India is preparing defences against Intellectual Property invaders.
India is publishing a bulky encyclopedia, running into 30 million pages, which would extensively cover its vast traditional knowledge as part of efforts to keep out Intellectual Property invaders from patenting its indigenous wealth.
Work on the book, which would be in electronic format, is progressing at a feverish pace and already on-third of it has been completed.
Ten million pages have been digitized, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion Secretary Ajay Dua informed a seminar a FICCI-WIPO organized seminar on strategically using patents for wealth creation in the life sciences industry.
The work, christened Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL), seeks to repel attempts by people abroad to patent traditional Indian knowledge, be it yoga or medicine systems like ayurveda. Even as this exercise (TKDL) is going on, 150 yoga asanas (postures) have been patented abroad134 of these asanas were granted patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office, Dua said.
Close to 1,500 (postures) have been given trademark (elsewhere), the said, but added that this was not the mistake of patent offices abroad.
While traditional knowledge has been in public domain in India in various vernacular languages, the same was not accessible by patent examiners abroad, he noted.
The book would help examiners cross-check on whether an application for patent is an original innovation or a copy of what already exists in other parts of the world, in this case India. The Institute for Science Communication and Information Resources (NISCAIR) is putting the document together based on ancient transcripts in Sanskrit and Persian.
NISCAIR sources said the book would save the government precious money, which could otherwise be lost in litigation costs trying to safeguard what rightfully belongs to the country.
Note : I have reproduced this article, published in Khaleejtimes CityTimes Section dated December 06, 2005.