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Conference on Intellectual Property Rights and Competition Law

The Centre for Competition Law and Market Study (CCLMS) in collaboration with the Centre for Intellectual Property Rights (CIPR) at ILNU organized a conference on 16th April, 2021.

The conference was graced by the august presence of various esteemed speakers such as Mr. Sai Deepak J., Founder Law Chambers of J Sai Deepak ; Ms. Avaantika Kakkar, Partner – Head Competition Practice, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas; Mr. K.D. Raju, Professor of Law, IIT Kharagpur, Ms. Shilpi Bhattacharya, Professor, Jindal Global Law School (JGLS), Mr. Somasekhar Sundaresan, Advocate, Independent Legal Counsel and Ms. Nisha Kaur Uberoi, National Head, Competition Law, Trilegal. 

PANEL 1: INTERFACE OF IPR AND COMPETITION LAW

Professor Raju gave a holistic opening to the session. He began by discussing the history of competition law, its objectives such as preventing harmful effects of monopoly, securing consumer benefits, etc. He then dwelled upon the objectives of IPR protection which revolve around promoting creativity and innovation, etc. Thereafter, he discussed about the application of competition law to intellectual property rights, wherein he talked about patent pools, cross-licensing, conditional licensing and jurisprudence surrounding these concepts. Professor Raju also gave an overview of the differences and similarities between the Indian approach and the European Union approach w.r.t. competition law and IPR. His discussion led to the formulation of one basic question – whether the goal of antitrust law is preservation of competition in high-tech markets to promote or retard long-term innovation in the economy.

Ms. Shilpi Bhattacharya presented on the topic ‘The Economics of Exclusive Distribution Agreements.’ She discussed the intricacies of the competition act, which comprised of concepts such as exclusive distribution agreement, treatment of vertical and horizontal agreements and how vertical agreements facilitate trust and coordination of interests. Ma’am explained the concepts in a lucid language with easy examples. Towards the end she highlighted certain problems such as anti-competitive foreclosure present in the market.

Ms. Avaantika Kakkar, covered a multitude of areas ranging from anti-competitive agreements to vertical agreements, the statutes governing these concepts, exceptions, and other restrictions. She talked about selective distribution and explained the concepts by placing reliance on the landmark judgments on the topic. She further talked about standard essential patents, and the doctrine of exhaustion. Her discussion helped the audience gain an industry perspective on these concepts.

PANEL 2: IR/ RESOLUBLE JURISDICTIONAL CONFLICTS BETWEEN CCI AND IP SECTORAL REGULATOR

In this session, distinguished speakers such as Mr. Somasekhar Sundaresan, Advocate, Mr. Sai Deepak J., Advocate and Ms. Nisha Kaur Uberoi, National Head, Competition Law, Trilegal offered their perspectives on the aspect of jurisdictional conflicts. Adv. Sai Deepak provided a concise and comprehensive start to the session. He opined that the Patent Act and the Competition Act are to be read in a harmonious manner and they have their own respective places. He stated that there is no tussle between these laws, however in case of repugnancy, competition law may prevail.

Ms. Nisha Kaur agreed with the views of Adv. Sai Deepak and further highlighted that the remedies available from the Competition Commission of India are rights available against everyone and not just private individuals. Adv. Sundaresan delved into the age old debate of ‘reasonableness’ or ‘reasonable man.’

Earlier, Prof. (Dr.) Purvi Pokhariyal, Dean and Director at the institute emphasised that the aim of the conference is to have a discourse on the interface of Competition Law and Intellectual Property Rights. It is also to appraise the jurisdictional problems which arise when there are overlapping issues involving both fields. Prof. Nikita Shah, and Prof. Taruna Jakhar Asst. Professors at the institute were the event coordinators. Ms. Anusha Shekhawat, 4th year student at the institute delivered the vote of thanks.

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