IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis

Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL)

17th September, 2022 Science and Technology

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  • France and India entered into cooperation through an Agreement on Access to the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL), It is a prior art database of Indian traditional knowledge.
  • With this cooperation with Danish Patent and Trademark Office, the number of patent offices worldwide that have access to the TKDL database rises to fifteen.



  • The TKDL database, first of its kind worldwide, was established in 2001 by the Government of India, through a collaboration between CSIR and Ministry of AYUSH.
  • Currently, the TKDL contains information on over 4.2 lakh formulations and techniques of Indian Systems of Medicine such as Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, and Sowa Rigpa as well as Yoga from the traditional texts.
  • The TK information from diverse languages and subject areas are transcribed into value-added information correlated with modern terminologies.
  • The TKDL information is presented in a digitized format in five international languages including English, German, French, Japanese and Spanish, and format easily understandable by patent examiners.


  • The key objective of the TKDL is to prevent the erroneous grant of patents on Indian traditional knowledge (TK) and deter misappropriation of the country’s traditional knowledge.



  • As per the extant approvals in place, the TKDL database is available only to patent offices through TKDL Access Agreements.


Significance if TKDL

  • The TKDL is a global benchmark in the defensive protection of traditional knowledge and has been successful in protecting India’s interest against any possible misuse of its heritage.
  • The impact has been significant, with over 265 patent applications world-over being revoked, amended, withdrawn or abandoned, based on the prior art evidences presented from the TKDL database.