Policy Matter

Measures Taken by Government to Protect Ancient and Traditional Knowledge of Indigenous Medicinal Systems

Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) is a pioneering Indian initiative to prevent exploitation and to protect Indian traditional knowledge from wrongful patents mainly at International Patent Offices. India’s rich and time-tested traditional medicinal knowledge which exists in languages such as Sanskrit, Hindi, Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Tamil etc. is neither accessible nor comprehensible for patent examiners at the international patent offices. TKDL contains Indian traditional medicine knowledge available in public domain and pertains to classical/ traditional books related to Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha in a digitized format and is available in five international languages (English, French, German, Spanish and Japanese).

Traditional Knowledge of Indigenous Medicinal Systems

Till date 3,35,260 formulations have been transcribed, 220 wrongful patent filings have been prevented and 12 patent offices have been provided access to TKDL database namely European Patent Office, US Patent Office, Japanese Patent Office, German Patent Office, Canadian Patent Office, Chile Patent Office, Australian Patent Office, CGPDTM (India), UK Patent Office, and Malaysian Patent Office, Rospatent (Russia)and Peru Patent Office.

Under the Scheme, funds are provided only to CSIR, the implementation agency of the TKDL Project. No funds have been allocated/ released to any State under the Scheme.

Besides setting up of TKDL, Yoga has since been inscribed in UNESCO’s representative list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Indian Patent Office has also brought out Guidelines for processing Patent Applications relating to Traditional Knowledge and Biological Material to help the Patent examiner to analyze what constitutes novelty and inventive step in Traditional Knowledge (TK) related invention.

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