(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?

TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE DIGITAL LIBRARY (TKDL) is a 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 screen.

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 matter.

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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