Applications for patents for pot extracts to be cancelled: commerce minister
The controversy over foreign firms applying for patents for marijuana extracts is expected to come to an abrupt end with the Commerce Ministry planning to invoke Section 30 of the Patents Act to scrap all the applications.
Commerce Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong said Monday the Department of Intellectual Property has been considering the marijuana patent case with caution since last week and concluded that marijuana extracts were plant extracts and, for that matter, could not be registered for a patent.
Hence, the next step is that the Intellectual Property Department will invoke Section 30 of the Patents Act to cancel all the applications for patent of marijuana extracts pending with the department’s consideration, said the minister.
Sontirat disclosed that there were 11 applications pending with the Intellectual Property Department and two were recently withdrawn because the companies which applied for the patent did not show up as legally required to present their documentation for perusal by the department.
He further said another application was likely to be withdrawn, leaving only seven left pending with the department for further consideration because they did not concern marijuana extracts.
In the latest development, there are five applications for patent for marijuana-related innovations pending examination and three other applications that the applicants will be required to show up to have their documentation examined.
Minister Sontirat gave an assurance that that Thai researchers could carry on with their researches to extract substances from marijuana for medical use and could apply for patents for drugs which contain marijuana extracts as an ingredient.
He expected the controversy to be resolved soon.