National Seminar on Current Issues in Intellectual Property Rights in India

5-6 February 2016

Faculty Coordinator: Ms. Suvarna Nilakh

The Intellectual Property Law Cell of ILS Law College, Pune, organized a “Two-day National Seminar on “Current Issues in Intellectual Property Rights in India”’ on 5-6th February, 2016. The Seminar proved to be an insightful forum for discussion of IP developments and their application in India. The Seminar comprised talks by eminent IP personalities such as (Retd.) Justice Prabha Sridevan, Hon’ble Justice Gautam S. Patel, Mr. Avinash Ganu, Dr. Shamnad Basheer and Mr. Pravin Anand. Additionally, a few students made presentations are towards introducing the themes for the main sessions.

Sponsors :- Brainic IP and Taxsutra, Pune.

Day 1
February 5th, 2016
ILS Law College
The Seminar commenced with a ‘Welcome Note’ by Ms. Vaijayanti Joshi, Principal, ILS Law College, Pune.
Session – I

The first Session began with a presentation by Ms. Akhila Palem (IV BSL LLB) on ‘Is Copyright a Human Right?’ This presentation was based on a research paper on behalf of herself and Ms. Hamsini Marada (IV BSL LLB). Akhila explored the recognition of copyright as human right through international instruments like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).

Thereafter, Justice Prabha Sridevan delivered an insightful talk on ‘Challenges in Intellectual Property: a Judge’s Perspective’. Justice Sridevan discussed the nature of IPRs, its litigations and the law defining the subject-matter. She further dealt with the hype about pharmaceutical patents in India and the application of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) processes to such disputes. She put forth that it requires a judicial temperament required to deal with such cases at the IPAB. She spoke about her stand on need to comply with the responsibilities under international instruments on IP; of not sponsoring easy grant of injunctions in patent cases to big pharmaceuticals. She also stressed on that whenever needed judges can ask for expert help to decide the cases effectively in the IPAB.

Session – II
The second session was conducted by Adv. Avinash Ganu, founder and chief-associate of law firm ‘Avinash Ganu and Associates’. The theme was an ‘Economic Analysis of Intellectual Property’.

Firstly, Pauravi Gambhir (IV BSL LLB) made a presentation on ‘Economic Analysis of Intellectual Property: Incentive to Innovate’. This was based on the research paper co-authored by Pauravi, Chandni Parekh (IV BSL LLB) and Arunima Shrivastav (IV BSL LLB). Talking on the economic dimension with respect to Intellectual Property, she explained the importance of economic analysis and its application to trademarks, copyrights, patents and geographical indications.

Mr. Avinash Ganu delved into the history and background of Intellectual Property and the economic methods and tools for analysis and protection of the same. He stressed on the importance of innovations for economic development and the role of Intellectual Property Law in providing the same. He also discussed the fundamentals of patent protection in India, its variation with copyright and trademark and their protection.

Day 2
February 6th, 2016
ILS Law College

Session – III

Commenced with a student presentation on ‘Fair Dealing in India: Scope and Analysis’ by Mr. Karan Singh (IV BSL LLB) on behalf of himself and Mr. Kumar Sambhav (IV BSL LLB). He discussed the ever-evolving concept of copyright and the provisions of Copyright Act, 1957 with respect to its fair use and dealing.
Then, Mr. Satish Rai (IV BSL LLB) presented the next student presentation for the session on ‘Parallel Imports and Trademark Infringement: an Indian Outlook’. His presentation basically dealt with ‘Exhaustion Principle’ with respect to trademarks in Indian law.

Honourable Mr Justice Gautam Patel, Bombay High Court, discussed his perspective and stand on the topic ‘Trademark Laws and its Changing Dimensions in India’ through facts, judicial procedure and judgments, humour, opinions and experience on the subject. He explained the concept of Intellectual Property as a generic notion and through his explanation encouraged an out-of-box thinking and approach to Intellectual Property Law. He provocated rethinking on the concepts in trademark and copyright laws and also emphasized their background and import. He illustrated his analysis by giving examples of contemporary works dealt by copyright and trademark laws and by posing various questions to the audience related to the object and reasons behind the law. Some issues covered by him were whether intellectual property is really property; what constitutes infringement of trademarks; the use of internet in today’s times and its impact on Intellectual Property; performer’s right; valuation of copyright and its method; and the changing nature of Intellectual Property disputes with changing technology. He brought out an alternative approach to the concept of Intellectual Property and gave enough food-for-thought to the students of Intellectual Property Rights to delve on.

Following Session III was Session IV, further going into the current issues of Intellectual Property. Pune. Dr. Shamnad Basheer is the founder of ‘Spicy IP’, a popular and internationally recognized blog on intellectual property law was the resource person for this session.

The first student presentation of this session was by Ms. Ravalee Nath (IV BSL LLB) on ‘Access to Knowledge: The thin line between to copy or not to copy’. In her presentation, she elaborated on a case with respect to infringement of copyright associated with photocopying books of authors for educational purpose without payment of any license fee.

The second student presentation was jointly given by Ms. Sangeetha Ganesan (V BSL LLB) and Mr. Aayush Mitruka (IV BSL LLB) on ‘Patent Law and Competition Law: A Complementary yet Tense Relationship’. Sangeetha She dealt on the role played by competition law in defining the terms of access to patents by bringing up various cases where the Competition Commission of India (CCI) assumed jurisdiction. Aayush further extended the discussion by bringing in aspects of competition law in the scenario and further into the field compulsory licensing and the role of CCI in the same.

Thereafter, Dr. Shamnad Basheer took the podium for the next 70 minutes to present his compilation on ‘Break in India: Piercing the Patent Paradigm’, backed by a powerpoint presentation. At the outset, he thanked the Principal and the college for extending to him the chance of being a part of the seminar and to present his views. His presentation focused on a new narrative to the Intellectual Property regime by challenging the current concepts and practices in Intellectual Property Law. In a parlance where gimmicks, anecdotes, contemporary illustrations and challenging views were in abundance; he tried to impress upon the fact that in Intellectual Property, public domain and common good was the norm and rights were the exception. He explained that the true benefits of the rights and their dealings are left only to the intermediaries and has lost the very purpose for which it was intended. He also discussed the role of the legislature, judiciary and the government in regulating the Intellectual Property policy and concluded by calling for a shift from a regime of ‘Intellectual Property Rights’ to a regime of ‘Regulations of Distinctive Information’.

Thereon, began Session V, the final session for the two-day seminar. Mr. Pravin Anand, advocate, the Managing Partner of Anand and Anand was the resource person for this session. In the beginning, there was a student presentation by Ms. Janhavi Wasdev (IV BSL LLB) on behalf of herself and Mr. Devashish Tiwari (IV BSL LLB) on ‘Exclusions and Limitations of Patent Rights’. She elaborated on this Indian Patent Regime with the help of decided cases and illustrations.

Last session was delivered by Mr. Pravin Anand on ‘Changing Dimensions of Patent Laws in India’. Mr. Anand took the audience through the positively changing scenario in patent issues and litigation. He started by giving a background of the environment prevailing three decades ago and a comparative analysis of patent scenarios in different parts of the world. Disclosing his bias towards a strong patent regime, he emphasized the role of patents in innovation and highlighted the legislative and executive steps in facilitating the same. He analyzed the distribution of patent cases amongst the various high courts of the country and impact of technological advancement, like fast track courts and electronic handling of database; in speeding up the process of grant of patents. He also discussed the patent judgments in great detail to explain basic concepts in patent law with special focus on pharmaceutical patents.
This marked the end of the two-day National Seminar.