AJIT PATOWARY A Gauhati University (GU) Chemistry Department team’s path-breaking invention has been granted patent by the Patent Office of the Government of India.
Structure of the copper catalyst for C-N and C-S bond forming reactions.
The GU team, led by Prof Prodeep Phukan and comprising Subhasish Roy, Manas Jyoti Sarma and Bishwapran Kashyap, invented a copper catalyst for C-N and C-S bond forming reactions and a process for its manufacture.
The team filed the application for the patent certificate on November 16, 2015 and was granted the patent with Patent No. 336241 on April 29 last. The patent application was facilitated by the Patent Information Centre (PIC) of the Assam Science Technology and Environment Council (ASTEC).
A chemical catalyst increases the rate of a reaction. Iron, for example, combines with nitrogen and hydrogen under pressure to form ammonia, while chlorine in the upper atmosphere transforms ozone to elemental oxygen.
However, synthetic catalysts can also be manufactured and the GU team’s work was related to this area. Its patented catalyst increases the rate of C-N and C-S bond forming reactions, specifically Chan-Lam coupling, at room temperature in shorter time, compared to the other ways currently followed across the world.
Siddhartha Devnath, Scientist-C of the PIC, ASTEC, who facilitated the patent application of the GU team, said it took almost 4.5 years to secure the patent for the GU team’s innovation.
However, the Indian Patent Office seemed to be faster this time in disposing of the application. He described the PIC as a part of the innovators’ community and claimed that the PIC works closely with the innovators while facilitating their applications for patent.
Devnath maintains that there has been a quantum leap in the State’s area of innovation during the past five years and said that this indicates a generation of good intellectual property here with the prospect of a bright economic future for the State.
Prof Phukan, who at present heads the GU IPR Cell, said that he was taken by surprise by the sincere and prompt services rendered by the PIC in facilitating the patent for their innovation.
It may perhaps be pertinent to mention here that many patent applications are now filed through the Gauhati University IPR Cell. Prof Phukan urged the Gauhati University innovators to file more patent applications in addition to their academic works.