th annual Indian biotechnology enterprise survey, the Indian biotechnology industry grew through 15.1% from 2012 to 2013, increasing its revenues to $381 billion. Further, the marketplace length of the world is predicted to boom to $eleven.6 billion via 2017. This rapid increase is attributed to a selection of things, along with heightened call for healthcare offerings, extensive R&D sports and robust government tasks. India is a massive market for biotechnology services and products because of its billion-plus population and increasing economic prosperity. The domestic enterprise is now stepping into innovation, with corporations focusing on strengthening their R&D improvement skills. In its 12th five-12 months plan, the Indian government ambitions to spend $three.7 billion at the biotechnology quarter, compared to $1.1 billion within the eleventh 5-year plan. The Indian biotechnology industry may be divided into five key segments: biopharmaceuticals, bio-services, bio-agriculture, bio-commercial and bioinformatics. Bio-prescription drugs bills for the biggest marketplace share, with over 60% of the whole sales.

Meaning of the Biotechnology

Biotechnology is an innovation that makes use of herbal frameworks, dwelling creatures or parts of this to create or make various items. With the development of a hereditary building during the Seventies, inquire about in biotechnology (and different related zones, as an example, medicinal drug, science and so on.) grew quickly attributable to the new possibility to make adjustments in the existence bureaucracy’ hereditary material (DNA). Today, biotechnology covers an extensive range of controls (e.g. Hereditary traits, herbal chemistry, atomic technological know-how, and so on). New innovations and items are constructed up each yr in the areas of drugs (advancement of recent meds and treatments), farming (development of hereditarily adjusted plant life, biofuels, organic remedy) or modern-day biotechnology (era of artificial compounds, paper, materials, and nourishment).

Biotechnology allows dwelling beings to fight in opposition to the illness. At gift, there are in excess of 250 biotechnology human services gadgets and antibodies on hand to sufferers, several for already untreatable maladies. More than thirteen.3 million ranchers around the world utilize rural biotechnology to construct yields, maintain damage from creepy crawlies and bothers and reduce cultivating impact on earth. What’s greater, more than 50 biorefineries are being laboured across Northern America to test and refine advances to create biofuels and artificial compounds from sustainable biomass, which could assist diminish ozone-depleting substance emanations.

Uses of the Biotechnology

Ageing to Produce Foods

Ageing may be the eldest biotechnological revelation. More than 10,000 years prior to humanity become handing over wine, lager, vinegar and bread using microorganisms, principally yeast. Yoghurt changed into created with the aid of lactic corrosive microscopic organisms in milk and form turned into applied to supply cheddar. These approaches are still being used these days for the creation of present-day nourishments.

Modern Fermentation

In 1897 the disclosure that compounds from yeast can change over sugar to liquor result in mechanical strategies for synthetics, as an instance, butanol, CH3)2CO and glycerol. Ageing techniques are nevertheless being used today in several reducing aspect biotech institutions, often for the generation of chemical substances to be applied in pharmaceutical approaches, natural remediation, and different contemporary approaches.

Nourishment Preservation

Drying, salting and freezing sustenance’s to thwart disintegration via microorganisms had been penetrated at some point earlier than all of us truly understood why they worked or even definitely mentioned what made the sustenance smash regardless.


The act of setting apart to forestall the unfold of disorder was installation sometime earlier than the starting factors of contamination had been regarded. In any case, it reveals early acknowledgement that sickness may be surpassed from a tainted man or woman to another sound character, who would possibly then start to have manifestations of the disease.

Specific Plant Breeding

Harvest development, by way of choosing seeds from the first-rate or maximum fine plants, to get any other yield having the maximum appealing traits, is a kind of early harvest innovation. Ranchers located that utilizing simply the seeds from the pleasant flowers would necessarily improve and strengthen the ideal characteristics in ensuing crops. In the mid-1860s, Gregor Mendel’s investigations on inheritable qualities of peas stepped forward our comprehension of hereditary legacy and cause practices of cross-reproducing (currently called hybridization).

