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Section 44 orders all cannabis patents thrown out


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Section 44 orders all cannabis patents thrown out

By Teeranai Charuvastra, Staff Reporter

 

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Image: Venice Beach House /Flickr

 

BANGKOK — Junta chairman Prayuth Chan-ocha on Monday banned applications for patents related to commercial uses of marijuana until a new law on medical cannabis is enforced.

 

In an order issued under Section 44 of the 2014 interim charter, which allows Gen. Prayuth to enact any laws he deems fit, the director of the intellectual properties agency must either throw out all pending patents that involve cannabis or remove marijuana from those patents within 90 days.

 

Full Story: http://www.khaosodenglish.com/politics/2019/01/28/section-44-orders-all-cannabis-patents-thrown-out/

 

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-- © Copyright Khaosod English 2019-01-28

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Article 44 to allow suspension of cannabis patents

By THE NATION

 

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File photo: // EPA-EFE PHOTO

 

PRIME MINISTER Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday intervened amid growing controversy over patents for medical marijuana, using his special powers to authorise suspension of patent applications under review.

 

Critics of the process have complained that the high number of patent applications from abroad showed that foreign pharmaceutical corporations were seeking to monopolise Thailand’s fledgling medical-marijuana business.

 

Thailand is the first Asian country to give the green light for legalising medical marijuana, joining a global market projected to be worth $62.9 billion (Bt1.98 trillion) by 2024, according to Zion market research. 

 

Prayut yesterday issued a special order under Article 44 of the charter to empower the Intellectual Property Rights Department (IPD) to suspend applications for medicinal marijuana patents now under review. The agency currently has seven pending applications.

 

The move will also facilitate new efforts to conduct research and development on cannabis-based drugs within Thailand.

 

However, the agency will have the right to review questionable applications within 90 days while the applicant can appeal against its decision. A committee will be responsible for reviewing these applications and also hearing any appeals. Witoon Lienchamroon of Biothai said the Article 44 order granted the government authority to suspend patent applications on legal grounds as officials were concerned over legal validity. 

 

In his opinion, the special order does not directly nullify patent applications. 

 

The country has already enacted legal amendments to allow use of cannabis ingredients in medicine. The government also plans to promote the domestic market for cannabis-based medicines.

 

Civic organisations first sounded the alarm after discovering that all cannabis-related applications filed for patents with the IPD came from foreign companies, raising suspicion that the rush to legalise marijuana may have been designed to grant a monopoly among certain groups.

 

Last month, the National Legislative Assembly passed a law that will legalise medical marijuana, prompting non-governmental groups to question whether the bill was rushed through for the benefit of certain business interests. 

 

With some firms having already prepared medicinal marijuana patent applications in advance, concerns that a monopoly is brewing grew. The patent process has been dogged by controversy ever since. Among the patent applications are those filed by British biopharmaceutical company GW Pharma and Japan’s Otsuka, reportedly related to the use of marijuana for epilepsy and cancer. 

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30363114

 

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-- © Copyright The Nation 2019-01-29
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Thailand to revoke foreign patent requests on marijuana

 

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An employee tends to a medical cannabis plants at Pharmocann, an Israeli medical cannabis company in northern Israel January 24, 2019. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

 

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand on Monday effectively revoked all foreign patent requests for the use of marijuana, after fears foreign firms would dominate a market thrown open last month when the government approved the drug for medical use and research.

 

The junta-appointed parliament in Thailand, a country which until the 1930s had a tradition of using marijuana to relieve pain and fatigue, voted to amend the Narcotic Act of 1979 in December in what it described as "a New Year's gift to the Thai people".

 

While countries from Colombia to Canada have legalised marijuana for medical or even recreational use, the drug remains illegal and taboo across much of Southeast Asia.

 

But in Thailand, the main controversy with the legalisation involved patent requests by two foreign firms, British giant GW Pharmaceuticals and Japan's Otsuka Pharmaceutical, filed before the change to the law.

