- Traditional Medicine > Traditional, Complementary and Herbal Medicine
- Public Health, Innovation, Intellectual Property and Trade > Intellectual Property (IP) and Trade
(2002; 131 pages)
C.4. Inventive step
Countries wishing to limit patentability, as much as possible, in order to prevent misappropriation in the area of TRM, may apply a strict standard of inventive step. As mentioned above, if the role of a “skilled average person” is played by persons trained in TRM, some applications that would otherwise have been accepted, may well be rejected. It may also be the case that concepts familiar to anyone trained in Western chemistry, are deemed non-obvious by the TRM specialist. Examiners and judges, therefore, will face the difficult task of determining the body of knowledge under which inventiveness is to be evaluated. The patent system being a Western concept, however, an inclination to apply Western science is predictable, unless different policies on the matter are established.
In contrast, in countries that wish to promote patenting in the field of TRM, the inventive step may be defined so as to allow patentability of improved variants of existing products, for instance, better bio-availability or higher stability. Higher purity would normally not be enough to justify an inventive step, though purification processes may be patentable.