Extent of Use of TKDL in Patent Offices: Trends and Concerns
National Law School of India University, Bangalore
March 26, 2012
India being rich in biodiversity has a varied species of plants and our ancestors also had marvellous knowledge of the uses of these plants, many of which have a great medicinal value. The traditional knowledge regarding many of these has been documented by our ancestors but in languages like Sanskrit, Urdu, Tamil etc. In this era of research, development, invention and competition, there were several instances where patents were claimed by foreign companies on medicines and drugs which were actually based on the traditional Indian systems of medicine. The post grant opposition of such patents proved to be time consuming as well as expensive and was also surrounded by uncertainty of outcome. It was in this background that the need was felt to have a database such as TKDL which unhindered by the barrier of language would enable an effective prior art search to be carried out. Today, with TKDL which enables India to prevent the grant of a wrongful patent at almost zero cost that too in just a few weeks time, India by and large is believed to be the only country to have such a cost effective and time efficient mechanism in place to protect its traditional knowledge. With the unique TKRC-IPC concordance, the TKDL has found wide acceptance in the international community and has given impressive results in the first few years. However, the key question is whether the measures for protection of traditional knowledge can stop with this. An attempt has also been made to look into some other issues such as whether TKDL in fact makes traditional knowledge more vulnerable to unjust exploitation and whether TKDL should go beyond the defensive mode of protection and venture into the task of affording positive protection to traditional knowledge.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 10
Keywords: Traditional Knowledge Digital Library
JEL Classification: O34, K00, K39working papers series
Date posted: April 1, 2012
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