Spicy IP reports the signing of an agreement between the Indian Government and the EPO to enable access to India’s Traditional Knowledge digital library (TKDL). The library itself is an impressive undertaking! Looking at the database website they talk of their wish to act as:
“a bridge between traditional knowledge information existing in local languages and the patent examiners at IPOs(international patent offices).”
To do this they have made information from the public domain available digitally, and in 5 international languages. Some of these materials were orginally written in Sanskrit, Hindi or Arabic. The EPO article mentions how the Chinese Patent Office (SIPO) opened their database on traditional Chinese medicine to the EPO in 2008. It also highlighted that these initiatives bring advantages to both parties.
“… it helps protect India’s traditional knowledge from misappropriation and gives the EPO additional relevant information for granting properly defined patents”.
If this topic is of interest to you, Victoria Henson-Apollonio co-authored a paper on Defensive Publishing that is available for free download from the CAS-IP website.