Traditional Knowledge Digital Library
• TKDL is an initiative to provide the information on traditional knowledge existing in the country, in languages and format understandable by patent examiners at International Patent Offices ( IPOs), so as to prevent the grant of wrong patents.
• TKDL is a collaborative project of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy, is situated in Ghaziabad, U.P.
• TKDL acts as a bridge between the traditional knowledge information existing in local languages and the patent examiners at IPOs.
• Apart from that, the non-patent database servers to foster modern research based on traditional knowledge, as it simplifies access to this vast knowledge of remedies or practices.
• It has signed agreements with leading international patent office's such as European Patent Office (EPO), United Kingdom Trademark & Patent Office (UKPTO) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office to protect traditional knowledge from biopiracy, by giving patent examiners at international patent offices access to the TKDL database for patent search and examination.
• At present, as per the approval of Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, access of TKDL is available to nine International Patent Offices (European Patent Office, United State Patent & Trademark Office, Japan Patent Office, United Kingdom Patent Office, Canadian Intellectual Property Office, German Patent Office, Intellectual Property Australia, Indian Patent Office and Chile Patent Office), under TKDL Access (Non-disclosure) Agreement. Negotiations are under way to conclude the Access Agreement with Intellectual Property Office of Russia and Malaysia. As per the terms and conditions of the Access agreement, examiners of patent office can utilize TKDL for search and examination purposes only and can not reveal the contents of TKDL to any third party unless it is necessary for the purpose of citation. TKDL Access Agreement is unique in nature and has in-built safeguards on Non-disclosure to protect India's interest against any possible misuse.
• In addition, pre-grant oppositions are being filed at various International Patent Offices, along with prior-art evidences from TKDL. Significant impact has already been realized. So far about 200 patent applications of the pharmaceutical companies of United States, Great Britain, Spain, Italy, China etc. have either been set aside/ withdrawn/ amended, based on the Prior art evidences present in the TKDL database without any cost and in few weeks/months of time, whereas APEDA had to spend about seven crores towards legal fee only for getting few claims of Basmati rice patent revoked. Similar outcome is expected in about 1200 more cases, where TKDL has filed pre-grant opposition.
• TKDL is proving to be an effective deterrent against bio-piracy and is being recognized as a global leader in the area of traditional knowledge protection. In 2011, an International Conference was organized by World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in collaboration with CSIR on 'Utilization of Traditional Knowledge Digital Library as a Model for Protection of Traditional Knowledge', at New Delhi. Pursuant to this, WIPO in collaboration with CSIR and DIPP (Ministry of Commerce and Industry) organized an 'International Study Visit To TKDL' for 19 countries interested in replication of TKDL.
• TKDL has made waves around the world, particularly in TK-rich countries by demonstrating the advantages of proactive action and the power of strong deterrence. The idea is not to restrict the use of traditional knowledge, but to ensure that wrong patents are not granted due to lack of access to the prior art for Patent examiners.