CENTAD Conference on Compulsory Licensing and Access to Patented Knowledge

One-Day Preliminary National Consultation on Access to Patented Knowledge

Organized by: Centre for Trade and Development (Centad), New Delhi


“Patents and Platform Technologies: Understanding Implications for Research and Development in Malaria and Tuberculosis”

Date: 9th September 2009 (Wednesday)

Venue: Magnoria Hall, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi

The International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada, commissioned a study to Centre for Trade and Development (Centad) in the area of access to patented knowledge. Centad is among the six worldwide research based organizations selected for conducting the study. The title of the study is “Utilizing Compulsory License as a Means to Access Platform Technologies in the Healthcare Sector” The study is with special reference to research and development in malaria and tuberculosis (TB). The overall objective of the study is to explore the possibilities of utilizing compulsory licenses to secure access to ‘platform technologies’, so as to promote greater access to healthcare technology in the country. In this regard, the study proposes to:

  • Ø Document the platform technologies essential to develop treatment for malaria and tuberculosis and trends in patenting thereof.
  • Ø Study their implications for downstream products and implications for the treatment of malaria and TB and recommend technologies qualifying to be compulsorily licensed.
  • Ø to draw a correlation between the current state of research and those technologies which are not openly available, so as to make a case for compulsory licensing of technologies where necessary
  • Ø Evolve a regulatory response by using compulsory license as a means to access platform technologies- through the patent law and competition law framework.
  • Ø Explore ways and means to integrate the concept of “Right to Compulsory License” into the administrative and judicial processes, in order to facilitate access to upstream technology.
  • Ø Explore linkages between the “Right to Health”, access to technology and compulsory licenses.

As part of this study, Centad is organizing a preliminary national consultation with an aim to elicit views and expert opinion for arriving at a formal understanding of bottlenecks in research and development of drugs, diagnostics and vaccines (including prophylaxis) relating to TB and malaria presented by the patenting of ‘platform technologies’ in India. First, the consultation would provide an opportunity to understand the current state of malaria and TB research, globally and in India. It would also provide an overview of current technologies being used and explored in developing new drugs, diagnostics and vaccines, including trends and patterns in their ownership. Second, the consultation would help to conceptualize and contextualize patenting of ‘platform technologies’ and access related issues. Third, it aims to provide a brief understanding of key challenges in articulating a possible regulatory response from a patent law and competition law perspective. Fourth, the consultation would help the research team to possibly identify a framework for conducting a field audit in India for further mapping/identification of such specific technologies, including trends in patenting thereof. This is with a view to draw potential implications of patenting of platform technologies on downstream & follow-on research and development.


Tentative Programme Schedule

9:00 am to 9:30 am– Registration

9:30 to 10:15 amInaugural Session

Welcome [5 minutes]: Centad

Introduction to the Study and the Consultation [5 minutes]: Project Convener

Key note address [20 minutes]: Prof. Samir Bramhachari, Director General, CSIR (TBC)

“Research and Development in TB and Malaria in India: Key Challenges Ahead”

Vote of Thanks [5 minutes]

10:15 – 11:00: Session I: TB and Malaria India Factsheet Chair: P. R Narayanan, Former Director, TRC, Chennai (TBC)

  • Ø TB Disease burden and disease profile [20 minutes]– Prof. D. Behera, Director, LRS Institute of TB and Respiratory Diseases, New Delhi {Confirmed}

  • Ø Malaria Disease burden and disease profile [20 minutes] – Prof. A P. Dash, Regional Advisor, WHO SEARO, New Delhi {Confirmed}

11:00- 11:15 – Tea Break

11:15 to 12:15Session II: Current state of research in TB and Malaria: Overview of the global scenario and Indian efforts– Chair: Dr. Weerasuriya, WHO {Confirmed}

  • Ø Current state of global research and expected outcomes in TB: Dr. Vanaja Selvakumar, Scientist, TRC, Chennai (TBC)

  • Ø Current state of global research and expected outcomes in Malaria: Dr. Sarala Subbarao, INSA Sr. Scientist in the ECD Division of ICMR and former Director, National Institute of Malaria Research {Confirmed}

