Special Correspondent

He is charged with plagiarising recommendations

NEW DELHI: The Government has not taken any decision on the controversial Mashelkar report on patent law issues, Minister of State for Industries Ashwani Kumar said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

The former Council of Scientific and Industrial Research chief, R.A. Mashelkar, has been accused of plagiarising recommendations of a study backed by multinational pharmaceutical companies and presenting them as his own. He and four other experts were asked to study two key issues that the Left Parties had objected to while agreeing to support the Patents Bill.

Mr. Kumar said the Government received a report from the Technical Expert Group on Patent Law Issues on December 29 last year which said it would not be TRIPs (agreement on trade related aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) compliant to limit granting of patents for pharmaceutical substances only to new chemical entities. However, every effort should be made to prevent the grant of frivolous patents and `ever-greening.' On the issue of micro-organisms, it said excluding them from patent protection would violate the TRIPs agreement.

Dr. Mashelkar has requested the Government to allow the committee "withdraw" the report, while the Left parties, experts and the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance want it to be rejected.