India protests US patent on yoga

  • PTI, New Delhi
  • Updated: May 30, 2007 22:24 IST

Taking a strong view against patents granted to yoga postures by the US Patent Office (USPTO), India has asked its mission in Washington to convey its protest over blatant misuse of traditional knowledge for commercial gains.

The Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) has written both to the Commerce Ministry and Indian Mission, setting the stage for challenging the patent on yoga.

"The Commerce Ministry has also taken a strong view on the issue and is in the process of sending a protest note to the US Trade Representative. The mission on the other hand would deal with US Patent and Trademark Office," a senior official said.

The USPTO has issued 150 yoga-related copyrights, 134 patents on yoga accessories, and 2,315 yoga trademarks. Most of these patents have been obtained by people of Indian origin. "That is the saddest part," the official said.

He said that the "kriyas", as enumerated in ancient texts, have been known for thouands of years and Indian challenge would be on a premise that a patent cannot be granted on something that is already known.

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