Intellectual Property Rights & Biotechnology

Advancements of the biotechnology were underlined with the aid of the various departments of the biotechnology. Interestingly, most developing countries don’t have solid IPR systems and fulfilment instalments. Licensed innovation (IP) is key to the biotechnology business, and consists of with it a size, encouraging network-orientated action, no matter whether or not it’s miles a medication disclosure or scientific or commercial associated preliminaries.

Basically, collective motion is the cooperative power among India’s capacity to provide situations to explore, medical preliminaries and development, innovative lead and capital accessibility in created international locations. The fruitful interpretation of those cooperative energies into economically affordable applications and appealing items essentially is predicated upon the similarity of recommendations that manage the enlistment and coverage of highbrow assets, starting from the shared process.

Importance of Biotechnology

The Biological Diversity Act, 2002 (hereinafter referred to as BD Act) presents a mechanism for get right of entry to to the genetic sources and benefit-sharing amassed therefrom. Section 6 of the BD Act came into force on 1st July 2004 and prescribes that getting IPRs from the utilization of organic assets in India is issue to the approval of the National Biodiversity Authority (hereinafter known as NBA).

It is taken into consideration to be a science relating to lifestyles and that includes the usage of innovation, drugs, and various treasured things. Present-day use of the time period incorporates hereditary constructing just as tissue subculture and cellular increase.

The idea envelops a wide scope of techniques for converting residing beings as consistent with human purposes – returning to the education of creatures, development of plant life, and “upgrades” to those through reproducing plans that utilize counterfeit willpower and hybridization. For the gaining knowledge of simple normal strategies, the capability to isolate and escalate a specific first-rate from the good-sized quantity in a residing being’s genome (the completed arrangement of characteristics or hereditary cloth present in a mobile or existence form).

Doubtlessly, the closeness of complete genome actions for an increasing number of living things vows to exchange the manner by which those sciences – and the undertakings challenge to them.

How Intellectual Property Rights Can Protect Biotechnology?

Intellectual property rights guard one’s innovation. And in biotechnology additionally the inventor can be protected by intellectual belongings rights, but to guard his/her rights one ought to prove his/her novelty and innovation of that precise product. According to section 2(1)(j) of the Patents Act, 1970 talks approximately the discovery. It says that for the grant and safety of the invention there ought to be a novelty in that invention. The underneath following examples wherein the highbrow belongings rights protected the biotechnology:

Here is one case of the way protected innovation rights paintings inside the medicinal offering’s enterprise. Government guarantee lets in groups to make use of the ® photo with a trademark call to show that it has an enrolled trademark and that no person else can make use of that call. More than one enterprise may promote a comparable substance compound, which means a comparable remedy, but, simply one organization can legitimately utilize the trademarked call to promote it that medication.

For example, whilst several organizations promote the energizer tranquillize fluoxetine hydrochloride, simply Eli Lilly can name it Prozac. In like manner, nobody but Roche can utilize the trademarked name Tamiflu to showcase a remedy referred to as Oseltamivir that is intended to stop and deal with flu. Trademarks aren’t without a doubt utilized with capsules, anyways; they’re additionally utilized with medical health facility names, physician practice names and one of a kind factors with specific marking.

This is essential to businesses proper now, where marking, promoting and pics are focal parts of enterprise responsibilities and essential situating. As any other example, biotechnology organizations use licenses to comfy their blanketed innovation rights to medicate conveyance gadgets. AstraZeneca possesses the certified innovation rights to the Symbicort Turbuhaler, that’s the medicine budesonide/formoterol in a dry powder inhaler for the guide treatment of asthma and COPD. Other human services agencies use licenses to relax their blanketed innovation rights to gadgets, as an example, braces, prostheses, imaginative and prescient trying out machines and the PC frameworks utilized in social insurance the executives.

