Intellectual Property Rights and Traditional Knowledge: The Case of Yoga
Economic & Political Weekly, Vol. 47, No. 27-28, pp. 2866-2871, July 2007
8 Pages Posted: 14 Aug 2007
Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) related to traditional knowledge (TK) have been controversial and there has been accusations of bio-piracy and unauthorized appropriation of TK in the form of patents etc. There were reports that patents on Yoga had been granted by U.S. PTO and this was later denied. Patents on accessories, devices that enable practice and teaching of Yoga have been granted. Similarly there many trademarks related to Yoga have been granted. The copyright claims of the founder of Bikram Yoga have been controversial and the cases on these copyright claims have been settled out of court. Yoga with origins in India has become part of global consumer culture and has been transformed into what is called as 'transnational yoga'. Hence it has many meanings in different contexts. This article addresses the controversies and discusses the complexities involved in intellectual property rights related to Yoga.
Keywords: India, Intellectual Property Rights, patents, copyrights, traditional knowledge, Yoga, globalization, cultural property, Traditional knowledge digital library
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