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MPs unite to slam patenting of yoga by US

MPs unite to slam patenting of yoga by US

Author: ANI
Publication: The Times of India
Date: May 15, 2007
URL: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/2049365.cms

Members of Parliament (MPs) on Tuesday slammed the US patenting authority for granting yoga-related copyrights to American companies, saying yoga is a part of Indian heritage.

Terming the whole exercise as preposterous, the MPs said yoga had originated in India.

Till date, the US Patent and Trademark Office has granted 150 yoga-related copyrights, 134 patents on yoga accessories and 2,315 yoga trademarks.

In response, the Indian government has set up a task force to create a database of yoga techniques in order to stop others from patenting the centuries-old knowledge.

"Patanjali's Yog shastra was written more than 5,000 years ago. All the asanas (poses) practised today have been described in that. So that means, Yoga is an Indian product. Therefore the government should take immediate action against the US patenting yoga," said Vijay Kumar Malhotra, spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Old Sanskrit and Tamil texts, including ayurvedic remedies and hundreds of yogic poses, are in the process of being translated and stored digitally. The government is also cataloguing ayurvedic medicines.

This information will be made available in five languages so that patent offices around the world can access it and know that they originated in India.

"Yoga is not related to modern science. It was developed by hermits in our country. So, I think America cannot patent it. They must have got to know a few benefits of yoga, and got them patented," said Swami Adityanath, another BJP MP.

"Yoga is a part of Indian tradition, it took birth in India. Whether we get the patent for yoga or not, the whole world knows that it is associated with India. Even the Americans know it," said Congress MP Rajiv Shukla.

Yoga guru,Swami Ramdev claims that yoga can cure illnesses ranging from cancer to AIDS through breathing exercises and traditional medicines.

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