 

Thai civil society groups and researchers feared domination by foreign firms could make it harder for Thai patients to get access to medicines and for Thai researchers to get marijuana extracts.

 

The military government issued a special executive order on Monday enabling the Department of Intellectual Property to revoke all pending patents that involve cannabis, or remove marijuana from those patents, within 90 days.

 

"The pending patent requests are illegal," Somchai Sawangkarn, a member of parliament responsible for amending the Narcotic Act told Reuters.

 

"This NCPO order is beneficial for Thai people across the country because it prevents a monopolistic contract," he said referring to the junta by its official name, the National Council for Peace and Order.

 

Reuters did not have contact details for spokesmen for either of the two foreign firms and the companies did not immediately respond to emailed requests for comment.

 

Companies with a request pending can appeal to the Department of Intellectual Property, the government said in an order, published on an official website.

 

Marijuana remains illegal and taboo across much of Southeast Asia, and traffickers can be subject to the death penalty in Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

 

The new legislation on marijuana has yet to come into effect. All Thai laws must receive royal approval.

 

(Reporting by Panarat Thepgumpanat and Panu Wongcha-um; Editing by Robert Birsel)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-01-29
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"...Thailand is the first Asian country to give the green light for legalising medical marijuana, joining a global market projected to be worth $62.9 billion (Bt1.98 trillion) by 2024, according to Zion market research..." 

 

It is unlikely that Thailand will benefit greatly from the potential 2 trillion Baht global market in research and medicine; sorry Thailand, you simply do not have the research facilities, universities and/or human resources to be a global market leader, even with a head start.

 

However, if Thailand is wise enough, it can grab a large market share of the 'medical use' growers market quickly, especially if it drafts loose rules allowing for de facto legalization in the country. If Thailand REALLY wants to make money, then Thailand should just legalize it and tax it.

 

The first country in SE Asia, or Asia itself, that goes down this route will make a killing. Act now Thailand, or watch another country grab the windfall.

 

 

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that old all powerful art44

 

someone wants to own this market, nothing like free enterprise in Thailand, if our good PM put more effort into the safety of the people it might actually be art44 well spent but no - that actually costs money

 

3rd world Thailand it will never change - and yes Thailand is still 3rd world, it shouldn't be but it is, running together with Cambodia and Burma 

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So they started down the track of legal Marijuana for medical use. 

Why? Because somewhere people and corporations are making a packet selling it.

Do they know anything else about it?

Passed the bill through Parliament at breakneck speed, now what?

Lean on the government to gain the rights to a monopoly.

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2 hours ago, webfact said:

"The pending patent requests are illegal," Somchai Sawangkarn, a member of parliament responsible for amending the Narcotic Act told Reuters.

anything we deem in the moment is legal or not, nevermind existing laws or processes; we are the rulers

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2 hours ago, webfact said:

Last month, the National Legislative Assembly passed a law that will legalise medical marijuana, prompting non-governmental groups to question whether the bill was rushed through for the benefit of certain business interests

Well yes, the problem is that it looks like the "wrong business interests" were going to benefit. No doubt some "influence" was brought to bear.

 

What this does mean of course is that it is very likely that any future co-operations in research, manufacturing medicines and their application, with international pharmaceutical companies ( not just marijuana but I expect across the board) has gone out of the window...

 

I'm no fan of the big pharmaceutical companies, but I completely understand why they will go elsewhere.

 

Unintended, but obvious and inevitable consequences.

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They should just focus on cultivation and help their farmers.  Processing and R&D will need to come from outside of Thailand. 

 

A44 is a bad idea.  Nobody likes authorities to get in the way of business.  

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3 hours ago, JAG said:

Well yes, the problem is that it looks like the "wrong business interests" were going to benefit. No doubt some "influence" was brought to bear.

 

What this does mean of course is that it is very likely that any future co-operations in research, manufacturing medicines and their application, with international pharmaceutical companies ( not just marijuana but I expect across the board) has gone out of the window...

