Global negotiations on IPR suggested

TIRUPATI, AUG. 21. A mutually acceptable solution to the imbroglio between developed and developing countries over the Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) and their extent and scope can be arrived at through negotiations at the international level, the Supreme Court judge, Ruma Pal, has said.

Need for awareness

Speaking after inaugurating the three-day national seminar on "Intellectual Property Rights - national and international perspectives'' organised by the Law Department of Sri Padmavathi Mahila Viswa Vidyalayam (SPMVV) here on Saturday, she harped on the increasing need to create awareness among the indigenous communities on the need for patenting, with the countries increasingly counting on the motto, `patent or perish'.

Indigenous drugs

On the indigenous medicine or what is commonly referred to as "grandma's therapy'', Justice Pal said that confusion continued to prevail over whether or not to patent the traditional knowledge, citing the 2,500 and odd such cases pending with the Supreme Court. The centuries-old original inventions and their spin-offs were a matter of great concern with reference to patents, she noted.

Prabha Sridevan, judge, High Court of Madras, allayed fears that the IPR regime would work to the disadvantage of India, as the country had an edge in its own areas. She also pointed out that the social utility and social cost involved in patenting still remained unknown.

Balancing of interests

A. Lakshminath, Dean and Registrar of NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad, spoke on the need for proper balancing of public and private interests vis-a-vis the proprietary rights granted on life forms like genes, micro-organisms, etc., which was paramount to maintain equilibrium.

He cited the regulatory measures contemplated by none other than the USA to drive home the sensitivity of the issue.

T.V. Subba Rao of SPMVV laid stress on unshackling IPRs from the clutches of Euro-centric and America-centric policies. R. Madhavi, Vice-Chancellor of the women's university, and K. Umadevi, seminar director spoke.