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Traditional Knowledge

Traditional Knowledge

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Published by: namram1414 on Apr 26, 2010
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Traditional Knowledge

Introduction:Once of the interesting and emerging areas, which are very much focused globally and given recognition is intellectual property rights, Intellectual property rights means those rights resulting from intellectual activity in the industrial, literary, scientific, or artistic fields. These types of property are intangible in nature: the owner of such property may use them absolutely. No other member of the society can use them lawfully without the authority of the original owner or propriety during the recent past the development of intellectual property rights can be seen in the field of biotechnology, biodiversity and the traditional knowledge patent law has been extended to the traditional knowledge is always associated with the biological resources, which is to be preserved and protected from outside agencies from being utilized at the cost of possessor of such knowledge. Meaning of the word Traditional knowledge:There is no specific definition for the word Traditional knowledge. It is systematic information that remains in the informal any sector, normally It they are in unwritten health, and care, preserved in oral tradition rather than in the not confined to specific field. covers medicines,

biodiversity, conservation environment, and agriculture etc. sometimes it also covers music, dance, textiles, plastic, arts and crafts etc. Therefore traditional knowledge reflects the beliefs, history, ethics, and tradition of a particular group of people. The basic feature of the Traditional knowledge is that, it is not created or produced systematically. But it is created or produced collectively or in dividedly in relation to once, cultural and traditional environment values of a particular group. Traditional knowledge is not documented but transported from one generation to another orally. This knowledge cannot be separated from the traditional people Traditional knowledge can also be associated with plants such as medicinal and harvesting. The patent can also be claimed on Traditional knowledge For ex: patents protect invention which are considered to be new involving inventive step, and capable of industrial application. Even the individual holder of traditional knowledge can also acquire patent which is passed on from generation to generation provided they fulfill the above requirement but in reality. Traditional knowledge means knowledge of indigenous people for their environment which is bused on centuries of living close to nature today’s world is knowledge worker. In to wealth people at large don’t have the capacity to transform their knowledge in to wealth. It is mainly because of their poverty illiteracy and technological gadgets on the

other hand some are able strong and potent to use traditional knowledge for their profiteering. For ex:1 The big business houses, hoteliers, film industries and music tycoons are using cultural and expressions of nomadic tribal and village community. 2 Rich traditional knowledge heritage is widely used in pharmaceutical industry For ex:-Allopathic and ayurvedic medicine. 3. village community, tribal and indigenous people have traditional knowledge of biodiversity which serves a largest genetic resource for breeding activities but gene giant or seed giant (m n c s) through IPR regime may mark huge profit. Meaning of T.K.:The indigenous people f world possess an immense knowledge for their environment based on centuries of living close to nature living in land full of richness and variety of complex ecosystem they have an understanding of the properties of plants and animals the functioning of ecosystem and the teachings of using and them that is particular and often delaited . In rural communities of developing countries locally sometimes for foods, Medicines, Fuels, the people’s knowledge & perceptions of environment of their relationship with it are often important. Cloments of cultural identity.

Threat to traditional K. The development of new technology & the new use of T.K. based products today are the major threats to the Survival of many of these communities, The modern cultural industries as the main fracturing as well as the manufacturing industries now commercially exploit the t.k. based products using new technology without the permission and sharing of profits with the communities. It is possible to day to bring out new products or find out new use of existing products based on T.K. utilizing the technological development in the field of bio technology. The development of new products or new use of existing products enables the claim of patent . Neem and Turmeric case Need for protection of T.K. The need and justification for protecting T.K. can be underlined as under 1. T.K. has potential of being transformed in to wealth by providing leads / clues for development of useful practices and processes for the benefit of mankind. 2. The valuable leads / dues provided by T.K. can save time, money investment in modern biotechnology, and other industries to research and product development.


Existing IPR System is based on individual private property rights T.K. is incompatible with IPR because it emphasized collective creation and ownership


In T.K. system information is classified in to four groups a. Information known to society with or without documentation and is in constant use by people eg. Common use of Neem and turmeric.
b. Information is well documented and avoidable to

the public for examination and use eg. Ayurvadic text, information in the palm leaves.
c. Information that is not documented or commonly

known outside group of people and not rovoled outside the groups eg. Tribal knowledge.
d. Information know only to individuals and Member

of families eg. Curo of asthama by goud family of Hyderbad using specific fist verity as a means for dispensing anti asthmatic drug. The information which falls within public domain do not satisfy IPR criterion eg. Newness, non obviousness and inactiveness thus IPR system is not applicable to protect T.K.

Only protection of T.K. system witch provide an effective benefit sharing mechanism which is enshrined in new IPR legislation.


It is not fair that t.k. is appropriated for commercial use without sharing of benefit. Appropriations will

violate indigenous cultural precepts by encouraging the co modification of such knowledge.

protection of T.K. will be helpful in contesting false claims of IPR. T.K. based on Plant based medicine may enable India to acceleratic drug development.


