India's Traditional Knowledge Digital Library
December 11, 2009 2:01 PM Subscribe
Fed up with foreign companies patenting traditional medicine from India, the country's top scientific body is compiling a giant database of everything from yoga positions to medicinal fruit juice
posted by kanewai (13 comments total)
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The initiative is designed to fight what traditional medical workers, and their supporters, view as bio-piracy
: the monopolization (usually through intellectual property) of genetic resources and traditional knowledge or culture taken from peoples or farming communities that developed and nurtured those resources
Two early cases: The US granted a patent to the University of Mississippi to use turmeric
to clean wounds (granted 1995, rescinded 1997), and the Europe Patent Office issued a patent to W R Grace to use neem oil
as a fungicidal (granted 1994, revoked 2000).
Also: Bikram Choudhury patents his version yoga (previously
Back to the article: The TKDL already contains 30 million pages and more than 200,000 medicinal formulas derived from herbal and mineral-based treatments originating in India and abroad, such as ayurveda, unani, siddha, as well as yoga techniques.