[Reader-list] [Commons-Law] Symposium on the Challenges to India’s Patent Regime | NLSIU, Bangalore | A pril 12 & 13

Pranesh Prakash the.solipsist at gmail.com
Sun Apr 13 21:08:59 IST 2008

Dear Mr. Shanker,
I understand why you may have misgivings about our invitation of Mr.
Basheer, but I believe your misgivings are unnecessary on two grounds: that
our conference is meant to be inclusive; and that the wrongdoing you assert
on Mr. Basheer's part is not a given.

Firstly, the objective of this symposium is not to push forward a particular
agendum, whether pro-pharma, anti-pharma, pro-IP or anti-IP, but to have
broad-based discussions on the various sorts of changes and challenges that
India's current patent regime is facing. While this might involve coming to
a consensus as to solutions (and that would be welcomed), in our pragmatism
we understand that a consensus might not be arrived at, and are ready to
face that. The important thing is to explore issues, and all possible ways
of addressing those issues. The benefits of one approach over another is not
something that we wish to push during this symposium. This, I believe, is
reflected by the wide variety of views and opinions that the speakers
represent. Thus, simply put, Mr. Basheer's "close association" with the
pharmaceutical industry does not hamper his participation in this symposium.
In fact, to get a variety of views, such a association (if it did indeed
exist) would even be preferable. The pharmaceutical industry is after all a
stakeholder, just as the poverty-stricken medicine-less patient is a
stakeholder. The relative weights of their stakeholding (and the issue of
India being socialist) is not something I wish to get into here.

Secondly, Mr. Basheer's "close association" with the pharmaceutical industry
is not a given. As he has pointed out (and Chan Park has agreed), his
report, part of which was copied without the necessary acknowledgement, by
the Mashelkar Committee, was based on solid research and was substantiated.
While we may disagree with the conclusions that he arrived at, the fact that
it was well-argued is not, I believe, at dispute. The dispute is based on
the questionable assumption that the source of funding of his research
directly or indirectly affected his views and biased his conclusions. There
is nothing to support that assumption, especially given that he has held
those views even outside of that report.  Funding of research and
"mercenerisation" of research are different, and I see no evidence to Mr.
Basheer's research being the latter.  In any case, even Mr. Chan accepts
that.  Additionally, in case of doubt, I believe that he ought be given the
benefit of the same.  I hope you agree.  Please note that these are my
personal views, and not that of the organising committee.  Finally, I must
thank you for taking enough interest in the Symposium to respond!


On 4/11/08, Daya Shanker <daya.shanker at deakin.edu.au> wrote:
> Dear Pranesh
> It appears to be a very nice group of people but I do not see why ShamnadBasheer should be there. Didn't we discuss his role during the Karnataka
> High Court's decision in Novartis and his close association with the
> pharmaceutical industry? If a research output is based on the payment made
> by the industry, it destroys total sense of ethics and morality and
> definitely academic nature of the conference unless it is to provide
> legitimacy to such research. I have nothing personal against him or anybody
> but any mercenerisation of research destroys the total fabric of academic
> morality.

daya shankerAAt 07:07 AM 9/04/2008, Pranesh Prakash wrote:
> Dear All,*
> *National Law School of India Review, the bi-annual journal of the
> National Law School, Bangalore is organising the First *NLSIR Symposium on
> the "Challenges to India's Patent Regime"*. The Symposium is being held
> from *12th – 13th April (Saturday and Sunday)* at the *NLSIU campus in
> Nagarbhavi, Bangalore* and is intended to promote healthy debate and
> discussion amongst all the stakeholders involved.
> The Symposium has been structured to discuss the cutting edge issues
> relating to the Indian patent regime. Over four sessions, it looks to cover
> the theoretical justifications for patents, India's role as a country which
> is a signatory to TRIPS, the contentious issue of pharmaceutical patents and
> finally an analysis of possible judicial attitudes towards patent law and
> legislation in India. The Symposium brings together judges of the Supreme
> Court, patent attorneys from the USA, senior advocates, technical experts,
> ideologues and activists to facilitate constructive discussion of the issues
> set out and the best way forward for India's patent law. Prominent speakers
> include –
> *Judiciary*
> Justice AR Lakshmanan, Chairman Law Commission of India; Justice PP
> Naolekar, Judge Supreme Court of India; Justice Ravindra Bhat, Judge Delhi
> High Court; Justice DV Shylendra Kumar, Judge Karnataka High Court
> *Academics*
> Dr. Anil Gupta, IIM Ahmedabad; Shamnad Basheer, Oxford IP Research Centre;
> Srividhya Raghavan, Oklahoma University; T. Ramakrishna, NLSIU; Sudhir
> Krishnaswamy, NLSIU
> *Bar*
> Feroz Ali Khader, Advocate High Court of Madras; Aditya Sondhi, Advocate
> Karnataka High Court; Vinay Aravind, Poovayya & Poovayya
> *Public Interest*
> Leena Menghaney, Access Campaign Manager - India, MSF; Mr. Gopa Kumar,
> CENTAD; Dr. Anand Grover, Director, Lawyers' Collective
> For registration, please contact Apurva Rai, +919886208285.   For more
> details visit – http://www.nlsir.in/symposium.htm or contact Arghya
> Sengupta, +919886023232.
> Regards,
> Pranesh Prakash
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