Thursday, June 14, 2007

Tata Tea Boils Over Unilever

World’s second largest tea maker – Tata Tea has filed a petition for patent revocation in the Mumbai High Court against an Indian patent issued to Unilever for the process of making instant tea from cold water. The appeal has now referred to the Intellectual Property Appellate Tribunal by the Mumbai High Court. In its petition, Tata Tea alleged that the process of making tea has been known to Indian for centuries and is not an invention and cannot be patented in India. The process is already been patented in Europe and the US and later issued by Indian Patent Office in 1997. According to Hindustan Unilever, an Indian Subsidiary of Unilever the invention relates to a method of treating cold water with soluble solids derived from tea leaves.

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