;   Medical Translation Insight: India enlists European Union in fight against bio-piracy - ForeignExchange Translations

India enlists European Union in fight against bio-piracyThe Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) is an ambitious online database that makes traditional Indian medical texts available in languages understandable to non-Indian patent examiners (currently English, French, German, Japanese and Spanish). Through TKDL, these texts (many of them old manuscripts originally written in Hindi, Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian, and Urdu) can be accessed in a searchable format.

In much of the developed world, "prior existing knowledge" (i.e., to reject a patent application if there is prior existing knowledge about the product) is only recognized if it is published in a journal or is available in a database - not if it has been passed down through generations of oral and folk traditions, as has been the case with much of Indian medicines, foods, and even yoga poses.

The BBC reported that of the nearly 5,000 patents given out by the U.S. Patent Office on various medical plants by the year 2000, some 80% were plants of Indian origin. The Indian government wants to stop this "bio-piracy".

As of February 2009, EPO patent examiners can compare patent applications with the existing traditional medicine documented in the TKDL and use this information to to stop people from claiming them as their own and patenting them.

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1 Comment:

  1. DawnM said...
    Yes! It's about time! I hope China will do the same thing. Traditional knowledge should be recognized as the property of all people, not a corporation.

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