WIPO and India Partner to Protect Traditional Knowledge from Misappropriation
WIPO press release, 22 March 2011

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Representatives from 35 countries are participating in the International Conference on the Utilization of the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library as a Model for Protection of Traditional Knowledge, held from 22-24 March 2011, in New Delhi, India. The objectives of the Conference are to: share experiences and information on the role of a TKDL in the documentation of TK; identify the intellectual property issues in, and technical implications of, the establishment of a TKDL; and explore the role and functioning of the TKDL within the international IP protection system. WIPO Director General Francis Gurry described the TKDL approach as complementary to the work currently underway in WIPO’s Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore, where WIPO’s member states are negotiating an international legal instrument to ensure the effective protection of TK and traditional cultural expressions, and to regulate the interface between IP and genetic resources. The Indian TKDL project, developed over a ten year period, documented knowledge about traditional medical treatments and the curative properties of plants, which was contained in ancient texts and languages, and classified the information in a searchable database. The TKDL now contains 34 million pages in five international languages. By making this information available, via Access and Non-Disclosure Agreements, to six major international patent offices, the TKDL, coupled with India’s global bio-piracy watch system, has, according to India’s Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), achieved dramatic success in preventing the grant of erroneous patents, at minimal direct cost and in a matter of a few weeks. Read the press release … Read a press release by India’s Press Information Bureau … Visit the meeting website …

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