The Eurasian Patent Organization (EAPO), an international intergovernmental organization of the Eurasian Patent Convention, Moscow and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) entered into a cooperation on the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) Access through a Non-Disclosure Agreement.
The Agreement was exchanged by Mr. Grigory Ivliev, President, Eurasian Patent Office, Eurasian Patent Organization, Moscow and Dr. Viswajanani J Sattigeri, Scientist-H and Head, CSIR-TKDL Unit in Goa on Friday, in presence of senior officials from both sides, on the sidelines of the Global Intellectual Property Convention (GIPC) 2023.
Through this Agreement, the EAPO shall gain access to the contents of the TKDL database for the purpose of search and examination of prior art related to Indian traditional knowledge in patent applications, for the purposes of the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) grant. With this cooperation with EAPO, the number of patent offices worldwide that have access to the TKDL database rises to sixteen.
The contracting states of the Eurasian Patent Convention include Eurasian Patent Office, Turkmenistan, Republic of Belarus. Republic of Tajikistan, Russian Federation, Republic of Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan Republic, Kyrgyz Republic, and the Republic of Armenia. The signing of the TKDL Access Agreement with the EAPO, Moscow marks the beginning of a new partnership and mutual cooperation in the domains of IPR as well as TK between the member states of the EAPO and India. The Eurasian Patent Office caters to grant of Eurasian patents that are valid on the territories of its member states, after substantive examination of applications filed at the EAPO and under the PCT procedure.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Grigory Ivliev, President, Eurasian Patent Office, stated that Eurasia and India have been closely connected with ancient cultures and traditions which are invaluable even today. The Eurasian member states stand to protect Indian TK through the TKDL. Also, the Eurasian team looks forward to learn from the TKDL experiences to set up similar registers for the TK of their countries.
Dr. Viswajanani Sattigeri appreciated the keen interest of the EAPO toward signing the TKDL Access Agreement, especially based on the positive experience of Rospatent Office with the TKDL. Russia and India have had a long standing cooperation in many areas, and with the TKDL, this relation forays into traditional knowledge as well.
The TKDL is a global benchmark in the defensive protection of traditional knowledge and has been successful in protecting India’s interest against any possible misappropriation of its heritage. Recently, the Cabinet, Govt. of India, approved widening of the access of the TKDL to users, beyond patent offices to stimulate R&D and innovation based on Indian TK.
The TKDL database, first of its kind worldwide, was established in 2001 by the Government of India, through a collaboration between CSIR and Ministry of AYUSH. The key objective of the TKDL is to prevent the erroneous grant of patents on Indian traditional knowledge (TK) and deter misappropriation of the country’s traditional knowledge. Currently, the TKDL contains information on over 4.4 lakh formulations and techniques of Indian Systems of Medicine such as Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, and Sowa Rigpa as well as Yoga from the traditional texts. The TK information from diverse languages and subject areas are transcribed into value-added information correlated with modern terminologies.
The TKDL information is presented in a digitized format in five international languages including English, German, French, Japanese and Spanish, and format easily understandable by patent examiners. As per the extant approvals in place, the TKDL database is available only to patent offices through TKDL Access Agreements.
The TKDL has been impactful towards protecting Indian TK from misappropriation, with over 283 patent applications world-over being revoked, amended, withdrawn or abandoned, based on the prior art evidences presented from the TKDL database.
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