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Short Course on IP, Trade and Public Health

Ms Jayashree Watal

The Centre for Innovation, IP and Competition organized a short intensive course on IP, Trade and Public Health from 20th to 24th November, 2017 at National Law University, Delhi (NLU, D). The course was taught by Ms.  Jayashree Watal (Counsellor, IP Division – World Trade Organization) and saw many insightful discussions between Ms. Watal and the students of NLU, D. Primarily, the deliberations revolved around the economic role and function of different IPRs and the evolution of the international IP regime in developing countries with particular focus on the fruition of  the current Patent Law. Following this, Ms. Watal delved into the issues surrounding the concerns of developing countries with respect to international IP negotiations in General Agreement for Trade and Tariffs (GATT), World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), World Health Organization (WHO), World Trade Organization (WTO) and the subsequent implementation of the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement). Ms. Watal also discussed the evidence from economists on IP & development, and more importantly, she highlighted and explained the debate surrounding promotion of IP and innovation with respect to concerns about IP and its adverse effects on access to affordable medicines and treatment.  Ms. Watal also provided an overview of a few negotiations on TRIPS provisions under Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) currently  taking place at a global and bilateral levels between nations.

In conclusion, students were asked to analyse and present their brief set of observations and suggestions on public health and IP related issues such as compulsory licensing of medicines (Natco vs. Bayer – Compulsory Licensing Case), Section 3(d) of the Indian Patents Act (Novartis Case), particular TRIPS disputes and the WIPO development agenda.

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