The Open University of Sri Lanka has filed four Patents at the National Intellectual Property Office (NIPO) in August 2017. Though the staff and students of the university have filed Patents in the past, this is the first time the OUSL has become an applicant to file Patents.
The filed Patents are concerned with sustainable utilization of endemic plant Gyrinops walla "Walla Patta", the only Agarwood producing species in Sri Lanka. The research team comprised of Prof S. R. Weerakoon (Department of Botany), Dr. S. Somaratne (Department of Botany), Dr. Chandani Ranasinghe (Department of Chemistry) and the post-graduate student Ms. Sachithri Munasinghe (Department of Botany). They have extensively worked on developing biotechnological methods to produce Agarwood which is a highly valuable essential oil used in perfumery and fragrance industry. The plant "Walla Patta" has been declared as a protected species under the Flora and Fauna Protection Ordinance (FFPO) in Sri Lanka in 2004 and internationally by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in 2005. The newly developed methods will prevent the destructive sampling of "Walla Patta" and help to conserve this endemic plant. As Agarwood oil has a high market value worldwide, these new methods can be used to produce the oil and bring foreign income to the country.
Researches thank Mr. Shantha Yapa of EPIC Research and Innovation Center and Ms Dilini Rathnayake, Assistant Director of NIPO who conducted a seminar on “ Patent Filing and guidance for the Patent Application process."