patent piracy

The US recently clarified that patents had not been issued on yoga positions but reports confirm that it has approved 150 yoga-related copyrights, 134 patents on yoga devices and 2,315 yoga-related trademarks. Vibha Sharma looks at the past disputes over patents issued for traditional Indian resources and the checks required to tackle US patent laws, which provide the developing world little protection against bio-piracy

LIKE most things in this world, it is all about money. Whether it is turmeric, tulsi, neem, basmati or the latest controversy regarding the US patents office granting patent on yoga postures (which the US has since then denied), the fact of the matter is that more than the original concept behind patents protecting the creativity of an individual so that the knowledge could be used to benefit society, intellectual property rights are now all about big bucks.

other disputes
N the past there have been several disputes and litigations after patents were issued on some essentially Indian finds and products. In 1995, the US patents office granted turmeric patent to two NRIs, working with the University of Mississipi Medical Center. Rhizomes of turmeric have been used for generations in Indian households. Turmeric, or haldi as we Indians know it, has properties that make it an effective ingredient in medicines, cosmetics and colour dyes.

Once in the city, you will soon discover that all Germans are not serious people who do not like to have fun. You will also soon enough dispel the myth that German cuisine consists mainly of meat and is thus very unappealing to veggies. In fact you will just fall in love with the city,
says Gyan Marwah
Berlin is truly an East-meets-West city that is at the heart of a changing Europe. This is Germany's city of opportunities just waiting to be discovered. A city where entertainment, recreation, economy, science and academic life all co-exist in harmony. When you enter the city from Tegel airport you'll feel a sense of shared exhilaration. Because you're in a city born anew.

French twist in the tale
Remaking French films has been an age-old Hollywood tradition. In recent years, Bollywood has also been bitten by the Gallic bug, writes Vikramdeep Johal
HAT do Dhoom (2004), Fun2shh (2003) and this year’s sleeper success, Bheja Fry, have in common? Their hatke stories and characters? Well, if you have loved them, then here’s a spoiler—they are all inspired by smash hits of contemporary French cinema. Sagar Ballary’s Bheja Fry, made at a shoe-string budget of Rs 60 lakh, has grossed over Rs 12 crore within two months of its release.

Teachers as torch-bearers
Holding up a mirror to moral and social prejudices, the teacher in Hindi films has always stood upright despite the crumbling value system in our society, writes M. L. Dhawan
Filmistan Productions’ Jagriti (1954) dwelt on problem children. Fed up with a group of incorrigible students and their irreverence for authority, the Principal is on the verge of expelling them when a devoted teacher, Abhi Bhattacharyya, shoulders the responsibility to reform them. He wins over the children with love and affection.

I’m excited about Halla Bol: Vidya
Vidya Balan laughs off allegations that she opted out of Pradeep Sarkar’s "Laaga Chunari Mein Daag" because she didn’t want to play second lead in a Rani Mukerji starrer. "I actually can’t believe I’m not doing dada’s (Sarkar) film. There’s no way I could’ve let this happen. But dada wanted to complete the film within a certain period and those dates were committed to Sajid Khan’s Hey Baby a year back," Vidya explains.

Garden handbook
People who sell us pesticides for the garden and home never tell us about the side effects, the dangers of their uses, writes Daksha Hathi
OR most people who own gardens, the rose is a hot favourite. Tragically, this is also the flower that coaxes gardeners to use several chemical pesticides in the garden since many pests attack it. Everybody who wants to start gardening or is already enjoying it, must read Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, the Bible for all those interested in plants, health, animals, birds, life itself.

Astronomers discover 28 new exoplanets
stronomers have discovered 28 new planets outside of our solar system, increasing to 236 the number of known exoplanets. "We added 12 per cent to the total in the last year, and we’re very proud of that. This provides new planetary systems so that we can study their properties as an ensemble," said Jason Wright of the University of California at Berkeley, one of the study team members.

Urban black holes
Most of the slums are devoid of sanitation and other basic amenities. As a result, for every 1000 infants born in these dwellings, 100 die, reports Nitin Jugran Bahuguna on the condition of the majority living in our cities.
About 1,70,000 children die in urban slums of India every year. For every 1,000 neo-natals, infants and under-fives born in the bastis (slums), approximately 100 die. These were some of the disturbing facts brought to the fore at a recent meeting organised by the Urban Health Resource Centre, a Delhi-based NGO in the Capital, to highlight the relationship between child morbidity and mortality and the growing marginalisation of the urban poor.

Unsung Sikh hero Banda Bahadar
Kulbir Singh Sidhu
ABA Banda Singh Bahadar, the great disciple of Guru Gobind Singh, rose up in arms against tyranny in the footsteps of his master to defend and safeguard humanity. He treaded the glorious path of supreme sacrifice and kept aloft the ‘flame of liberty’ burning bright with his fortitude and sacrifice in the face of untold misery and torture.


TELEVISION: Tragic sport

Nature: Study of moths in India
by Lt Gen Baljit Singh (retd)

by Pushpesh Pant

CONSUMER RIGHTS: Make protestors pay for damaging public property
by Pushpa Girimaji

hollywood hues: Overdose of action
by Ervell E. Menezes

by David Bird

ULTA PULTABigger boss
by Jaspal Bhatti


Confessions uncensored
Rumina Sethi
Cutting Free: The Extraordinary Memoir of a Pakistani Woman
by Salma Ahmed Roli Books. Pages 262. Rs 295.

Books received: ENGLISH

Tracing ashes
Ranjit Powar
Sati: A Historical Anthology
Ed. Andrea Major. Oxford. Pages 466. Rs 650.

Of lives far from rosy
Deepika Gurdev
Two Caravans
by Marina Lewycka Penguin. Pages 310. £16.99.

History you can bank upon
M. Rajivlochan
The Evolution of the State Bank of India: The Roots 1806-1876
by Amiya Kumar Bagchi SBI and Penguin. Pages: 1,280. Rs 1,295

Good riddance, Harry Potter!
Danuta Keane

United colours of tolerance
V. Krishna Ananth
The Clash of Intolerances
by Ramin Jahanbegloo. Har-Anand Publications. Pages 156. Rs 295

Love lives of three generations
Carol Birch
by Penelope Lively. Fig Tree. Pages 305. £16.99

She refuses to stop evolving
Almost 70 years after her first publication, Nadine Gordimer is still breaking new ground as a writer — and a reader. John Freeman meets the Nobel laureate