The Chennai-based Geographical Indication Registry under Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trademarks had recently had conferred the tag of Geographical Indication on September 15th, 2009. In simple terms it is a Patent for Tirupati Laddu and the Laddu can be produced only by the Tirupati Tirumala Temple Administration – TTDs. The tag of Geographical Indication would ban others from making and marketing the ‘laddus’ under the same name.
The Tirupati Laddu Patent has been challenged through a 'suo motu' action in Supreme Court by R. S. Praveen Raj, a scientist and resident of
The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTDs), the administrative body of
R. S. Praveen Raj is of the view that Tirupati Laddu is a Prasadam, or sacred food offered at temple, and it is not a ‘Good’ – article of commerce. He states that the GI Act in
He is of the view that patent which makes Tirupati Laddu a good, or article of commerce, hurts the religious sentiments of Tirupati Balaji devotees.
He is also of the view that to get Tirupati Laddu Prasadam one has to visit
Praveen Raj is working as a Scientist in National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science & Technology, Thiruvananthapuram under Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) since 2004, and is responsible for Intellectual Property Management, Business Development, Technology Transfer and Human Resource Management. Therefore he is also worried about long term consequences such a patent can create in Indian society.