Protection of T.K. at international level First attempt perhaps was made by WIPO – UNESCO on developing the model provision of national legislation for protection of folklore certain T.K. of community which are is the form of literature . Music crafts are recognized for protection from reproduction without authorization. … Neem and Turmeric case The Indian council for scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) filed a case with the US patent office challenging the patent on the grounds of `prior ort \’i.e. existing public knowledge. CSIR said turmeric has been used for thousands of years for heading wounds and rashes and therefore its use as a medicine was not a new invitation. CSIR also preserved on axiod sanskrith. Text and a paper published in 1953 in the journal of the Indian medical

association. The US patent often uphold the objection and cancelled the patent . The turmeric case failed to meet the novelty criteria. The European parliament off to (EPO) revoked in its entirely patent number 436257 which had been grasted to the USA and Multinational. Corporation W-R. grow for a fungical derived from the seeds of the neem troc. Global initiative

LOIPO & UNESCO jointly took the initiative for developing Model legislation for protection of folklore another attempt was made by the united nations UN draft Declaration of Right of indigenous people 1994 though agreed that prior approval of the community should be obtained before using T.K. but the claim of ownership was not accepted. TRIPs did not make any significant provision for protecting T.K. no. uniform norms were laid down for protection of T.k. This led WIPO to set op inter governmental committee on inter actual property and genotic resoaries T.K. of folklore. The Committee was established as an inter as and international forum to dobote and dialogue concerning interplay b/w IPR and T.K. genetic resources and traditional cultural expression. The WIPO inter governmental committee identified of T.K. folklore access to genetic rescores and benefit sharing But

till fifth session of inter governmental committee legal framework at international level could not be formulated. Convention on biological diversity (CBD) 1992 has also recognized of contributions diversity of local T.K. and indigenous and communities to the construction of sustainable utilization biological through practices convention on biological diversity Innovation. Article 8(j) of the CBD provides that contracting parties shall as far as possible of appropriate of subject to their national legislation, respect, preserve & maintain knowledge, innovations and practices and encourage the equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of such knowledge, innovations and practices. Indian initiative 1. Government efforts
a. The govt. of India has prepared medicine, pant

and systems which will also tead to T.K. resource classification the important characteristic of his library as i. It records approximately 35,000 Ayurvaedic medicinal formulation based on T.K.







Method of preparation and certain botanical name of plant and disease:

Which can be crd . 3. 4. Sanskrit text of formulation has been translated in many foreign languages This will be avoilable to almost all patent offices over the world to search and examine any preventing biopiracy .

This will eliminate the problem of grant of wrong patent since is knowledge is avoidable to patent examinar.

Non – Governmental organizations (NGO) Efforts also making effort for developing data base and bringing the local art and cultural on the national and international scemarion. The society for research and advise for sustainable technologies and institute Ahmadabad , Gujarat has been developing data base of T.K. and innovations in glase collaboration with local community members. Legislative Effort: Same efforts in the patent low Biodiversity law and plant verities law have been mode. They may be briefly named as a. Potent (Amendment Act) 2002 reflects exam for T.K. the following provisions are supportive to the protection of T.K> 1) Innovation based on T.K.of aggregation or duplication of known properties of T.k. is not patentable.

2 It is compulsory for patent applicant to disclose source and geographical origin of biological material used in invention would be good ground for opposing patent application. Biological diversity Act. 2002. Section 4 of the B.D.A. provides no. persons hall, without previous approval of the MBA, transfer the result of any research relation to any biological resources occurring or obtained from India for Monolary consideration or otherwise to any body corporate or organization which is not has any non –Indian participation in its share capital or management The publication of research paper, collaborative research, project may be involve biological resources or information or knowledge. Publication has not been declared transfer within section 4 Thus through publication or research information of knowledge can be disseminated But this freedom can be enjoyed only it publication is as per guidelines of the central govt. Protection of plant 2001 This act has following important provisions for recognizing T.K.

verities and farmers Right Act

concept of benefit sharing b/w provider and recipient of plant genetic source.


Application seeking registration of plant variety must disclose geographical location from where genetic material has been taken which evoloing new uorioty

It the application facts to disclose the contribution of farming community and source of genetic resources, his registration will be cancelled.

Proposed private Bill In the year 2000 the cochin university of science and technology proposed a bill entitled as the Indian T.K. bill are the main features of the proposed bill are,
1. Definition of

T.K. include existing knowledge known

and used by the members of the Indian society from generation to generation & exclude knowledge used in secret by individual & group. 2. the formation of a community T.K trust which will have the exclusion right to manger the T.K of the community
3. commercial exploitation of T.K. by person artside the

community wither in collaboration with members of the community or not shall be with the prior informed consent of the commits
4. the








injunctions, damages and accounts of profits is bill also provides for a maximum imprisonment of 3 year & maximum time of Rs two lakh

It is submitted that the proposed bill may be taken as doable initiator of the govt of India should consider for comprehancive legislation covering all the dimensions of T.K. WIPO has also received model draft form various countries. WIPO 18 ac crctivly engajed in formulationg a model law on T.K. their form produce including seeds. he farmers can also seek protection under the act if they develop new strains through selection and breeding if they satiety the condition such as novelty distinctiveness uniformity and stability.

Conclusion :The present legal regime in the field of Traditional knowledge is inadequate and incomplete. the face remains is that, the tribal people are placed in the disadvantaged position to enjoy the benefit derived out of their traditional knowledge like medicinal plants folkdance handicrafts, their music ceremonies and culture are not documented there is scope for pirating these by others including multinational companies. These companies are marketing money by fully utilizing their knowledge without sharing the profits to them. Therefore the gout should take immediate measures to document all type of traditional knowledge possessed by the tribal people. It this is not done, then big companies at the

cost of the tribal would conjure the intellectual property of the tribal

Books referred 1. have of intellectual property Dr. s.myneni 2. Intellectual property Right Dr. sreenivasulu N.S.

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