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Traditional Knowledge

BananaIP Counsels > Traditional Knowledge

Biodiversity law requirement of NBA Approval for Indian herbal companies

National Biodiversity Authority

The Earth’s biological resources are vital to humanity’s economic and social development, as well as for the maintenance of ecosystem health. Countries have long recognized that species, ecosystems, and biological diversity are of tremendous value to present and future generations. At the same time, the threat to species and ecosystems has never been greater. Species extinction caused by human activities continues at an alarming rate. For these reasons, countries have adopted a range of international treaties to protect species, habitats, and biological diversity itself.[1] India is one of the 17-mega biodiversity countries of the world. With only 2.4% of the...

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Traditional Knowledge Use or Misuse?

This image depicts a toothpaste tube shaped like a banana. It raises the question of such possibility. This post explores how traditional knowledge is used and misused by patents. Click on the image to read the full post.

First Publication Date: 28th October 2010 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...

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Another Patent Granted Over Medicinal Value of Cow’s Urine

This image depicts a heard of cows. This post discusses the patents that have been filed for the composition of cow urine and its uses. Click on the image to read the full post.

First Publication Date: 24th June 2010 A patent was granted to CSIR with respect to a composition useful for protecting and/or repairing DNA from oxidative damages. The value of cow's urine has been emphasized in ancient Indian texts including the rig veda. Cow's urine is known to not only have medicinal value but is also used to purify ayurvedic medicines. The patent granted to CSIR claims a composition for preventing and repairing damage to DNA due to oxidation. The patent abstract and the first claim has been provided hereunder for your reference: United States Patent 7,718,360 ________________________________________ Composition (RCUD) for protecting and/or repairing DNA...

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A Round table on “Protection of Traditional Knowledge / Traditional Cultural Expression – Evolving a Sui-Generis Model for India

First Publication Date: 27th January 2010 A Round Table conference on Protection of Traditional knowledge was concluded recently (January 25-26, 2010) at National Law School of India University, Bangalore. The two day conference was held for the deliberations on the Sui-Generis Model developed for the Protection of Traditional Knowledge / Traditional Cultural Expression. One of the highlights of the discussion was The Traditional Knowledge (Protection and Regulation to Access) bill 2009 (Hereinafter called as “Bill”) drafted by NLSIU, Bangalore. To leave a comment on the article please click here This Bill is the first ever attempt made in India for a separate and...

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Public Access to TKDL under an Open Source Model

First Publication Date: 16th January 2010 This is in furtherance of the post on opening the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) for public access in order to further research and development of traditional knowledge. As I had stated in my post, making TKDL available under an open source model would enable the development of traditional knowledge and also safeguard the interests of traditional knowledge holders ("Holders"). The model I am proposing hereunder is based on the success of the Open Source Software (OSS) model. To give a quick overview, the OSS model is based on OSS licenses that grant rights to copy,...

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The Art of Body Work: Intellectual Property and Yoga Massage

The featured image is the logo of IMOSHA - Inner Mountain School of Healing Arts at Mysore. To read more click here.

"Working with the body is an art more than a skill," Mr. Raghavendra tells his students of 'Yoga Massage' in his very first class. It is in fact fascinating to watch him express, original body work with elements of creativity that surpass intellectual property standards and take a substantial lead. While many body work sequences are based on traditional practices, several practitioners and therapists have over the years developed novel and creative sequences for various reasons ranging from recipient requirement to purely artistic expression. It might not be an exaggeration to state that every practitioner creates and performs original postures, sequences,...

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Traditional Knowledge:The Curious Case of Turmeric Latte

The featured image shows powdered turmeric in a steel bowl with a spoon inserted inside. This post deals with traditional knowledge associated with turmeric. To know more, please click here.

Turmeric Latte is experiencing a wide following and has attained a cult status in the market abroad. From Sydney to San Francisco, cafes and restaurants are adding turmeric latte to their menus and the rising popularity of the same is reflected in the gradual loss of sales of different coffee lattes.The Guardian analyzing the market demand has given Turmeric Latte a title - ‘2016’s drink of choice’. Google, too in its report of November 2015 to January 2016 has mentioned turmeric latte as a rising star as the search for turmeric saw a steep ascent of fifty six percent. It is...

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National IPR Policy – Traditional Knowledge Related Objectives

The image depicts a round plate with various spices like turmeric, cumin seeds, cinnamon, fenu greek placed on it. This post relates to traditional knowledge. For more information click here.

India approved its first ever Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) policy with a vision to stimulate creativity and innovation and to promote advancement in science and technology, arts and culture, traditional knowledge and biodiversity resources. The policy lays out seven broad objectives and they are as follows: Awareness: outreach and promotion; Generation of IPRs; Legal and legislative framework; Administration and management; Commercialization of IPR; Enforcement and adjudication; and Human capital development. This article considers various provisions relating to traditional knowledge under the new IPR Policy. Traditional knowledge refers to the well-established long-standing practices and locally developed innovations preserved and utilized over centuries by communities. The...

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Indian IP Laws to Protect Traditional Culture and Folklore: Are They on the Mark?

This image depicts ayurvedic preparations in a crucible. This post talks about the patentability of traditional knowledge. Click on the image to read the full post.

Most places in the world, where traditional knowledge and folklore exist, face the challenge of multiculturalism and cultural diversity because they have both indigenous and immigrant communities. A balance has to be struck between the protection and preservation of cultural experience and traditional. Efficient cultural policies are required to meet the above challenges and free exchange of cultural experiences is required to make policies for effective protection of the same.

A further challenge is to balance a wish to preserve traditional cultures with a desire to stimulate tradition-based creativity as a contribution to sustainable economic development. Addressing these challenges provokes some deeper questions.

Patentability of Yoga- An Analysis

The image depicts a man in a yoga pose.

We are all aware that what is already  existing in the public domain falls outside the scope of patentability. This is because it is already known and hence the aspect of novelty, which is the primary requirement to qualify for a patent is absent. Moreover, what is already there in the public domain cannot be taken back, because patents grant exclusivity to the inventor. Patenting of traditional knowledge is nothing new, and as far as India is concerned it has had bitter experiences with turmeric, neem and basmati.  The need for documentation of traditional knowledge is given due importance as...

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