Oral or Codified Disclosed or undisclosed

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Documentation of Traditional Knowledge for protection, preservation and wealth creation at International Conclave on Traditional Medicine 17th November 2006

Traditional Knowledge

  • Oral or Codified

  • Disclosed or undisclosed

  • Defensive and Positive Rights

  • Misappropriation and Lack of Wealth Creation

Nature & Complexities of TK/TCE Documentation Projects

  • Identification & Involvement of holder(s), confidence & trust

  • Ownership & practical model on sharing of the benefits

  • Unequal partnership & Alliance

  • Technological and Societal Barriers

  • Customary laws, abuse & morality

  • Safeguarding vs encouragement of misappropriation

  • Disclosed vs undisclosed TK

Access to Traditional Knowledge

Protecting Traditional Knowledge

  • India

    • Turmeric
    • Neem
    • Basmati

IPR & Defensive Protection on TK

    • 4896 references on 90 medicinal plants in USPTO patent databases
    • 80% of references on seven medicinal plants of Indian Origin.
      • Kumari, Mustaka, Tamraparna, Garjara, Atasi, Jambira, Kharbuza
    • Almost 50% of patents linked to traditional medicine

IPR & Defensive Protection on TK Problem Dimension: Patents Granted on Unani Formulations

  • Study carried out in April 2003

  • Patent Databases studied: USPTO, UKPO, EPO

  • Found more than 15,000 patent references based on Unani formulations

  • Several unpatentable patents on Unani drugs found which include Babuna, Badam, Darchini, Gul-e-Surkh, Gurmar, Hina, Hulba, Huzuz, Kali Zeeri, Karela, Katan, Mom, Nagkesar, Nankhwah, Neeb, Panwar, Piyaz, Sana, Sandal Safaid, Seer, Shib and Zanjabeel.

Subsequent studies on Patents on Medicinal Plants

  • March 2003 : 15000

  • December 2005 : 35587

  • Medicinal Plant Patents / Year : 5000

  • Possible Patents concerning Indian Plants / Year : 4000

  • Possible Patents on Indian system of Medicine : 2000

Comparison of U.S. Patents with references cited in Ayurveda PRIOR ART

IPC & Medicinal Plants


TKDL Established the International Standards on TK databases

  • IGC in Dec’ 2002 adopted WIPO/GRTKF/IC/4/14 document entitled “Technical proposal on databases and registries of traditional knowledge and biological/genetic resources”

Possible International Collaboration


  • 32,800,000


  • 28,200,000


  • Access to TKDL by the examiners of an international patent office would only be utilized for patent search and examinations.

  • International patent officers and their examiners would not make any third party disclosure other than what is necessary and essential for the purpose of patent search and examination.

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