Thai Officials Sought To Strike Down Medical Marijuana Patent Applications by Foreign Firms
Thai Department of Intellectual Property (DIP) officials “rushed” the inspection of a controversial foreign medical marijuana patent application that the Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) said violated Thai laws, official communications seen by VOA indicate. The patent application, which is still pending, was submitted by the British firm GW Pharmaceuticals and Japan’s Otsuka Pharmaceutical for what opponents of the claim say is effectively an attempt to copyright a raw extract of cannabis that they argue should not be considered an “invention.” The concern is that the patents, and others pertaining to medical cannabis, would lead to foreign corporate monopolization of Thailand's new medical marijuana industry, which was legalized in December. In a May 28 meeting last year, pharmacist Lucksamephen Sarnchawanakit from the GPO’s Drug Patent Information Subdivision told DIP staff the application sought to patent phytocannabinoid, an active ingredient found naturally, for use in the treatment of spasms. “It is clear that this is in violation of Article 9(1) of the Thai Intellectual Property Act stating that inventions not protected under the Act include microorganisms and/or any part of the microorganisms found in nature, animals, plants, and plant extracts,” Lucksamephen said, according to the minutes of the meeting seen by VOA. According to the minutes, a DIP representative told those at the meeting, “(We) only have a small number of inspectors, who are not specifically trained for medical patent inspection, and many more patents which are not yet inspected.” “Therefore, the inspectors rushed the inspections, which may have caused some problems in the inspections. The DIP will accept all the suggestions and will discuss with the legal team as to ways to deny the applications in the already released [official registry].” Violation of Thai law In a follow up meeting in June, GPO chairman Dr. Sopon Mekthon expressed concern that up... If you wish to read this full breaking news headline, plus more articles from around Thailand and Asia like, Thai Officials Sought To Strike Down Medical Marijuana Patent Applications by Foreign Firms, simply click on 'Read full story' below, but 1st please give us a 'LIKE' or 'SHARE' before you leave. Thank you
Published By: VOA NEWS - Tuesday, 15 January
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