  • Ø Research institutions and areas of research: Focus on the Indian scenario- Dr. S. Visalakshi, Former Scientist, NISTADS [15 minutes] {Confirmed}

12:15 – 1:30: Session III: Technology Identification and Proprietorship– Chair: Dr. Sarala Subbarao, Former Director, NIMR (TBC)

  • Ø Technologies/ Methods employed in TB research [15 minutes] Dr. Selvakumar, Scientist, TRC Chennai {Confirmed}

  • Ø Technologies/ Methods employed in Malaria research [15 minutes]: Dr. Harish Padh, Director, PERD Centre, Ahmadabad (TBC)

  • Ø Novel technologies for Malaria vector control: Challenges in development and deployment [15 minutes]: Dr. S S. Vasan, Visiting Research Fellow, University of Oxford and Head of Public Health, Oxitec, England {Confirmed}

  • Ø Ownership patterns in TB and Malaria technologies [15 minutes]: Dr. Subramaniam, SNA Patent Attorneys- New Delhi {Confirmed}

1:30 to 2:30 pm Lunch Break

2:30- 4:00 pm – Session IV: Considerations in Accessing Patented Platform Technologies – Chair: Prof. A P. Dash, Regional Advisor, WHO SEARO, New Delhi; or Dr. Subramaniam, SNA Patent Attorneys (TBD)

  • Ø Conceptualizing platform technologies and challenges in accessing patented research [10-15 minutes] –Dr. Ravi Dhar, Staff Scientist, Hear IPR Office, National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi {Confirmed}

  • Ø Some examples of blocking patents and impact of patenting intermediate and platform technologies for follow-on research [15 minutes each]
    • o Dr. Ram Vishwakarma- Director, IIIM, Jammu {blocking patents in intermediate chemical technologies} {Confirmed}
    • o Dr. Raghuram, Scientist, IP University, New Delhi- {cases of blocking biotechnology patents} {Confirmed}

  • Ø Industry views – Considerations in selecting/adopting platform technologies [Technical and financial considerations/ Price and non-price constraints in use of patented technologies- technology lock-in; Licensing issues]
    • o Dr. K K. Rao, C & MD, Transgene Biotek Ltd. Hyderabad {Confirmed}
    • o Dr. P K. Ghosh, Managing Director, KEE-GAD Biogen Pvt. Ltd. {Confirmed}

  • Ø Patenting Public funded Research: Is there a case for open access to platform technologies? [10 minutes]: Subbaih Arunachalam, Distinguished Senior Fellow, Centre for Internet and Society, Bangalore {Confirmed}

  • Ø Alternative mechanism for Drug Discovery and possible challenges posed by patents on platform technologies: A view from the OSDD Initiative [10 minutes]Zakir Thomas, Project Director, CSIR- OSDD{Confirmed}

4:00 to 4:15 pm: Tea Break

4:15 – 5.30 pm: Session V- Is the regulatory framework prepared for the uncertain? Chair: Prof. Biswajit Dhar, Director RIS, New Delhi (TBC)

  • Ø An exposition on “workable solutions” in accessing patented knowledge: How far have they worked?- Yogesh Pai, Associate Fellow, Centad [15 minutes] {Confirmed}

  • Ø Standards of patent law threshold: A view from the patent office: T V. Madhusudhan, Asst. Controller of Patents & Designs. [15 minutes] {Confirmed}

  • Ø Accessing patented knowledge: Compulsory license under patent laws in India (K M. Gopakumar, Legal Advisor and Senior Researcher, Third World Network) [ 20 minutes] {Confirmed}

  • Ø Accessing patented knowledge: Compulsory license under Competition law– Shamnad Basheer, Professor, MHRD Chair on IPR Law, NUJS, Kolkata [20 minutes]{Confirmed}

  • Ø Concluding Discussion {10- 15 minutes}

­­­RSVP: Yogesh Pai Associate Fellow, Centad, New Delhi

Ph: +91-11-41459226 (o); Fax: +91-11-41459227

Email: yogesh.pai@centad.org ; legaloracle@gmail.com

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