A lot, apparently. Neem -Azadirachta indica – and the I?rodukte that derive from it have traditionally been widespread for centuries, especially in India, for medical and pest control purposes. Recognising its enormous potential, Western science and industry began a flood of patents on the highly esteemed neem derivatives, while India, the country of origin of the plant, was reduced to the role of a back banker who was marked for 10 years between 1985 and April 25, 1995 – according to the relevant databases – by a veritable flood of our share and European patents on skin-related products. The databases also contain information on patents filed by the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), a United Nations organization that operates within the framework of the World Intellectual Property Organization. During this period, 28 patents were filed in the United States during these years, 15 of which were filed in just 16 months between January 1994 and April 1995 – almost at the monthly rate. The exclusion of all PCT and European patents that resembled us in patents – there were 28 us, 16 European patents and nine PCT patents (53 in total) – is in addition to 36 different inventions. The other 17 patents can be updated because they were filed by the same companies under the same titles for the same products or procedures. It can therefore be considered that they are identical and therefore not eligible for the category of “new inventions”. Previous years of the period have an annual rate of about one or two patents or not, but the patenting rate increases until 1994 in a crescendo, compared to 13 this year alone. And of the 36 new patents for new inventions – 28 us, three Europeans and five PCTs – more than three-quarters had been filed at usalone.

It is therefore not surprising that Ashok Leyland`s permanent employees are concerned about the introduction of this system in their plant. Despite a strong unionist culture in the company, there has been a constant outsourcing of jobs, which has reduced the strength of permanent workers to about 1750, while the number of contract workers in the factory is more than 6,000. The union management elected at the plant had signed a collective agreement with management in September 2016, in which 400 jobs (permanent employees were 2154) were outsourced.

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