SpicyIP Tidbit: Yoga Asanas soon to be protected by the TKDL

Our regular readers (from back in the day!) will remember Shamnad and Shwetasree blogging a series of posts on the “patenting” of Yoga asanas controversy.

While this report from HT suggested that the Government may be stirring up the hornet’s nest once again- we can breathe a sigh of relief– it’s all just a case of “do not judge a new article by the title”.

The article seems to suggest that over 900 Yoga Asanas will be included in the digitalised Traditional Knowledge Library (TKDL), set up by the council to collect and record traditional treatment therapy knowledge…and enjoy the status of being patented.

I think what our friends from HT meant to say through their entire article with the completely misleading title (have I empahsized enough on the misleading title?!) was that through a project undertaken in 2006, finally 900 postures will now be included in the TKDL Library. And now, with the agreement with the EPO and USPTO in place, any attempt by a foreign entity to “patent” an asana (still wondering how that’s going to happen) will be rebuffed.

This blogger is breathing a sigh of relief; just for a second, she thought that it was not yet time for the Yoga Controversy to be doing its Shavasana!

Picture from here.


  1. AvatarAnonymous

    I guess we should have done something for protecting this quiet earlier.

    I have some basic questions in my mind. Though CSIR has prepared making “patent applications” for various yogic postures, will they get the patents for that?
    Yogasanas are defined by Maharshi Patanjali in his Yogsutras. As it comes U/s 3(p), how can one apply patent for any of those?
    It can be protected from monopoly by establishing the fact that it is Indian traditional knowledge. One good attempt is TKDL.

    Also especially in US, there are various customized postures and therapies which are been copyrighted and patented (i guess not less than 130 each)there. One can easily make out that they are strongly influenced by our yog-shastra. So how would we stop that? Though we provide the database of our TK to all the patent offices across the globe for state-of-art, my sincere doubt is, will they be able to differentiate between “invention’ and “prior art”?

  2. AvatarKruttika Vijay

    Worrisome, I think.

    On the other hand, my mother (a regular reader of the blog :-)), pointed out this rather well written article in the Guardian(UK):

    [Especially read Dr. Gupta’s comment- the objective of the exercise was very succintly put I thought].

    And this other article in the Guardian again, written by a Swami, who may not be as IP Savvy as my mum!


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