08 January 2006

Traditional Knowledge: India digitizes Folk Remedies

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.

1 comment:

NAVEEN said...

That was very informative and well written. Mentioned below is an excerpt of an article on Traditional Knowledge.



"Misuse of traditional knowledge and measures to prevent the same have been attracting attention since the turmeric patent controversy. After successfully revoking turmeric patent claims that formed part of traditional knowledge, the Indian government has taken numerous initiatives ranging from legislative and policy changes to documentation and creation of a library of information (TKDL). With the press and media joining the effort, the awareness with respect to rights of traditional knowledge holders , actions against traditional knowledge misuse, policy initiatives and so on has been increasing. The TKDL has been playing an important role in revoking and preventing patents on traditional knowledge. Industry and public reaction with respect to patent filings involving traditional knowledge has been aggressive and many times emotional.......read more at http://www.patentpill.com/2010/10/traditional-knowledge-use-or-misuse.html