People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 01

January 02, 2005

JAC Formed Against Amendment Of the Indian Patents Act


A JOINT action committee (JAC) has been formed to oppose the amendment of the Indian Patents Act by the government at a meeting held at the CITU central office in New Delhi on December 21. (This meeting came before the government promulgated an ordinance amending the Act.)

 The meeting, presided over by CITU president Dr M K Pandhe, was attended by the Dr Vandana Shiva (Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology); S Ramachandran Pillai, AIKS president; P K Ganguly (CITU); Basudev Acharya, CPI(M) leader in Lok Sabha; S P Shukla (former Planning Commission member); B K Keayla (National Working Group on Patents); Mohanlal, Delhi CITU general secretary; Sudhir Kumar, Delhi CITU president; T K Mitra (FMRAI); A K Basu (TUCC); A K Bhatnagar (AIIEA); D K Abrol (AIPSN/DSF) and Harish Sharma (BEFI). P K Ganguly has been appointed as convenor of the JAC.


The meeting discussed about the proposed Third Patents (Amendment) Bill to allow product patenting. Taking note of the government’s intention to take the ordinance route, the meeting resolved to form a broad joint front to resist the amendment. M K Pandhe in his intervention stressed this aspect.


S Ramchandran Pillai informed the meeting about the ceaseless efforts being made by the Left parties to stall the move of the UPA government to go ahead with the amendment of the Patents Act. Despite delegations meeting the prime minister warning about the dangers inherent in this move, the government remained insensitive to the opposition, he said. Pillai suggested several action programmes on an all India level to mobilise people in opposing the amendment.


S P Shukla explained about the dangers of the amendment to the existing Act. He exposed the misleading propaganda being made by the government by linking this to the Agreement on Textiles which would phase out the Multi Fibre Agreement by December 31, 2004 thus removing the quota system for exports by the developing countries. He further exposed the bogey of the need to amend the Patents Act by January 1, 2005 and suggested for joint movements and opposition in parliament by the MPs, so that the bill cannot get through when brought in parliament.


Dr Vandana Shiva pointed out that such amendment would not only hurt pharmaceutical sector but would also severely damage agriculture. She also urged for joint movements by all mass organisations including the peasantry, agricultural labour, students, youth and women in order to pressurise the government from carrying through this amendment.


B K Keayle briefed about the activities of the National Working Group on Patents and the joint struggles ever since the government started amending the Patents Act.


CPI(M) leader in Lok Sabha, Basudev Acharia said that the government had already planned to promulgate the ordinance after the current session ended on December 21. He assured to mobilise MPs to oppose the Bill when it comes up in the parliament.


Dinesh Abrol of All India Peoples Science Network suggested formation of the Joint Action Committee to launch united movement against the amendment.


Delhi CITU leaders suggested holding of an immediate demonstration at Delhi if the ordinance is promulgated and assured to mobilise the workers.




The meeting unanimously decided the following action programmes: