Our Bureau

New Delhi, Dec. 5

IN order to protect the vast traditional knowledge, India will publish an encyclopaedia, running into 30 million pages in electronic format, that will keep intellectual property invaders from patenting indigenous wealth.

Work on the book is apace and already a third of it has been completed. About 10 million pages have been digitised, said Mr Ajay Dua, Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, at an FICCI-WIPO seminar.

Called Traditional Knowledge Digital Library(TKDL), this initiative is to prevent people abroad from patenting traditional Indian knowledge, be it yoga or medicine systems such as the Ayurveda.

"Even as this exercise (TKDL) is going on, 150 yoga asanas (postures) have been patented abroad...134 of these asanas were granted patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office," Mr Dua said.

He added that about 1,500 (postures) have been given trademark in other parts of the world. While traditional knowledge has been in public domain in India in various languages, the same was not accessible by patent examiners abroad, he noted.

The e-document will be available in all major international languages, including French, German and Japanese, so that examiners do not grant patents inadvertently.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated December 6, 2005)
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