One of the most interesting areas of intellectual property but one in which rarely comes before a UK intellectual property practitioner is "traditional knowledge". This is the law that protects a bundle of resources such as collective knowledge of the medicinal properties of plants and trees, folk tales and genetic materials. These resources are undoubtedly of scientific and literary value but they are difficult to fit into the IP system. For those who need to know more of the topic, there are some excellent articles on the WIPO and Quaker UN Office websites.
The reason I mention this today is to alert readers to an article by John Lancaster entitled "India Digitizes Age-Old Wisdom" in the Washington Post. The story discusses an ambitious project to record the vast store of observations and remedies on computer, partly to protect them form exploitation. but also to give them to science. But for the fact that I have to beetle off to my local meeting house at 10:30 am I would have written more on that story and I hope to return to the theme soon.