 

I'm no fan of the big pharmaceutical companies, but I completely understand why they will go elsewhere.

 

Unintended, but obvious and inevitable consequences.

I think I have to disagree with you on this topic. What the junta did was the correct thing. How can you patent extraction of THC. Its a normal process that happens everywhere. You can't just give a patent on something like that. You can give a patent on new inventions but not on something that basic. It would be like putting a patent on the breathing of air and letting everyone pay for it.

 

I understand why patents are needed to protect research from being copied, so if some real good unknown technique appears sure let people patent it. But normal extraction you just can't patent that. Also you can't patent an extract from a plant, they don't do that in other countries too.

 

You can patent things like the invention of a new chemical and its effects after a lot of testing. Sure that makes sense as the original inventor put a lot of work in it and research and it would be unfair if it just could be copied. But that is not what is happening in this case.

 

Anyway just my 2 cents on the topic.

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6 hours ago, webfact said:

"This NCPO order is beneficial for Thai people across the country because it prevents a monopolistic contract,"

 

20 minutes ago, robblok said:

I think I have to disagree with you on this topic. What the junta did was the correct thing. How can you patent extraction of THC. Its a normal process that happens everywhere. You can't just give a patent on something like that. You can give a patent on new inventions but not on something that basic. It would be like putting a patent on the breathing of air and letting everyone pay for it.

 

I understand why patents are needed to protect research from being copied, so if some real good unknown technique appears sure let people patent it. But normal extraction you just can't patent that. Also you can't patent an extract from a plant, they don't do that in other countries too.

 

You can patent things like the invention of a new chemical and its effects after a lot of testing. Sure that makes sense as the original inventor put a lot of work in it and research and it would be unfair if it just could be copied. But that is not what is happening in this case.

 

Anyway just my 2 cents on the topic.

Are you saying then that Thailand's Department of Intellectual Property that is in part responsible for patent https://www.wipo.int/edocs/mdocs/aspac/en/wipo_ip_cnx_17/wipo_ip_cnx_17_1.pdf

unreliable, inept, corrupt, etc. to the extent that it is not capable of approving legitimate patent requests?

Prayut's invocation of Article 44 makes no distinction as to whether existing patents are legitimate. And thusly, deprives patent holders of any recovery of their patent costs and future benefits that would otherwise be protected by due process of law. 

Article 44 as a swift remedy - yes.

To be commended for violating the rule of law - no.

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2 minutes ago, Srikcir said:

 

Are you saying then that Thailand's Department of Intellectual Property that is in part responsible for patent https://www.wipo.int/edocs/mdocs/aspac/en/wipo_ip_cnx_17/wipo_ip_cnx_17_1.pdf

unreliable, inept, corrupt, etc. to the extent that it is not capable of approving legitimate patent requests?

Prayut's invocation of Article 44 makes no distinction as to whether existing patents are legitimate. And thusly, deprives patent holders of any recovery of their patent costs and future benefits that would otherwise be protected by due process of law. 

Article 44 as a swift remedy - yes.

To be commended for violating the rule of law - no.

Yes its a swift remedy and the logical thing to do as the department seemed to be stalling. In a perfect world the department would do its job good. Unfortunately we live in Thailand where the world is far far from perfect.

 

These patents should not even have been accepted, it was just rectifying a situation that was wrong.


I understand the concerns about article 44, but that does not make the action itself wrong.

 

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30 minutes ago, robblok said:

I think I have to disagree with you on this topic. What the junta did was the correct thing. How can you patent extraction of THC. Its a normal process that happens everywhere. You can't just give a patent on something like that. You can give a patent on new inventions but not on something that basic. It would be like putting a patent on the breathing of air and letting everyone pay for it.

 

I understand why patents are needed to protect research from being copied, so if some real good unknown technique appears sure let people patent it. But normal extraction you just can't patent that. Also you can't patent an extract from a plant, they don't do that in other countries too.