Indian Pharmaceutical Industry

The Patent Law Treaty (PLT), The Trademark Law Treaty (TLT) has made a few superb progresses, being almost non-existent prior to 1970 to a substantive provider of human services items, assembly pretty much 95 for each penny of the kingdom’s medicinal necessities. Nowadays the business is the front role of medical generation-primarily based organizations with vast going capacities inside the complicated area of drugs manufacturing and innovation. The positions are extremely excessive in developing nations, regarding innovation, pleasant, and scope of meds fabricated. From straightforward migraine pills to modern anti-pollutants and complex cardiovascular mixes, quite lots each form of remedy is presently made regionally. Worldwide organizations related to this region have invigorated, helped and initiated this dynamic development within the previous years and assisted with putting growing nations on the scientific manual to the universe. The clinical phase growing is noticeably divided into enlisted elements with extreme price rivalry and authorities cost manipulate. It has extended significantly over the most recent two a long time.
Governments’ Role in Biotechnology
The innovation approach of the legislature and the Vision Statement on Biotechnology has been given with the aid of DBT to give a device and supply crucial heading to diverse divisions to quicken the pace of development of biotechnology in growing nations. This arrangement in addition intends to chalk out the manner of progress in divisions, for instance, farming and nourishment biotechnology, cutting-edge biotechnology, restorative and therapeutic drug, demonstrative biotechnology, bio-constructing, nanotechnology, scientific biotechnology, circumstance and intellectual belongings and, patent regulation, copyright law, trademark regulation, design law and so forth.

Licensing Biotechnology Inventions in India

The IPO considers biotechnological trends to be identified with living factors of function starting point, as an example, creatures, humans including elements thereof, residing elements of the faux starting point, as an example, small scale life bureaucracy, immunizations, transgenic creatures and vegetation, organic substances, as an example, DNA, plasmids, characteristics, vector, tissues, cells, replicons, forms figuring out with residing elements, paperwork regarding organic material, strategies for remedy of human or creature body, natural bureaucracy or basically natural strategies.

The accompanying biotechnological traits are not taken into consideration patentable below Section three of the Indian Patent (Amendment) Act 2005. Living elements of the function root, as an example, creatures, plant life, in complete or any components thereof, plant assortments, seeds, species, traits additionally, smaller scale dwelling beings. Any technique of assembling or technology figuring out with such residing materials.

Any strategy for treatment, as an example, therapeutic, cautious, therapeutic, prophylactic indicative additionally, remedial, of humans or creatures or alternatively exceptional medicinal drugs of similar nature. Any residing substance of fake beginning, for instance, transgenic creatures and plants, or any component thereof. Natural substances, as an example, organs, tissues, cells, infections and all the manner toward getting them geared up. Basically, natural procedures for the advent of flowers and creatures, as an instance, a method for intersection or reproducing.

Rights of Plant Varieties

PBR’s are utilized to at ease new assortments of plant life through giving restrictive commercial enterprise rights for round 20-25 a long time to put it up for sale some other assortment or its regenerative material. The collection should be novel, particular, uniform, and solid. This coverage maintains anybody from developing or promoting the collection without the proprietor’s consent. Special cases might be made, although, for each research and use of seed spared via a rancher for replanting.

International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants device of the plant variety safety says that during section three it talks approximately the safety of Genera and a few specified species.

Patent filing traits

The 2014 Indian Patent Office (IPO) annual report said that approximately forty-three,000 patent packages had been filed among April 2013 and March 2014. Over 2,300 of those related to biotechnology and other related fields (e.g., biochemistry, microbiology, biomedical gadgets and chemical or organic inventions.

Although the report shows no standards for patent choice in those fields, it offers a preliminary indication of biotechnology patenting hobby in India. Although patent submitting in India in general has increased within the previous few years, biotechnology patent submitting has reduced. This is consistent with the worldwide trend. Among other matters, it can be attributed to more stringent criteria for patentability and furnish of patents on this domain.

