Mahindra and Mahindra have responded to the allegations of intellectual property (IP) theft by PGIMER based doctors, the company issued a statement through its spokesperson on Thursday.
The Company spokesperson said Mahindra has no intention of making a profit from the manufacture of respirators and does not intend to continue manufacturing them after the end of the pandemic as it is completely unrelated to the mainstream businesses.
“In addition, as soon as our design is approved, we will make our design ‘Open Source’ which means any individual, institute or company can start making them in the future as a for-profit business, should they so desire. Which is why it’s so unfortunate that allegations of IP violation are being made in this context. Particularly since we have only used information in the public domain and our own capabilities and skills in designing our respirator prototype.”
“There are many differences in the concept claimed to have been developed by Mr. Chauhan and the prototype displayed by our team. One major difference is that while in his design, the Ambu bag is pressed vertically from both sides with the help of a motor and lead screw mechanism having both clockwise and anti-clockwise threads with microprocessor-based electronic controls, in our case the Ambu bag is pressed horizontally from one side only with a motor and ball screw mechanism and with PLC based electronic controls. All our parts are standard off the shelf ones which are used in the engineering industry, while Mr. Chouhan claims to have incorporated 3D printed parts in his concept.”
On April 1, The Association of a resident doctor’s in an official release routed through the public relations department of the institute has claimed that Dr. Rajeev Chauhan, assistant professor in PGI’s department of anesthesia has been working on designing a low-cost ventilator over the past one year and filed a patent on December 22, 2019, with application no 201911053339 to Indian Patent Authority. The institute’s ethics committee has already given approval for this device in October last year.
Dr. Rajeev Kumar said that the “The Mahindras approached us via email due to the national emergency in the wake of COVID-19 and within 48 hours copied our innovation. The same mechanism has been applied using a linear actuator, which was we had developed. However, without giving due credit to developers, the Mahindras have claimed that it is their indigenous product.”