 

You can patent things like the invention of a new chemical and its effects after a lot of testing. Sure that makes sense as the original inventor put a lot of work in it and research and it would be unfair if it just could be copied. But that is not what is happening in this case.

 

Anyway just my 2 cents on the topic.

If somebody invests time and money to develop a more efficient and cheaper way to do the extraction then they should have a right to patent that method.  I agree that a general patent covering all extraction methods should not be granted but if a new method is developed then the company that develops the method should be able to patent that method.

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1 minute ago, statman78 said:

If somebody invests time and money to develop a more efficient and cheaper way to do the extraction then they should have a right to patent that method.  I agree that a general patent covering all extraction methods should not be granted but if a new method is developed then the company that develops the method should be able to patent that method.

Sure, if they find a new way a better way and have invested money and done research. But not something that was already done and known by others and in use by others. It should really be innovating to be awarded a patent. 

 

 

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6 hours ago, statman78 said:

If somebody invests time and money to develop a more efficient and cheaper way to do the extraction then they should have a right to patent that method.  I agree that a general patent covering all extraction methods should not be granted but if a new method is developed then the company that develops the method should be able to patent that method.

This is the inevitable consequence of that American corporation getting a patent for making mangosteen juice.

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8 hours ago, robblok said:

I think I have to disagree with you on this topic. What the junta did was the correct thing. How can you patent extraction of THC. Its a normal process that happens everywhere. You can't just give a patent on something like that. You can give a patent on new inventions but not on something that basic. It would be like putting a patent on the breathing of air and letting everyone pay for it.

 

I understand why patents are needed to protect research from being copied, so if some real good unknown technique appears sure let people patent it. But normal extraction you just can't patent that. Also you can't patent an extract from a plant, they don't do that in other countries too.

 

You can patent things like the invention of a new chemical and its effects after a lot of testing. Sure that makes sense as the original inventor put a lot of work in it and research and it would be unfair if it just could be copied. But that is not what is happening in this case.

 

Anyway just my 2 cents on the topic.

You can invent chemicals? 

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3 minutes ago, Reigntax said:

You can invent chemicals? 

Obviously new designer drugs are made all the time. So i guess its possible by mixing stuff and so on. I am not a chemist but ask all the pharmaceutical companies who patent their pills. 

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9 hours ago, robblok said:

I think I have to disagree with you on this topic. What the junta did was the correct thing. How can you patent extraction of THC. Its a normal process that happens everywhere. You can't just give a patent on something like that. You can give a patent on new inventions but not on something that basic. It would be like putting a patent on the breathing of air and letting everyone pay for it.

 

I understand why patents are needed to protect research from being copied, so if some real good unknown technique appears sure let people patent it. But normal extraction you just can't patent that. Also you can't patent an extract from a plant, they don't do that in other countries too.

 

You can patent things like the invention of a new chemical and its effects after a lot of testing. Sure that makes sense as the original inventor put a lot of work in it and research and it would be unfair if it just could be copied. But that is not what is happening in this case.

 

Anyway just my 2 cents on the topic.

Correct you can't patent something that is in the public domain. 

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15 hours ago, smedly said:

that old all powerful art44

 

someone wants to own this market, nothing like free enterprise in Thailand, if our good PM put more effort into the safety of the people it might actually be art44 well spent but no - that actually costs money

 

3rd world Thailand it will never change - and yes Thailand is still 3rd world, it shouldn't be but it is, running together with Cambodia and Burma 

So Prauth wants to slow the development until he is voted out of office in order to corner the market himself? 

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14 hours ago, thaiguzzi said:

Sod having an intelligent debate on this topic, the pros and cons etc, i just like looking at those 3 photos....

You need to pass it along.......

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2 hours ago, Sydebolle said:

What a circus.

Just hoping that they do not pull article 44 once the election results are out; just in case somebody would not agree ..... 

That party that will go for free ganja will win

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