Patentable Subject Matter

The scope of eligible subjects could be very large in India. Any product or technique irrespective of the generation is patentable challenge be counted in India. However, the Patents Act below Section gives a long listing of inventions which might be excluded from patentable situation rely, which incorporates biotechnology inventions. Discovery of any dwelling element taking place in nature isn’t always patentable challenge remember in India. Prohibited biotech topics similarly consist of plant and animals in whole or any component thereof such as seeds, varieties, species and essentially organic strategies for production or propagation of vegetation and animals.

However, microorganisms and microbiological procedures are patentable subject be counted. Genetically modified multicellular organisms which includes flowers, animals, people and their parts are excluded from patentability in India. Gene sequences and DNA sequences having disclosed capabilities are considered patentable in India. However, human beings and embryonic stem cells aren’t patentable. Furthermore, methods of medical remedy are also prohibited from patentability in India.

Industrial Applicability

In India, for an invention to be industrially relevant, it’s miles important to prove that the discovery can be made, can be used in at least one area of interest and Can be reproduced with the same characteristics as oftentimes as important. Since, no specific point out with regard to industrial applicability of biotechnology patents have been provided for inside the act, it’s far reasonable to use the overall industrial applicability requirements to biotechnology innovations.

If biotechnology innovations can be made and used in an industry and may be reproduced as generally as required, they would fulfil the Industrial Applicability requirement in India. The recommendations for examining biotechnology innovations inside the Draft manual of Patent Practice, 2008 offer that gene sequences and DNA sequences whose features are not disclosed do now not satisfy the Industrial Applicability requirement.


The Patents Act does no longer have any specific provisions with appreciate to novelty of biotechnology innovations. Since most biotechnology innovations are merchandise of nature inherently present in living organisms, they may be construed as discoveries and not patentable.

However, the Draft Manual of patent practice and process, 2008 presents that biological cloth inclusive of recombinant DNA, Plasmids and tactics of producing thereof are patentable provided they may be produced by great human intervention. As there are not any determined instances at the subject, the translation of the Manual is getting used to analyse novelty of biotechnology inventions.

Several patents had been granted for remoted gene sequences in India and such sequences had been taken into consideration to be novel by using the patent workplace within the light of their natural counterparts.

Inventive Step

Due to dearth of case law, the technique to resourceful step with regard to biotechnology innovations in India isn’t always clean. As consistent with the 2008 Draft Manual, it may be safely concluded that remoted gene sequences and protein sequences could be considered to have an ingenious step within the light of their obviously current counter elements. Furthermore, the economic importance requirement is incredibly clean to show for biotechnology innovations due to their diverse applications in capsules and diagnostics quarter. Principles along with reasonable expectation of fulfilment, predictability of the field and so forth are applied to determine resourceful step in India as well and might be applied to biotechnology innovations. However, because it stands now the law does not imply any differing requirements for biotechnology inventions whilst in comparison to different innovations.


In India, for biotechnology innovations, which describe organic cloth inside the specification, the regulation presents for deposit of such organic materials at a diagnosed depository. The guide of patent practice and technique calls for the discovery to be defined absolutely in the specification to permit someone professional within the artwork so that it will carry out the discovery by using studying the specification. However, there are no instances in India that talk about differing written description or enablement standards for biotechnology innovations.


Section 3(b) of the Indian Patent Act affords that an invention the number one or meant use or business exploitation of which could be opposite to public order or morality or which causes severe prejudice to human, animal or flora or fitness or to the environment isn’t always patentable. As in step with the phase an invention could not be patentable if it’s miles immoral or in opposition to public order, harmful to human, animal or plant life or dangerous to surroundings.

The Draft Manual of Patent Procedure, 2010 provides that Any organic fabric and method of making the identical that is able to causing extreme prejudice to human, animal or plant lives or health or to the environment which include the usage of those that would be opposite to public order and morality aren’t patentable.

