Life Of Navin

Random Musings, Random Bullshit.


Malaysia Patents 'Ponni'!!

In an incident reminiscent of the US issuing a patent on the well known 'Basmati' Rice variety, Malaysia has today granted trademark rights of a popular non-basmati rice variety grown in south-India to a local trading firm.

Syarikat Faiza Sdn Bhd, which imports Sona Masoori Ponni rice from India, registered the rice variety under the Malaysian Trademark Act and sent out legal notices to other importers asking them not to use the word 'Ponni' to describe their product.

Agrieved importers have challenged this trademark and though the trademark department has assured that it will cancel the 'ponni' registration, this is however yet to happen. "Ponni belongs to India and cannot be registered in Malaysia" said R. Thiyagarajan, a lawyer representing a Malaysian firm which has been told by Faiza not to use the name 'ponni' on its rice imports. Ponni is a derivative of a cross between 'Taichung65 X Myang Ebos 6080/2' varieties.

A pure line selection named White Ponni was released by Tamil Nadu Agricultural university (TNAU) in 1986. However the trademark for Ponni could not be issued since it denoted a variety of paddy released by TNAU and produced by millions of farmers in South India for over 2 decades.

India should be more vigilant about such issues if you ask me. The very fact that a variety of rice can be registered in Malaysia makes it possible to register it in other countries as well. this proves extremely detrimental to Indian farmers. there have been so many attempts to register patents for varieties of agricultural products used in India for many many years, sometimes more than a thousand years. Turmeric, Neem, Rice, Wheat are all under constant threat of being patented by foreign companies. This Bio-Piracy must stop now. However the Indian Government seems to be sleeping or even if awake, they are turning a deaf ear to these infringements. The nation-wide uproar created when Basmati was patented by RiceTec needs to be created again. Only then will the government carry out their responsibilities, or so it seems!!

Of Course you cannot register Ponni!! It is like registering Basmati --R Thiyagarajan


Bobby Jassos said...

We today are very brand conscious and trade mark is certainly very precious and significant if we wish to create brand. Trademark provides nationwide protection to the businessman. So search trademark and find out the trade name.


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