Staff Reporter

Bangalore: The future of intellectual property (IP) in India looks bright but there are grey areas that need to be sorted out, according to speakers at a seminar at Bangalore Bio 2006 here on Friday.

Indian companies have slowly begun to acquire smaller firms "not for the physical and manufacturing capacities but to gain a valuable intellectual property platform", Anand Sircar of Biocon Pharma said, giving the example of Biocon which recently acquired Nobex, an US-based company.

Rahul Verma of Evalueserve, said that IP had an impact on all stages of a product's life cycle.

Stating that developing an IP strategy was all-important, Mr. Verma said, "IP can generate huge financial gains."About patent laws in India regarding biotechnology in agriculture, M. Lakshmi Kumaran said that while processes for genetically modified plants were patentable, Section 3 (J) of the patent law excludes as inventions plants and animals used for propagation.

This means that while the process was patentable the product was not, she observed.