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Question #

How is the Government of India protecting traditional knowledge of medicine from patenting by pharmaceutical companies?

ChatGPT Answer #

The Government of India has taken several measures to protect traditional knowledge of medicine from patenting by pharmaceutical companies. Some of these measures include:

1. Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL): The Government of India, in collaboration with the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), has created a TKDL. This digital repository contains comprehensive information on traditional Indian medicine, such as Ayurveda, Unani, and Yoga. It aims to prevent the wrongful granting of patents on existing traditional knowledge by providing evidence to patent offices around the world.

2. Prior Informed Consent (PIC) and Benefit-Sharing: The government has emphasized the importance of obtaining prior informed consent from local communities and indigenous tribes before commercial exploitation of their traditional knowledge. It has also introduced benefit-sharing mechanisms to ensure that local communities receive fair compensation for their contributions.

3. Traditional Knowledge Resource Classification (TKRC): The TKRC system has been developed to categorize traditional knowledge resources and create a reliable database. This helps in identifying potential patent infringements and enables the government to take necessary legal actions.

4. Strengthening Patent Examination Procedures: The government has provided guidelines to patent examiners to ensure that patents are not granted on traditional medicinal knowledge that is already in the public domain. These guidelines help examiners in assessing the novelty and non-obviousness of traditional knowledge-based inventions.

5. International Cooperation: The Government of India actively participates in international forums, such as the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), to encourage discussions on the protection of traditional knowledge. India advocates for the inclusion of safeguards in international patent systems to prevent misappropriation of traditional medicinal knowledge.

These efforts by the Government of India aim to uphold the rights of indigenous communities and protect traditional medicinal knowledge from being patented by pharmaceutical companies without appropriate recognition or benefit-sharing.

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