Seminar: Intellectual Property Rights and Competition Law

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Research Brown Bag Seminar

When: Nov 21 2008 (All day)
Where: Room 3012
What:
Intellectual Property Rights and Competition Law

S. Chakravarthy
Advisor and Consultant on Competition Policy and Law, Government of India

November 21, 2008  12:00 – 1:00 pm
John A. Burns Hall, Room 3012, 3rd floor


Dr. Chakravarthy will address the interface between Intellectual Property Rights and Competition Law/Policy, to outline the issues relating to Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), to narrate the Indian competition law in so far as it relates to IPRs and also to list those practices, which would be compatible with competition law and those which would not be.  Some case laws relating to some competition regimes in the world would be cited by way of illustrations.

As normally understood, Intellectual Property provides exclusive rights to the holders to perform a productive or commercial activity, but this does not automatically include the right to exert restrictive or monopoly power in a market or society. In a few really successful cases, the potential pejorative character of power may be unjustifiably great because of the public policies like the encouragement of inventions, but on the other hand if investment of resources to produce ideas or conveying information is left unprotected, the competitors may take advantage and benefit by not being obliged to pay anything for what they take.  This may result in lack of incentives to invest in ideas or information and the consumer may be correspondingly the poorer. What is called for is a balance between unjustified monopolies and protection of the property holders' investment.  

The relationship between competition law control and Intellectual Property Rights is inherently contradictory as there is a potential conflict between the two, in that the existence and the exercise of Intellectual property Rights may often produce anti-competitive effects through the monopoly power granted to the holder of the rights.  The European Court of Justice (ECJ) made a distinction between the existence of Intellectual Property Rights and their exercise.  Within this dichotomy, all aspects of a right which relate to its existence will be undisturbed by competition law, but those aspects which relate to its exercise may be capable of regulation if they are anti-competitive.  

Dr. S. Chakravarthy is a civil servant by profession, being a member of the Indian Administrative Service.  Presently, he is Advisor/Consultant on Competition Policy and Law.  He has a master's degree in Mathematics and Statistics.  After joining the Government, he received his doctorate degree in Management from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.  Subsequently he secured a law degree from the Delhi University.  In addition, he has certificates in Public Administration and Public Enterprises from the University of Manchester, UK and Harvard University, USA. His experience as a civil servant in India over 4 decades (1961-2002) has been essentially in the areas of industries, commerce, management of state-owned enterprises, corporate law implementation and competition law enforcement. Competition policy, industrial development and export promotion have been central to his specialization. Specifically, this includes formulation and implementation of industrial policies of the Government of India, revival of sick State-Owned Enterprises and adjudicating disputes under corporate and competition laws. Competition Law enforcement and management, International Trade and dealing with WTO issues with a strong emphasis on consumer and public interest have been his focus area in the past decade.

Primary Contact Info:
Name: Laura Moriyama
Phone: 808-944-7444