(IGP) Special Current Affairs Material for IAS (Pre) 2013 – PIB “Topic : Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL)”

(IGP) Special Current Affairs Material for IAS (Pre) 2013

Chapter: Gist of Press Information
Bureau Articles

Topic: Traditional Knowledge Digital
Library (TKDL) – An Effective and Novel Tool For Protection of India’s
Traditional Knowledge Against Bio-piracy

Q. What is TKDL?

collaborative venture 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 is based on 148 books of Indian Systems of Medicine,
which are available at a cost of Rs. 50,000. These books are the prior art and
can be sourced by any individual/organisation at national/international level.
TKDL acts as a bridge between these books and international patent examiners. It
is the TKDL technology which has created a unique mechanism for a Sanskrit sloka
to be read in languages like German, Japanese, English, Spanish and French by an
examiner at EPO or any other International Patent Offices on his computer

Q. From how many languages TKDL will take information and in how many
languages these will be converted?

TKDL has overcome the language and format barriers by
scientifically converting and structuring the traditional medical knowledge of
Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Yoga 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).

Q. What are the outcomes of TKDL uses?

Today, India through TKDL is capable of protecting about 2.45
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 third party observations submitted by the TKDL
team so far 53 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 based on the
information present in the TKDL database at no cost and in few weeks time after
filing of the third party observations whereas cancellations of patents have
been known to take 4-13 years of legal battle.

World Intellectual Property Organization including the global community has
recognized India’s leadership in the area of Intellectual Property Rights and
Traditional Knowledge.

Q. How TKDL helps International Patent Classification?

TKDL has been responsible for the reform of International
Patent Classification (IPC) by enhancing the IPC on Traditional Knowledge from
one subgroup to 207 subgroups which enables effective search and examination
process on the patent applications related to traditional knowledge subject

IPC reforms in the context of TK are fundamental reforms in
the International Patent System which would have long term implications. TKDL
breaks distance, format and language barriers between TK holder(s) Knowledge and
International Patent Examiners.

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