|1. What is a Patent?|
|A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention, which is a product or a process that provides a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution to a problem.|
|2. What kind of inventions can be protected?|
|In order to be protected by a patent, inventions should fulfill the following criteria:
(a). The subject matter should be novel
(b). Should possess an inventive step and not be obvious to a person skilled in the art
(c). Should be industrially applicable
|Besides, the subject matter should be patentable under the national/regional patent law.|
|3. Why TKDL?|
|It has been observed that in the past years patents have been wrongly granted to traditional knowledge related inventions which do not fulfill the requirement of novelty and inventive step, particularly due to existence of relevant prior art.For instance, this has happened in the case of Turmeric, Neem, Basmati etc.|
|The practical obstacle underlying the issue was that patent examiners could not search relevant traditional knowledge as prior art, because they did not have access to traditional knowledge information in their classified non-patent literature. The reasons for this non-accessibility were that the Indian traditional knowledge exists in local languages such as Sanskrit, Urdu, Arabic, Persian, Tamil, etc. which either was not available or not understood by patent examiners. TKDL breaks the language and format barrier and makes available this information in English, French, Spanish, German and Japanese in patent application format, which is easily understandable by patent examiners. TKDL is thus a tool providing defensive protection to the rich traditional knowledge of India.|
|4. What is TKDL?|
|It is a database with a tool to understand the codified knowledge existing for the Indian Systems of Medicine including Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Yoga as prior art. It is not a diagnostic or usage database. TKDL is also not the prior art in itself; the Books on Indian Systems of Medicine are the prior art which act as the source of information for TKDL.|
|However, TKDL contains the scanned images of medicinal formulations from the original books. TKDL covers over two lakh formulations which have been taken from Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Yoga texts. It is pertinent to note that TKDL does not contain the entire information existing in the Indian Systems of Medicine. Rather than comprehensive, TKDL is a dynamic database, where formulations will be continuously added and continuously updated according to the inputs from the users of the database.|
|The information on traditional medicines appears in a standard format in TKDL. For example, formulations on Indian Systems of Medicine appear in the form of a text, which comprises the following main components:
• Name of the drug
• Origin of the knowledge
• Constituents of the drug with their parts used and their quantity
• Method of preparation of the drug and usage of the drugs
• Bibliographic details
TKDL, gives modern names to plants (e.g., Curcuma longa for Turmeric), diseases (e.g., fever for jwar), or processes, mentioned in the literature related to Indian Systems of Medicine, and establishes relationship between traditional knowledge and modern knowledge.
|5. What is TKRC?|
|Traditional Knowledge documentation lacked a classification system. Therefore, a modern classification system i.e. Traditional Knowledge Resource Classification (TKRC), based on the structure of International Patent Classification (IPC) was been evolved for Indian Systems of Medicine viz., Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Yoga.
TKRC is a structured classification consisting of sections, classes, subclasses, groups and subgroups, similar to that included in IPC system, relating to Indian traditional knowledge for facilitating the patent examiners in retrieval of information related to prior art, before granting a patent in the area of traditional knowledge.