A thumping ovation to the Organizers of the recently concluded Neem Conference held in the balmy city of
Spearheading the Neem Revolution, the Neem Foundation organized the 5th World Neem Conference (WNC) 2007 to popularize the Neem tree and its vast potential in the bio-sphere. Attended by delegates from 35 countries the conference highlighted the latest breakthroughs in Neem research, organic farming, bio-medicine, socio-economic issues and intellectual property rights.
Having captured popular acclaim as the wonder tree of the humid tropics, the potential benefits form the Neem Tree reads like a medicinal cornucopia derived from Pre-Vedic. times.
The neem tree (Azadirachta indica) originates from the Indian subcontinent and now grows in the dry regions of more than 50 tropical countries around the world. The Neem tree has multiple uses. It is mentioned in Indian texts written over 2000 years ago and has been used for centuries by local communities in agriculture as an insect and pest repellent, in human and veterinary medicine, toiletries and cosmetics. It is also venerated in the culture, religions and literature of the region.
Since the 1980s, many neem related process and products have been patented in
The Indian Kurushethra against a Neem patent held by W.R. Grace & Co. brought to light the intellectual property related issues controversies and reiterated the menace of Bio-colonialism.
These two cases not only created a global awareness on neem and its properties but also raised issues on biopiracy, need for documentation of traditional knowledge, equitable sharing of gains from traditional knowledge and harmonization of patent rule. Success of revocation of European patent illustrates the requirement of systematic documentation of knowledge whether traditional or scientific. Further these cases demonstrate the potential of IPR in creating awareness, enthusiasm in scientists, entrepreneurs, organizations and society and increased investments in research and development of products which compete in the market place. This is evident from upward trend of patents filed globally on neem from 1994 – 96 onwards – intense patent debate period and commercial product available in markets from neem.
Largest number of patents is in
No Bitter Sweet Victory this-after all bitter sweet is an acquired taste.