A 3-D Perspective on Indian Intellectual Property: Distinct, Diverse and Democratic?

We’re pleased to announce that University of Pennsylvania Law School and IDIA are organising an IP conference titled: “A 3-D Perspective on Indian Intellectual Property: Distinct, Diverse and Democratic?”

This conference will be held on March 5, 2019 and hosted by the Indian Law Institute, New Delhi.

It boasts a stellar cast of speakers drawn from the IP profession, industry, civil society, academia and government. Mr. Rajiv Aggarwal (Joint Secretary, DPIIT) will deliver the opening address. And Justice Aftab Alam (who delivered the historic Supreme Court verdict in the Novartis patent litigation and section 3(d)) will be a special guest.

Given that “diversity” is a core theme of IDIA, this conference is of special importance to us. We therefore urge all of our IDIA champions, donors, partners and well wishers to please spread the word and to attend personally if this topic/theme is of interest to you. All registration/RSVP details below.

See our link here for a near final version of the conference schedule and speakers etc. 


Date: March 5, 2019

Time: 9:30 am to 5:30 pm

Venue: Indian Law Institute, New Delhi

Organised by: University of Pennsylvania Law School and IDIA

Hosted by: Indian Law Institute (ILI)

Opening Address: Rajiv Aggarwal (Jt. Secretary, DPIIT)

Special Guest: Justice Aftab Alam (Former Judge, Supreme Court of India)


About the Conference

Indian patent law achieved international notoriety with section 3(d). A rather unique provision that sets the bar for drug patents relatively higher than most other countries. One which caused considerable consternation for a number of drug majors, and divided the world into two camps: those that hailed section 3(d) and those that hated it!

Notwithstanding this ideological divide, there is no gainsaying the fact that section 3(d) is a “distinct” provision. One that dared to do differently in a post TRIPS world, where the pressure to conform to a globalised patent script was intense. To this extent, section 3(d) promotes diversity in global patent norms.

Section 3(d) also showcases the strength of a democracy, in that it came after extensive advocacy by public interest groups that were able have a say in an otherwise opaque law making process dominated in the past by largely industrial interests.

Drawing on these attributes of section 3(d), this conference (conceptualized by University of Pennsylvania Law School and IDIA) seeks to explore whether other provisions in Indian IP law (in particular copyright law and plant variety protection law) reflect similar values: of distinctiveness, diversity and democracy. It will bring together different stakeholders in the Indian IP ecosystem, including lawyers, industry representatives, civil society activists and policy makers.

In particular, the panels will discuss the following:

  1. Patent Law: Section 3(d), patent working, patent oppositions, SEP issues and injunctions etc.
  2. Copyright Law: Mandatory royalty sharing provisions for film/musical works, educational exception, online intermediary liability issues etc.
  3. Plant Variety Protection Law: India’s unique provisions for plant breeders, farmers rights, TK issues, Biodiversity and IP interface etc.


Program Schedule

  1. Registration (9.30 am onwards)
  2. Welcome Address  (10 – 10.15 am)

Prof Shyamkrishna Balganesh (Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Centre for Technology, Innovation and Competition, University of Pennsylvania Law School).

Prof (Dr) Manoj Kumar Sinha (Director, Indian Law Institute).

  1. Introduction to the Theme of Conference (10.15 am to 10.30 am)

Prof (Dr) Shamnad Basheer, Bok Visiting Professor, University of Pennsylvania Law School and Founder, IDIA.

  1. Opening Address (along with Q/A) (10.30 -11.00 am)

Mr. Rajiv Aggarwal (Joint Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India).

