U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and India's Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding comprehensive bilateral cooperation on intellectual property rights (IPR) protection and enforcement. In addition to the signing of the MOU, India granted access to U.S. patent examiners of its new traditional knowledge search tool. The new search tool is a digital database containing 200,000 traditional medicine formulations on Ayurveda, Unani, and Siddha, and thousands of years of India's accumulated traditional knowledge.
The MOU was signed in an effort to create a cooperative relationship between the USPTO and India's Intellectual Property Organisation. In order to facilitate this cooperative effort, a number of initiatives have been proposed including programs that provide exposure to patent examination practices, exchange of information on patent databases and patent manuals, IPR awareness programs, exchange of information on traditional knowledge and genetic resources, exchanges of best practices, and other matters. Hope the two offices DIPP and USPTO will immediately begin planning the implementation of these cooperative projects under the MOU.
The India's new traditional knowledge search tool is an English translation of the 30 million pages. The database provides a vast amount of knowledge that was once unsearchable. The newly acquired access to the database will help address the issue of misappropriation of traditional knowledge through the mistaken issuance of patents, a growing concern in the global economy. It is expected that this data base will definitely reduce the bio-piracy up to a considerable extent and help in protection of traditional knowledge.
Associate Professor of Law,
KIIT University, Bhubaneswar, India,
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