Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) :By DrAjit Thorbole
TKDL is a collaborative initiative between Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Ministry of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, and Department of AYUSH, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and a maiden Indian effort to prevent misappropriation of traditional knowledge belonging to India at International Patent Offices. TKDL has overcome the language and format barriers by scientifically converting and structuring the traditional medical knowledge of Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha in 34 million A4 size pages of the ancient texts in languages such as Sanskrit, Hindi, Arabic, Persian, Urdu and Tamil into five international languages, namely, English, Japanese, French, German and Spanish, with the help of information technology tools and a novel classification system - Traditional Knowledge Resource Classification (TKRC). Today, India through TKDL is capable of protecting about 2.5 lakh medicinal formulations similar to those of neem and turmeric. TKDL access has been given to eight International Patent Offices which are European Patent Office (EPO), Indian Patent Office, German Patent Office (GPO), United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (UKPTO), United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO), Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO), IP Australia and Japan Patent Office (JPO) under Access (non-disclosure) Agreement. Based on the evidences of prior art submitted by the TKDL team on the basis of the information present in the TKDL database, so far 88 patent applications of the pharma companies of United States, Great Britain, Spain, Italy, China, etc. have been either set aside or withdrawn/cancelled or declared as dead patent applications at no cost and within few weeks of submission of prior art evidences, whereas cancellations of patents have been known to take 4-13 years of complex and expansive legal battle. Considering the novelty, utility and its effectiveness in preventing the grant of wrong patents several countries and organizations have expressed their keenness in replicating the TKDL model for their own countries. World Intellectual Property Organization including the global IP community has recognized India’s leadership in the area of Intellectual Property Rights and Traditional Knowledge and an International Conference on utilizing India’s TKDL as model for protection of Traditional Knowledge was held by CSIR and WIPO in March, 2011 at New Delhi where 33 developing countries participated.
TKDL And Indian Systems of Medicine
TKDL is a proprietary and original database with a tool to understand the codified knowledge existing for the Indian Systems of Medicine including Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Yoga as prior art. Till date TKDL has transcribed 148 books of Ayurveda (93,280 formulations), 33 books of Unani (1, 33,470 formulations) and 137 books of Siddha (16, 764 formulations).
Recently, TKDL has taken up a big step for authenticating the origin of Yoga. TKDL has prepared patent formats for nearly 1150 yoga techniques to prevent yoga piracy by foreign companies involved in fitness related activities who claimed for copyrights and other forms of IP.
38 books of yoga in Sanskrit and Hindi language have been included in TKDL, like Patanjal-yoga-darshan, Hatharatnavali , Gherandasamhita, Hathapradipika, Kumbhaka Paddhati, Nathamuni’s Yoga Rahasya, Yogasana Vigyan etc. Till date about 1149 yoga techniques have been identified and out of these about 300 techniques like Surya-namaskar, Padmasana, Matsyendrasana, Vajrasana, Mandukasana, Bhujangasana, Paschimottanasana, Shavasana, Nadi sodhan Pranayama, Bharamari Pranayama, Kapalbhati, Nauli, etc. have been videographed for inclusion in TKDL. It is expected that in near future TKDL (Yoga) would also become accessable to International Patent Offices.
Internationalization of TKDL
World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) organized an International Conference, in cooperation with Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) on the “Utilization of the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library as a Model for Protection of Traditional Knowledge” in New Delhi, India in March 2011. Representatives from 33 developing countries and major International Patent Offices that have TKDL Access Agreement with CSIR took part in the conference.
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