American diversified MNC, Colgate Palmolive, which controls half the oral care segment worth Rs 2,800 crore in India has fallen into a legal trap. The company’s famous ‘Lal Dant Manjan’ or ‘Red Herbal Dentifrice’, is now patented in the US by Colgate Palmolive, and Indian ayurvedic companies have sought government intervention to cancel it.
The Association of Manufacturers of Ayurvedic Medicines (AMAM), which represents 200 companies including Dabur, Himalaya , Hamdard and Baidyanath, has accused the American personal care giant of patenting an Indian traditional knowledge in the US, India and elsewhere. It has urged the Patent Authority, the Health Ministry as well as the Industrial Ministry to take immediate measures to stop patenting of this traditional product and initiate action not only in the US but also in other countries where Colgate Palmolive might have applied for the patent.
“Colgate has used its clout to obtain patent in the US. But the Indian government should seek withdrawal and cancel the Indian application too as the product is a traditional herbal medicine discovered in India,” says Pradeep Multani, General Secretary, AMAM.
Further, The Controller General of Patents, which grants patents in India, has yet to decide on Colgate’s application. “In the US, getting patents is far more simple compared to India”, explains Abhishek Khare, Partner at Khare Legal Chambers.
Colgate received patent for red herbal dentifrice in US in June this year on the basis of an application dated 2005, filed in India.
Posted on: 20.10.2010