It in addition provides that the processes for cloning human beings or animals, procedures for editing the germ line, genetic identification of people or animals, uses of human or animal embryos for any purpose aren’t patentable as they’re in opposition to public order and morality. The Indian Patent Law has strong prohibitions towards patenting of biotechnology inventions based on morality and public order.

The Suit in Delhi High Court (Single Judge)- Analysing Circumstances
Indian groups requested Monsanto the licensor to reduce their license prices as new price control guidelines had been pursued by the nation authorities. Indian organizations the licensees stooped price of royalties while Monsanto denied their request. On November 14th, 2015 Monsanto filed a software for an injunction for trademark infringement and violation of registered patent with a view of the termination of the settlement. Monsanto started out the arbitrary method of improving four hundred crores from the licensees.

Defendants alleged that the patent is in violation of phase three(j) of Indian Patent Act 1970 and claimed revocation of a patent beneath section 64 of the same act. Section 3(j) of Indian Patent Act 1970 states “flora and animals in complete or any part thereof apart from microorganisms however which include seeds, types and species and essentially organic processes for manufacturing or propagation of vegetation and animals.” Section 3(j) simply lays down that plants and animals, their seeds, varieties, species and basically organic methods for production or their breeding through herbal procedure unless it is microorganisms. A method is taken into consideration to be an essentially biological if it is totally a herbal phenomenon. However, the Indian Patent Act 1970 doesn’t outline ‘basically organic technique’. Section 64 of the Indian Patent Act states grounds for revocation of the patent.


Decision of Single Judge of Delhi High Court stated License terminated by means of Monsanto became reinstated. Indian organizations were allowed to apply the patented era and at some stage in the pendency of the suit, the trait price repayment is to be paid with the aid of Naziveedu Seeds Ltd and Ors as constant by way of the Government Policies. Patent safety can’t be enforced until the in shape changed into disposed of. Rejected all of the claims for invalidity and rejection of the patent. An enchantment in Court of Division Bench of Delhi High Court.


Monsanto (licensor) and Naziveedu Seeds and Ors. (licensees) appealed to Division Bench of High Court of Delhi against Single Judge’s decision. Monsanto challenged the choice of reinstating license terminated by way of them. Nadiveedu Seeds and Ors challenged the selection of rejection of their declare towards the validity of the patent (IN214436) held by Monsanto.

Question of Patentability -General Rules for Patent

Following are the guidelines laid down with the aid of the Indian Patent Act 1970 for a technique and product to be eligible for a patent.
Inventive Step- An invention of a product or a manner must be new regarding an innovative step for eligibility of patent in India.
Capable of Industrial Application- An invention referring to a product or a procedure this is capable of software in the enterprise can be patented in India.

Novelty- This manner that the invention must not were made public, no longer even by means of the inventor himself, before the date of the utility. However, the patent ought to not fall into the class of inventions which might be non-patentable beneath as provided under bankruptcy 2 (inventions no longer patentable) of the Indian Patents Act, 1970.

Patentability of Biotech Innovations
The selection of the Supreme Court in the case of Monsanto & Naziveedu Seeds installed that the biotechnological crops as crucial innovations may be blanketed under the Indian Patent Act 1970. The courtroom overruled all questions regarding the validity of innovations below the Indian Patent Act.

Also Read: Scope of moral rights under Indian Copyrights Law is limited

The Patent Act offers no inclusive definition of patentable situation count, imparting only a list of what is taken into consideration unpatentable. Unfortunately, those exceptions can be indistinct, leading every so often to uncertainty – and that is especially authentic for biotechnology inventions, due to the complicated nature of the technology. Innovators, buyers and patent practitioners have to examine their innovations in mild of Indian patent law earlier than making any strategic choices concerning patenting in India.


Author Nandini Tripathy19  Edited by Our Legal World

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