A strong patent regime

Updated: Dec 10 2004, 05:30am hrs
Agreed, Mr Chengalvarayan the Left is wrong. But it seems you are also missing the point in your article ‘The Buddhist monk who sells drugs’(Dec 9). Instead of trying to patch up the so-called leaks in Indian government offices, you are advocating that pre-grant opposition to patents be dispensed with. But our very own Biocon and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories are also filing patent applications here in India.

Second, no patent examiner in the world is beyond committing mistakes. So if there was no pre-grant opposition then, by your own argument, it would take years for a patent to be revoked. Years during which the patent holder will gleefully make money. After all, the European patent office, the most stringent patent office in the world, has also re-voked many patents.
In our haste to attract FDI, we should not tamper with in-built safety measures. Instead, those in the media should advocate a strong and mutually beneficial IPR regime.
Ravi Shankar

Power foray
ONGC is preparing to set up a 750 mw gas-based power station in Tripura to find gainful utilisation for the gas already available or expected to be available in the near future. NTPC is building a 500 mw power plant in Tripura. The existing installations owned by Neepco and Tripura government have a capacity of 200 mw which calls for export since the state cannot absorb the entire power generated.
Power generation is the inevitable means of finding a market for gas in Tripura in the absence of any other industry. But the fact remains that ONGC should restrict itself within its main domain which is its expertise in exploration and production of hydrocarbon. It should leave power generation to companies in the power sector.
However, if ONGC is bent upon executing the project, it should be commissioned within five years, including the period of financial closure. For the northeast as a whole suffers from inordinate delays in decisionmaking and project implementation.
CR Bhattacharjee

Gas tragedy
I feel that very little will actually change for the survivors of the Bhopal gas tragedy until the absconding corporation, Union Carbide, and its new owner Dow Chemicals, are held liable for a series of crimes against the residents of Bhopal.
Very little will change unless Dow is forced to clean up the poisonous factory site. Unless the then Union Carbide chief Warren Anderson stands trial for the massacre. Unless a comprehensive medical and economic rehabilitation programme is put in place for survivors of the Bhopal gas tragedy.
Now is the time to begin building pressure on Dow Chemicals to own up to its responsibilities and liabilities in Bhopal. Now is the time to rally all friends and supporters of Bhopalis around the world again to make that big push to hold a corporation liable.
Now is the time to remember that a real victory in Bhopal will set a precedent for millions who continue to suffer Bhopal-like tragedies as corporations continue to abuse their power and place communities at risk.
Shailesh Kumar