Report of the Inter-Regional Workshop on Intellectual Property Rights in the Context of Traditional Medicine (Bangkok, Thailand, 6-8 December 2000)
(2001; 52 pages) View the PDF document
Table of Contents
View the documentAcknowledgements
Open this folder and view contents1. Introduction
Open this folder and view contents2. The role of intellectual property rights in the context of traditional medicine
View the document3. Globalization, the TRIPS Agreement and access to essential drugs
View the document4. Intellectual property rights
View the document5. Systems and national experience for protecting traditional knowledge, innovations and practices
Open this folder and view contents6. Problems and gaps in traditional medicine in relation to modern patent laws
View the document7. Group discussion on existing problems and gaps for the protection of traditional medicine knowledge
Close this folder8. Presentations on national patent law: means, experiences and proposals
View the document8.1. China
View the document8.2. Colombia
View the document8.3. India
View the document8.4. Indonesia
View the document8.5. Kenya
View the document8.6. Pakistan
View the document8.7. Republic of Korea
View the document8.8. WHO Collaborating Centre (Chicago)
View the document9. Recommendations
View the documentAnnex I. Message to the Workshop from Dr Uton Muchtar Rafei, Regional Director WHO South-East Asia Region
View the documentAnnex II. Welcome address from Dr Mongkol Na Songkhla, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Public Health, Thailand
View the documentAnnex III. Workshop Agenda
View the documentAnnex IV. List of Participants

8.7. Republic of Korea

Endeavours with traditional herbal drugs in Korea

Prof. Il-Moo Chang of the Natural Products Research Institute, Seoul National University, Republic of Korea, presented this paper.

In Korea, three governmental organizations are engaged in dealing with intellectual property. The Korea Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), is concerned with evaluating industrial property (patents), trade marks and designs. It has its own international intellectual property training centre where courses in intellectual property for national and foreign participants are regularly offered. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MCT) is concerned with the evaluation and registration of copyright.

With regard to the intellectual property of traditional medicine, specifically traditional herbal drugs, usually three different registrations are feasible: new formulations using traditional herbal materials, preparations or dosage forms, and computerized data of classical medical information. New formulations may be granted a composition patent with new use claim. When active ingredients in a pure form are isolated, a new substance patent may be granted. When new activity is found, a new use-bound patent may be claimed. New dosage forms can also be a good target for obtaining a new patent. For example, a pill formulation of a certain traditional Chinese formula was successfully switched into a liquid form. Consumers prefer the liquid form, because they believe the active ingredients are absorbed more quickly and prefer the easy administration.

In the case of copyright, the TradiMed DB (Traditional Oriental-Chinese Medicine Database) is a successful example of obtaining the copyright of classical medical information by using computer technology. To obtain copyright, simple conversion of information, e.g. digital characterization recognition technology can not be eligible. That information should be interpreted in terms of present knowledge and processed by computer technology for database construction.

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