April 21, 2011
Chaitra Krushna Chaturthi, Kaliyug Varsha 5113
India has made available a list of 1,300 newly registered yoga poses, compiled to prevent the ancient moves from being exploited by patent pirates, the Times of India said.
Hindu gurus and some 200 scientists compiled the list from 16 ancient texts to prevent yoga teachers in the United States and Europe from patenting established poses as their own.
The database, which includes 200 video demonstrations, will be made available to international patent offices through India’s Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL).
“We are making available the 30-40 most popular yoga asanas in the open domain,” TKDL head, V K Gupta said. “The rest will be available only to patent offices.”
He said more poses from another 20 ancient texts would be added to the list.
Yoga has become a lucrative business in Europe and the United States since it was popularized by celebrities in the 1960s and 70s. In India, however, the centuries-old tradition is still taught free of charge in public parks.
Indians have been outraged by attempts by “yoga gurus” in the West to patent poses. In the United States alone, the patent authorities have issued more than 130 yoga-related patents, 150 copyrights and 2,300 trademarks related to the ancient practice.
The Japanese Patent Office signed an agreement on Wednesday with the TKDL to receive access to the list.
India has already signed similar agreements with patent offices in the United States, Europe, Australia and Canada.