  1. Tea: 11.00 to 11.15 am
  2. Panel 1 – Patents (11.15 am – 1 pm)
  3. Lunch (1-2 pm)
  4. Panel 2 – Copyright (2 -3.45 pm)
  5. Tea (3.45 -4 pm)
  6. Panel 3 – Plant Variety, Biodiversity and TK (4.00 – 5.45 pm)
  7. Valedictory (6.00 pm)
  8. Dinner (7 pm onwards)


Sessions and Speakers

Panel 1: Patents 

  • Dr. KS Kardam (Senior Joint Controller of Patents and Designs, Indian Patent Office)
  • Leena Menghaney (Regional Head (South Asia), Access Campaign at Medécins Sans Frontières)
  • Sheetal Chopra (India Lead, IPR Advocacy, Ericsson)
  • Essenese Obhan (Managing Partner, Obhan and Associates)

Moderator: Prof. (Dr.) Shamnad Basheer (Bok Visiting Professor, University of Pennsylvania Law School and Founder, IDIA).

Panel 2: Copyright

  • Prof. (Dr.) VC Vivekanandan (Dean, School of Law, Bennett University)
  • Ameet Datta (Partner, Saikrishna & Associates),
  • Dr. Arul George Scaria (Assistant Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Centre for Innovation, Intellectual Property and Competition, NLU Delhi)
  • GR Raghavender (Joint Secretary, Department of Justice, Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India)
  • Anjum Rajabali (Chairperson, Sub-Committees on Copyright, and on Minimum Basic Contract, Screenwriters Association)
  • Dhruv Anand (Partner, Litigation, Anand & Anand)

Moderator: Prof. Shyamkrishna Balganesh (Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Centre for Technology, Innovation and Competition, University of Pennsylvania Law School).

Panel 3: Plant Variety Protection, Biodiversity and TK

  • Suresh PJ (Regulatory Affairs Lead, Monsanto India Limited)
  • M. Prabhakar Rao (CMD, Nuziveedu Seeds)
  • Dr. Deepa Kachroo Tiku (Partner, K&S Partners)
  • Dr. VK Gupta (Former Director TKDL and Senior Advisor, CSIR)

Moderator: Prashant Reddy (Senior Fellow, Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy).



The registration fee for the event is as follows:

  • Conference at ILI + Reception/Dinner at Taj Mansingh: INR 5,000
  • Conference at ILI only (with lunch/refreshments): INR 3,000
  • Students (Conference at ILI only with lunch/refreshments): INR 1,500

To register, please RSVP to Svetlana Correya from IDIA at svetlana@idialaw.com by March 2, 2019.


About University of Pennsylvania Law School

A member of the Ivy League, the University of Pennsylvania Law School is the law school of the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. One of the oldest law schools in the world, Penn law’s origins go back to 1790 when the University of Pennsylvania’s first lectures in law was delivered to President George Washington and the members of his cabinet by James Wilson, a signer of the US Declaration of Independence and US Constitution. Penn Law began offering its first full time program in law in 1850. Today, it continues as a world leader in legal education with world-class faculty, emphasis on cross-disciplinary education and hosting various groups of highly competitive and motivated student pool on its campus. The law school publishes the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, the oldest continuously published legal periodical in the US. Among the schools alumni are a US Supreme Court Justice, several state Supreme Court Justices and supreme court justices of other countries, as well as several founders of law firms, university presidents and deans, business entrepreneurs, and politicians.

Website: https://www.law.upenn.edu


About IDIA

The IDIA project is a pan India movement to empower underprivileged communities by creating top quality lawyers from within. IDIA is run on the backbone of highly passionate student volunteers who travel to various parts of India to identify underprivileged students with an aptitude for the study of law. IDIA then rigorously trains these students for the leading law entrance examinations. Once selected to the top law schools, IDIA arranges for sponsorships/scholarships and mentorship schemes to help these students blossom to their fullest potential. IDIA’s mission is to create a cadre of exceptional lawyers from within underprivileged communities who are Creative, Holistic, Altruistic, and Maverick Problem Solvers (CHAMPS).

Website: https://www.idialaw.com


About Indian Law Institute

Indian Law Institute was founded in 1956 primarily with the objective of promoting and conducting legal research. Among the objectives of the Institute are cultivating the science of law, promotion of advanced studies and research in law so as to meet the social, economic and other needs of the Indian people, promotion of systematization of law etc. Hon’ble CJI is the ex-officio President of the Institute. The Union Minister of Law & Justice is its Ex-officio Vice-President.

Website: http://www.ili.ac.in     

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