Monday, December 05, 2005

Yoga, ayurveda being documented to stop patent misuse

Bitten by patent rows over basmati and turmeric, India doesn't want to be caught off guard again by the West, certainly not when it comes to its ancient healing systems of yoga, Ayurveda, unani and siddha.A task force appointed by the government for protecting traditional knowledge and intellectual property is fast completing the documentation of yoga postures and techniques as well as formulae in ayurveda, siddha and unani - all Indian traditional medicinal systems.

The aim is to stop foreign practitioners and individuals, including Indian expatriates, from claiming copyrights."Most of the misuse has been done by people of Indian origin living outside India and multinational companies. By the documentation, we hope we would be able to control it largely," V.K. Gupta, head of the task force, told IANS."We have identified 1,500 yoga postures and thousands of formulae in Indian medicinal systems from ancient books to document and make it available for the office that grants patents and copyrights to trademark it as our public property."He said the documentation process - including texts, voice and visuals - would be completed by March 2007.

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