Protection and Promotion of Traditional Medicine - Implications for Public Health in Developing Countries
(2002; 131 pages) View the PDF document
Table of Contents
View the documentThe South Centre
View the documentPREFACE
View the documentINTRODUCTION
Open this folder and view contentsI. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND TRM
Open this folder and view contentsII. RATIONALE FOR PROTECTION
Close this folderA. Patents
View the documentA.1. Novelty
View the documentA.2. Inventive step
Close this folderA.3. What can be patented?
View the document(i) Natural products
View the document(ii) Extracts and formulations
View the document(iii) Combinations and preparations
View the document(iv) Production and extraction processes
View the document(v) Methods for treatment and diagnostics
View the document(vi) Uses of known products
View the document(d) Patenting of TRM in practice
View the documentB. Trade Secrets
View the documentC. Trademarks
View the documentD. Geographical Indications
Open this folder and view contentsIV. POLICY OPTIONS: PROTECTING AND PROMOTING TRM
View the documentV. IPRs AND PUBLIC HEALTH
View the documentVI. CONCLUSIONS
View the documentREFERENCES
(iii) Combinations and preparations

Patents may be obtained, if the patentability requirements are met, for combinations and preparations. This is normally the case with modern pharmaceuticals, both in cases where a composition is a simple mixture of diverse components and where there is some chemical reaction between them (Grubb, 1999, p. 208).

Traditional medicines often consist of combinations of several ingredients107 or of preparations, such as fatty or essential oils, expressed juices, etc. Many examples of patents granted on combinations of plants for therapeutic purposes can be identified, for instance, EP 0519777 relating to formulations made out of a variety of fresh plants; and WO 93/11780 on a skin therapeutic mixture containing cold-processed aloe-vera extract (with yellow sap and aloin removed).

107 In Ayurvedic and Unani formulations, for instance, sometimes a single medication has over 50 ingredients. The simplest formulations have 6-10 ingredients involving the use of different parts of several plants (Chandra, 2002, p. 143)

As in the case of extracts and formulations, claims on combinations or preparations may be used to overcome patentability objections. Similarly, the use or commercialization of any of the components of a combination or preparation (isolated or in different combinations or preparations) would not constitute infringement.

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