TKDL to protect Traditional Knowledge of Indian Medicinal System
The Ministry of AYUSH had established Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) in collaboration with Council for Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR). As per the information provided by the CSIR, TKDL consisting of more than 2.90 lakh medicinal formulations of Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha which are available in the public domain, in five international languages namely English, Japanese, French, German and Spanish. To facilitate the protection of country’s traditional knowledge, access of TKDL has been provided to International Patent offices (IPOs) under International Agreement. In addition, pre-grant opposition on patent applications along with prior art evidences from TKDL are submitted on a regular basis.
As per the information provided by the CSIR, the implementing agency of the TKDL project, the total cost incurred on the project is Rs. 20 Crores approximately.
As per the information received from CSIR, till date TKDL has been successful in preventing the grant of wrong patents in 220 cases. For further facilitating the prevention of grant of wrong patents at International Patent Offices (IPOs), International Access Agreements on TKDL have been concluded with United States Patent & Trademark Office, European Patent Office, Canada Patent Office, Germany Patent Office, Japan Patent Office, United Kingdom Patent Office, Australia Patent Office, Malaysia Patent Office, Chile Patent Office and Indian Patent Office.
Apart from bio-piracy, to prevent misappropriation of Yoga, Ministry of AYUSH through Sangeet Natak Akademi (the nodal organization of Ministry of Culture) has filed nomination of Yoga at UNESCO to include Yoga in the representative list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Indian Patent Office had also brought out Guidelines for processing Patent Applications relating to Traditional Knowledge and Biological Material to help Patent examiner to analyze what constitute novelty and inventive step in Traditional Knowledge (TK) related invention. The Biological Diversity Act, 2002 also aims conservation of biological resources, sustainable use of its components and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the use of biological resources. Further, the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 requires every local body to constitute a Biodiversity Management Committee (BMC) within its area with the objective to prepare People’s Biodiversity Register in consultation with local people. The Register shall contain comprehensive information on availability and knowledge of local biological resources, their medicinal or any other use or any other traditional knowledge associated with them.