Ask Patents is a question and answer site for people interested in improving and participating in the patent system. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have seen many patents related to use of herbs in medicines, like some homemade remedy for cough syrup etc. A large number of such remedies are already listed in many ancient medical books, one being Ayurveda in India, dating back to 300 BC.

Clearly, the book and the remedies are the part of archaeological heritage of a country and comes under public domain. So, shouldn't the patent for such remedy be invalidated? If yes, then how one can challenge such issued patent?

share|improve this question
up vote 3 down vote accepted

In theory anything "published" anywhere at anytime in the past is fair game as prior art. The particular issue you bring up is called "Traditional Knowledge and Intellectual Property" and is a current, important topic in the IP community. This is a link to a discussion at WIPO on it here

Patents that might fall under this category may be very deserved due to a specific active ingredient being identified and purified. If you think a particular patent is not properly granted, patents are subject to reexamination and other USPTO procedures that a third party can initiate. This can be expensive and might be done defensively if and when a particular patent was asserted.

share|improve this answer
Thank you for the answer. Sorry for late reply – Mangat Rai Modi Jul 3 '13 at 21:07

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.