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India Fights Biopiracy with Awesome Database

 by Danielle Maestretti


Tags: Science and Technology, health, biopiracy, India, patents, yoga, Ecologist, Traditional Knowledge Digital Library,

Coriandrum SativumThe Indian government recently finished a massive database that puts thousands of years’ worth of traditional Indian remedies, medicines, and practices in the public domain—and, hopefully, out of reach of Western biotech companies attempting to patent this knowledge. The Ecologist reports that this huge repository of information, dubbed the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library, was completed by 200 researchers who spent 8 years transcribing and translating ancient texts on Ayurveda, Unani, and siddha. They’re also working to include yoga poses, which have come under patent-attack by many Western yoga instructors as the practice has grown more popular.

“India has effectively made its store of wisdom public property,” the Ecologist notes, “which can now be accessed and used by anyone, but patented by no one.”

Sources: The EcologistTraditional Knowledge Digital Library 

Image by zoyachubby, licensed under Creative Commons.

danielle maestretti_3
6/17/2009 2:45:57 PM

I'm not sure how many patents have been successfully awarded, but follow the link embedded above (in the last line of the first paragraph) to a recent Telegraph article on this issue; also check out this NYT piece, which is from 2007: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/07/opinion/07mehta.html.


danielle maestretti_3
6/17/2009 2:45:36 PM

I'm not sure how many patents have been successfully awarded, but follow the link embedded above (in the last line of the first paragraph) to a recent Telegraph article on this issue; also check out this NYT piece, which is from 2007: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/07/opinion/07mehta.html.


elgeo
6/17/2009 2:21:00 PM

Are you sure this is reported accurately? I just searched the US Patent Office website for "yoga pose" and found nothing. There are several patents for equipment, but none for poses. Perhaps a specific example would help. The organicconsumers.org article only raises the issue of patents taken out on plants and seeds from traditional agriculture.


elgeo
6/17/2009 2:19:43 PM

Are you sure this is reported accurately? I just searched the US Patent Office website for "yoga pose" and found nothing. There are several patents for equipment, but none for poses. Perhaps a specific example would help. The organicconsumers.org article only raises the issue of patents taken out on plants and seeds from traditional agriculture.