Product of nature: Patentability issues

Indian position about patent eligibility of the product of nature still remains in the realms of elusive debates for want any judicial precedence on the subject in India. Section 2 (1) (j) defines that invention means any new product or new process without differentiating between ‘product of nature’ or ‘man made products’. However, Section 3(c) clearly point out that discovery of living things or non- living substances are not patentable inventions. In second limb word ‘mere’ conspicuously is omitted to perhaps leave a room for invention relating to substances occurring in nature which are not discovered but extracted or removed from the nature not occurring freely in nature. Here structure similarity of the pure form with natural form at times creates patentability hurdle of being new as compared to naturally existing one. Its usefulness however, can make it cross the patentability line. There is not inherent stigma or bias on patentability on materials derived or obtained from nature. Patent Law clearly distinguish between finding new substances in nature and making material existing in nature available in a useable form.

Product of nature: Patentability issues by DPS Parmar