We encourage you to republish this article online and in print, it’s free under our creative commons attribution license, but please follow some simple guidelines:
  1. You have to credit our authors.
  2. You have to credit SciDev.Net — where possible include our logo with a link back to the original article.
  3. You can simply run the first few lines of the article and then add: “Read the full article on SciDev.Net” containing a link back to the original article.
  4. If you want to also take images published in this story you will need to confirm with the original source if you're licensed to use them.
  5. The easiest way to get the article on your site is to embed the code below.
For more information view our media page and republishing guidelines.

The full article is available here as HTML.

Press Ctrl-C to copy

Documenting traditional knowledge can protect it from being patented and commercially exploited by showing that the knowledge is not novel. But patents relating to medical and pharmaceutical properties of a plant's active ingredients, for instance, can be difficult to challenge through such documentation.

In this article, Rajesh Kochhar, director of India's National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies, says this 'molecularisation' of traditional knowledge should be re-examined in terms of the concept of non-obvious or inventive steps. He believes that if traditional knowledge is the stimulus leading to discoveries in laboratories, the mere use of modern scientific approaches to reveal a plant's "chemical secrets" should not represent a novel invention.

Kochhar adds that developing nations need a 'joint ethical standard' on traditional knowledge, and that if such knowledge is exploited commercially, royalties should be directed towards the needs of the world's poor.

Link to full article in The Times of India

Related topics