Neem: the patent serial

The 32nd US patent on neem was give to FMC Corporation of Philadelphia. It is the corporation's second patent titled, "Combinations of neem seed extract and bifenthrin for control of ectoparasites on animals". This patent, awarded on December 5, 1995, became the eighth patent to the awarded in the US in 1995, on neem-related products and processes.

Earlier, the corporation had obtained a patent for using a similar combination for controlling pyrethroid resistant mites. A computer search of all patents from 1976 to 1995, revealed that a total of 32 neem-related patents have been given in the US, and not 30 (Down To Earth, Vol 4, No 20).

The first neem patent, "Neern bark extracts", was awarded (May 7, 1985) to Terumo Corporation of Tokyo, Japah,.which also took the second patent. But in 1991, another interesting patent, "Dentrifice", was awarded to the Floss Products Corporation of Morton Grove, Illinois. It was all about a neem product to be used for cleaning teeth - nothing new to the Indians.

The product can be used as a paste, gel, powder or a rinse. It consists micro-fibres of non-deleterious organic plant components, specifically, branches or roots of neem trees used for similar purposes. So, Indians better not try selling a neem-based toothpaste in the US!