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.