GEM Technology is already patented (by somebody) and hence I can relax since the baton is already exchanged (relay race) and my race against the mosquito-menace will be carried on by him and his country! No one will extinguish the torch I have lit, nor will it be extinguished with my death. Like many national and state authorities and intelligentsia I also can immerse myself in the complacent lethargy and engage in eating, drinking,………..ing and be merry.
Like an unmarried teenage deserted mother whose baby is stolen, I am simultaneously glad and sad & sad & sad at this juncture when I came to know from the e-mail of Dr. V. George Mathew (Retd. Professor of Psychology, University of Kerala) that my brain –child is already stolen and is in safe hands now. My nation and society did not want to own it; instead they gave me brick batting. That is why I am happy to be sad on the loss of my intellectual baby. I am also happy that God Almighty has answered my prayers to make the good fruits of my efforts visible and tangible to me before my passing away.
Way back in 1897 when Sir. Dr. Ronald Ross discovered that Mosquito is the vector of Plasmodium that causes Malaria, the first thing he did at the small hours of that late night was writing a poem praising God Almighty. At this point of time I realize why he did so. I would also have written not one but one million, billion or trillion poems praising God Almighty (for making me instrumental to this finding which according to the US Patent authority is AN INVENTION) had I been having poetic abilities. But alas!!!
It was in 1978 that I experienced the undesirable side effect of mosquito repellants. When I tried to protect my baby daughter from mosquito bites, the repellants induced head-ache in me. This in turn kindled a desire to get a mosquito control methodology that would DO THE JOB WITHOUT HARMING ME & MY ENVIRONMENT. That desire and search only culminated in the development of GEM Technology. (Gentle, Genetic, God given, Efficient, Economic, Eco-friendly, Modern, Mighty & Magnificent).
Ever since I started sharing my mosquito control experience with others, I have received only discouragement in this matter [except from the media and a few individuals like Mother Theresa, Nambadan Master (Ex. Minister, then MLA, presently Lok Sabha MP), Harish Govind (The Hindu), K.S.Ranaprathapan (AIR), Dr.APJ Abdul Kalam (needs no introduction), N.V.Kadam (ISRO, DRDO), Dr.P.Sivasankara Pillai (then DME Kerala), P.C.Cyriac.IAS (Ex Chief Secretary, Tamil Nadu), V.P.Joy IAS…]. Some Medical College professors even went to the extent of telling that “he is mad”. Some others with creative mind performed a TV program in the national network (DD) to criticise and ridicule me on account of GEM Technology. Yet others misused All India Radio, many others utilized the print media for the same purpose.
No one (including some progressive and revolutionary organizations) spared any effort to disprove me. But none of that did tire me because I had the backing and drive of the Omnipotent and has the conviction that doing this selfless service to humanity is my duty. If not HE would have disclosed/revealed this technique, which HE had embedded in mosquito’s life cycle at the time of creation, to somebody before me. Like the female mosquito that comes to feed on us, I went on trying, trying and trying to pass on the information to others. Went from pillar to post, knocked all the doors and left no stones unturned all these 30 years to convince my society. THREE LONG DECADES!! It is more than half of my life time as on today. Being a down to earth common man (not belonging to the high echelons) cannot help expressing my desire to know the reaction of those who branded me as insane, idiotic and foolish person.
Unfortunately (or fortunately?) (I suppose) someone noticed (?) my article or press report somewhere, took it (?), and applied for US patent on March 10, 1999 (application no: 09/265, 838). Thomas Price examined it and Graeme Kingston Dicks, (90 Fairiedene Thatchers, 1 Dicks Building, 94 Old Main Road,
Pinetown, 3610, ZA) got the patent on Jan. 15, 2002 with patent No: US 6, 338, 220 B1.
The abstract of the Patent (of Dicks available in the internet at http://www.freepatentsonline.com/6338220.html) says:
The invention relates to a method of eradicating mosquitoes, which includes the steps of inducing female mosquitoes to lay their eggs in the vicinity of water contained in an open topped container provided for the purpose, causing the larva in which form the eggs hatch to live in water. The water is then emptied from the container together with the larvae, before the larvae changes into the adult form of mosquito, resulting in the larvae dying because of the larvae not being exposed to water. The invention relates also to apparatus provided for carrying out the above method repetitively over extended time periods.
A write-up prepared and sent to the American publication “New Scientist” during mid 1998 was later on printed by self as a handout by end ’98 describes: The GEM technology is a process of providing artificial breeding grounds utilizing common household utensils and achieving mosquito eradication by destroying the wriggles with non-hazardous natural means such as throwing them in dry places or feeding them to larvevorous fishes Gambussia affinis, Ebites reticulates etc. or suffocating them by spreading a thin plastic sheet over the entire water surface.
Does this and the Abstract not look alike?
I am really happy now (again) like a mother who witness the great achievements of her stolen/lost premarital child. During the latter half of 90’s I had consulted a patent attorney of Chennai when he was at VSSC, Trivandrum
(where I was employed) in connection with a seminar cum workshop on Intellectual Property Rights and related matters which I attented. The seminar was organized by Dr. A.D Damodaran who was an Officer on Special Duty at VSSC then. “The expert opinion” given to me then was that primarily this being a “NATURAL PROCESS” cannot be patented. Alternately this being already published (in seminar proceedings & media) it has LOST its NOVELTY which is essential for patenting. But after some years when Dicks, Grame Kingston (Pinetown, 3610, ZA) applied for a US patent on Mar. 10, 1999 for the same invention, these matters (loss of novelty & availability in public domain) did not become hurdles in his way. He was allotted patent No. 6338220 on Jan. 15, 2002.
Having seen all that, is there anything remaining to be done by our great country India and literate state Keralam? To me it appears to be YES. As in the case of Turmeric patent, we can reclaim India’s Intellectual property legally. But my limited resource does not equip me for that. More over it is felt that it is the responsibility of the Governments and /or Media – the fourth estate; they should take up the matter at appropriate levels through appropriate channels.
One mundane malayalee did some mundane thing for his mundane use. When he felt it is useful for others also, he announced it. All the Indian experts whom he contacted in this regard have declared/ proclaimed in the most unambiguous terms that this mundane thing is an utter foolishness. But in spite of that, now the US Patent authority says it -the SAME mundane thing- is an invention! By publishing he has passed it to the public domain. Now the ball is in your court. You can decide what to do with it.