- America does not have the patent right for turmeric.
- Two researchers from the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi, USA, were awarded U.S. Patent #5,401,504 (http://www.google.com/patents/US5401504) for a specific application of turmeric, namely for ‘Use of turmeric in wound healing‘.
- Ironically, especially considering the furore this patent created in India, the two researchers in question, Suman K. Das and Hari Har P. Cohly, are Indian Americans.
- Their patent application was approved in 1995.
- This patent was revoked in 1997.
- Revocation started with a complaint filed with the US PTO (US Patent Office) by India’s CSIR (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Council_of_Scientific_and_Industrial_Research).
- The challenge was headed by http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raghunath_Anant_Mashelkar, then Director of CSIR.
- This patent fight as well as the one for neem (Azadirachta indica) helped highlight and build momentum to block the then-burgeoning practice of predatory patenting whereby some sought to profit from traditional knowledge that various indigenous people around the world had known for centuries.