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Indian tradition patented in USA

New Delhi, Tue, 21 Aug 2007 NI Wire

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Aug 21: USA again in a wrong move patented Yoga devices and accessories. Though India was opposing US government move to grant patent against yoga posture, it failed to oppose this move of patenting devices and accessories used in Yoga.

Accusing United States Patents and Trade Mark Office (USPTO), of being careless in granting patent and trademarks in matter related to traditional knowledge. USPTO is an agency in United State Department of commerce which provides patent, trademark and intellectual property right for the protection to new inventors and innovators.

USPTO has granted 168 patents and 3700 trademarks waiting to be cleared. Patent has been granted to yoga mattresses, yoga socks, grip blocks and to other devices used for yoga.

Arguments that how can one patent Yoga which is written 5000 years ago by some while others saying that Yoga can not be patented as such but a particular style can, had raised the loopholes regarding the patenting processes and difference in attitudes regarding Intellectual property Right in India and US.

Patent related to yoga practiced in steam room called ‘Hot yoga’ which constitute of yoga posture, was in news, which was applied by US based India born yoga guru Bikram Chopra. US has denied patent grant to asanas (posture).

Earlier India Suffered a setback when US granted patent to Basmati rice, as it was violation of Geographical Indication act under TRIPS under which “goods originating in the territory of a member, or a region or locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation, or other characteristic of the goods is essentially attribute to its geographical origin “India is considering to fight this move against Rice Tec.

Healing properties of Turmeric was granted patent in US which India challenged and won. But it is the weak legislation which has led to the granting of such patent.

India now has realized the importance of having clear-cut laws for conserving our indigenous knowledge and protection to legislation that confirm to international laws. India made mandatory disclosure of source and geographical origin of the biological material while applying for patents in India and revocation of the patent if it is duplication traditional knowledge.

India is constructing database of Indigenous knowledge to guard against biopiracy. India has yet to make long term strategy to save theft of its vast traditional and ancient knowledge.

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August 30, 2007 at 12:00 AM

Does anyone have any information on Naga (north-east Indian)indigineous herbs which is being studied by foreigners and patented? e.g. the Raja mirchi etc.



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