FIT WebQoof: US Patents For Medicines Containing Cow Urine
US granted patents to Council of Scientific and Industrial Research for research on medicinal uses of cow urine.
There have been several messages floating on social media around the health benefits of cow urine, dung and other cow products. From cancer to diabetes, a lot has been attributed to the curative qualities found in cow urine. Here’s another one.
CLAIM: A Whatsapp image has been circulating with the message that American universities and multinational corporations have obtained patents for anti-cancer, antibiotic and anti-infection medicines that contain cow urine in them.
True or False?
This needs to be fact-checked on two levels: (a) the content of the image and (b) the message that accompanies it.
Let’s dissect each of these.
The image is a collation of two separate patent documents (no. 6,896,907 and no. 6,410,059). Yes, they are both real.
In fact, this is not all.
There are three more patents that have been granted by US to India’s Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) on researches conducted in collaboration with Govigyan Anusandhan Kendra.
- US patent No 6410059- for Antibiotic Anti Fungal, Bio enhancer effect of Gomutra
- US Patent No. 6896907 - For Anti Allergic, Anti infective, Nutrient & Anti-cancer
- US Patent No. 7718360- For Anti Oxidant, Apoptosis
- US Patent No. 7235262- For cow urine distillate as a Bio-enhancer of Anti-infective, Anti-cancer agents & Nutrients
- US Patent No. 7297659- For synergistic fermented plant growth promoting, bio-control composition
The message below the image reads: “While ignorant Indian liberals are making fun of cows, US Universities and multinational corporations have obtained six patents for products made of cow urine.”
Are US universities and multinational corporations involved? NO.
Has the United States of America ‘obtained’ patents for products made of cow urine? NO again.
The United States Patent and Trade Office has ‘granted’ the patents to assignee Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. Granted, not obtained.
Here is a report from The Hindu for the patent from 2002:
What Does the Patent Mean?
World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) defines a patent as:
An exclusive right to a product or a process that generally provides a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution to a problem.
Since patents are territorial rights, they need to be applied for in different countries for them to be enforceable there. CSIR, in collaboration with, Govigyan Anusandhan Kendra, for instance, holds five patents from the US and one from China.
It does not mean the US Patent Office recognises or validates the discoveries. It simply means that they recognise CSIR’s rights over them.
The legitimacy of such claims of medicinal properties of cow urine is still a debated issue. Moreover, whether these apparent therapeutic benefits are exclusive to cows (and not other animals) is another question that needs to be answered through further research in the area.
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