In a world where we use extensive amounts of empirical data in research and decision making, the core objective of organising the First Asia-Pacific Workshop on Empirical Methods in Innovation, Intellectual Property and Competition (March 9-11, 2017) was to make academicians, policy makers and regulators more critical consumers of data in the fields of innovation, IP and competition. By providing an overview of empirical studies and methodological issues in different areas of IP as well as competition law, this workshop tried to help the target group learn how to approach and use data in their own research/ decision making. The resource persons of this workshop were Prof. Beth Webster (Centre for Transformative Innovation, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia), MrD.Scott Bosworth (Principal Economist, Nathan Associates Inc, California), Dr Ilja Rudyk (Senior Economist, European Patent Office, Germany), Dr Sukhpreet Singh (Senior Lecturer, University of Glasgow), Prof. Georg Von Graevanitz (Senior Lecturer, University of London), Prof. Jay Kesan (Professor of Law, University of Illinois), Dr Derek Ritzmann (Former Chief Economist, Competition Commission of Hong Kong), Prof. Shubha Ghosh (Syracuse University) and Dr Francis Rathinam (Senior Evaluation Specialist, International Initiative for Impact Evaluation).
On 16th – 18th February, the Appellate Body of the WTO organized [email protected] Conference in collaboration with NLUD. The event saw the participation of several Appellate Body members of the WTO, most prominently Mr Ujal Singh Bhatia, the current Chairperson. Leading Academicians, International Lawyers, Diplomats and Policy Makers attended the Conference.
The Conference started with a keynote address by Mr Arvind Subramaniam, Chief Economic Advisor to the Government of India. He elucidated on the current state and prospects of the multilateral trade regime in the context of India. Following this, the inauguration featured a roundtable discussion focusing upon the topic, “The new global politics: Is there space for multilateralism?”. This roundtable set the tone and tenor for the discussions of the two day conference by inviting diverse perspectives from the distinguished panel.
Day 1 (17th February 2016): Drawing from the inaugural events, the first panel addressed the role of the WTO in intellectual property governance. Panelists, noting the prominence of TRIPS in the employment of the Dispute Settlement Mechanism, elaborated on the challenges and the opportunities presented by the TRIPS Regime. The second panel focused on the evolution and challenges posed by trade remedy disputes at the WTO. The panel impressed upon the nuances of the WTO Dispute Settlement Model, with particular emphasis on its efficacy and reliability given trade asymmetries. The next panel carried the conversation forward by looking at the participation of developing countries in the WTO system. The panel put special emphasis on data relating to the participation, drawing lessons to be learnt in increasing developing country agency at the WTO. The final panel for the day looked at the rise of services and its scope within the WTO Regime. Complementing economic growth trajectories and the share of services with elaboration upon the extent of flexibility offered by the TRIMS regime, the panel shed light on the growing importance of services.
Day 2 (18th February 2016): The first panel for the day focused on the dispute settlement mechanism of the WTO with its place in global governance. The complex relationship of multilateral and bilateral treaties to the WTO regime were discussed keeping in mind the resurgence of protectionist politics across the globe. A narrative noting the presence of an opportunity within the proliferation of fear in the global space was given definite shape through the comparative evaluations of different models, including questions of legitimacy and participation. The final panel of the Conference concerned non-trade concerns at the WTO. The embedded nature of trade with important concerns like health, human rights, public morals etc was recognized. Panelists reflected upon the growing importance of non-trade concerns at the WTO as signs of maturity within the WTO. This also brought an eventful reflection as to the concerns raised through the diverse sessions as to the future of the WTO.
The Centre for Innovation, Intellectual Property, and Competition (CIIPC), as part of its Open Science Project, organised WikiEdit2016. The purpose of this workshop was to introduce students to diverse aspects of open knowledge resources and to motivate them to move beyond passive consumption of knowledge and become active producers of knowledge. The workshop was held on the 11th and 12th of November, 2016. It started with a keynote address on ‘Peer Production and Sharing’ from Mr Zakir Thomas (Former Director, Open Source Drug Discovery Project). He spoke about how sharing of information has evolved over the years and highlighted how Wikipedia has unchained knowledge from the clutches of a few. This was followed by a discussion on how the Wikipedia universe works wherein the content is created by thousands of users spread across the world. Ms Kuhuk Jain (Student, NLU Delhi) made a presentation on ‘Representation of Women in Wikipedia‘, highlighting the issue of gender bias and gender gap in Wikipedia. This led to a discussion on the possible reasons, one of the major being lack of adequate female representation in Wikipedia. Participants discussed how sexism on Wikipedia could be a reflection of the society we live in. This workshop also tried to address this by ensuring equal participation by men and women.
This was followed with discussions on editing guidelines and wiki page creation/ editing, led by Ms Rohini Lakshané (Wikipedia volunteer/ Program Officer, Centre for Internet and Society, Bengaluru) and Mr Tanveer Hasan (Wikipedia volunteer/ Program Officer, Centre for Internet and Society, Bengaluru). Participants tried their hands at editing pages and created new pages. The workshop ended on 12th of November with an open discussion on the learnings from the workshop and the future contributions to Wikipedia by the participants.
The workshop on SEPs: Patents and Antitrust Issues in the High-Tech World was the culmination of a five day short course on IP & Competition Law taught by Prof. Jay Kesan and Dr Kirti Gupta. Over 40 students of the penultimate and final year of the LL.B. programme of NLU Delhi attended the course, while the workshop on 27 August 2016 was attended by practitioners, professionals, and academics. The workshop was an enriching experience that dwelved into the technological and economic issues underlying standard essential patents in the telecommunication sector.