'Consilience' is the annual flagship conference of the Law and Technology Society of National Law School of India University, Bangalore. This year, the Conference will be jointly hosted by the Law and Technology Society, and SpicyIP, India's premier blog in intellectual property and innovation law and policy. Previous editions of the Conference have focused on themes such as ‘Net Neutrality’ and ‘Cloud Computing’.
SpicyIP is India’s premier blog on intellectual property (IP) and innovation law and policy. Through its independent and objective reporting, SpicyIP is committed to increase transparency in Indian intellectual property policy and institutions. SpicyIP stands for fair, objective and accurate reporting and review of IP and innovation policy developments from India.
It provides a platform for some of the best minds in law and technology to gather, brainstorm and deliberate on the most challenging issues at the interface of law and technology. Apart from the intellectual stimulation, Consilience provides a platform for the framing of concrete policy suggestions that could then be taken up with the government of India or at various international fora.
The Law and Technology Society is a student run committee actively engaged in promoting research, awareness and scholarship in the field of Technology Law. In furthereance of its mandate the committee regularly organises various lectures, panel discussions, competitions and conferences among various other events, at a national level.
Open Access is now part of our IP vocabulary, thanks to a powerful campaign in the last few decades. Building on the success of the open source movement in software, the open access philosophy is predicated largely on the notion of "freedom" from IP related restrictions.
To set the stage for the rest of the event, we will be kicking things off at a high note with a Keynote Address from the phenomenal Professor Richard Jefferson, the pioneer behind Biological Open Source, The Lens, and Cambia! Currently a Professor of Biological Innovation at the Queensland University of Technology, Professor Jefferson was named as one of the world’s 50 most influential technologists in 2003 by the Scientific American.
The theme for this year’s Consilience is Open Sesame: Unlocking IP to Unleash the Commons. The term ‘Open Access’ has become part of the IP vocabulary thanks to a powerful campaign in the last few decades, and today finds resonance in a cornucopia of sectors, ranging from educational content (Khan Academy) to Biotechnology (BiOS) to Artificial Intelligence research(Theano). Traditionally, Open Access debates have focused on two core issues: Access to Knowledge/Goods at affordable prices (A2K), and Closed versus Open Creative Processes.
At Consilience 2016, however, we plan to kick things up a notch. We will be exploring not only Open Access as an IP regime in-and-of itself, but also venturing into new areas such as Open Access within IP regimes and themultiple facets of transparency, and the Developing Country Dimension. As our readers will know, these are topics very close to the heart of the work SpicyIP has done over its decade of existence, and what better way to celebrate our Anniversary than to highlight and delve into these issues in a new light with some of the best minds in the IP field!
The two sessions will focus on the developing country perspective and fostering open access within IP Regimes respectively.
Developing country perspective:
Most discussions around IP and open access revolve around “developed countries” and their specific socio-economic context. To this extent, the frame fails to account for developing countries and their concerns. Illustratively, while developed countries take “bandwidth” for granted, developing countries may face serious issues on this front, preventing them from meaningful participation in the open access movement (which largely relies on content publication/ dissemination via the internet).
This conference will therefore bring some attention to the developing country dimension and deliberate on the current frame and how it might need to be adapted and/or overhauled.
Fostering openness within IP Regimes:
The classic IP vs Open Access frame is predicated on the notion that IP regimes are inherently “closed”. While this may hold true (to a significant extent), it fails to account for the potential openness in IP regimes. In other words, IP regimes could be pried open to foster greater levels of openness and transparency.
One could even argue that openness lies at the heart of IP regimes; for it is the sine qua non for the grant of the right in the first place. Illustratively, patents are to be compulsorily disclosed and published, should the applicant desire a twenty- year monopoly protection. Such disclosure is meant to aid the public in accessing and working the patented invention, and learning from it in the process. And yet, not many have focused on this important disclosure function of patents.
9:30 am -
Prof Venkata Rao (VC, NLSIU)
9:40 am to 10:20 am -
Other Welcome Address
Prof Shamnad Basheer (SpicyIP),
Prof Ramakrishna (MHRD IP Chair, NLSIU) and
Aditya Singh Chawla (Convener, Law and Technology Society, NLS)
9:40 am to 10:20 am -
Prof Richard Jefferson (Founder, Cambia and Professor, Queensland University of Technology [QUT])
"Open Innovation Cartography: Building an Inclusive and Transparent IP Ecosystem"
11:10 am to 11:25 am -
11:30 am to 11:50 am -
To be Announced.
11:50 am to 1:20 pm -
From Software (OSS) to Drug Discovery (OSDD)
Venkatesh Hariharan (i-Spirit),
Dr Tanjore Balganesh (Open Source Pharma Foundation),
Leena Menghaney (Médecins Sans Frontières) and
Antony Taubman (Director, IP Division, WTO) (via remote link)
Moderator: Murali Neelakantan (IP Consultant)
1:20 pm to 2:20 pm -
2:20 pm to 2:30 pm -
Open Access Music Video
2:30 pm to 4:00 pm -
Open Standards and Licensing (SEP issues)
Rajiv Choudhary (IP lawyer),
Navneet Hrishikeshan (Director Legal, Cisco),
Prof Yogesh Pai (NLU Delhi),
Prof Natasha Nayak (Jindal)
Moderator: Prof Ramakrishna (MHRD IP Chair, NLS)
4:00 pm to 4:15 pm -
4:15 pm to 5:45 pm -
Compulsory Licensing and a Compensatory Commons
Prof Srividya Ragavan (TAMU),
Jayashree Watal (WTO),
Dilip Shah (Indian Pharmaceuticals Alliance) and
Prof Vivekanandan (NALSAR)
Moderator: Prof Shamnad Basheer (Founder, SpicyIP)
5:45 pm to 6.10 pm - Special Address (via remote link) by Prof Andrew Morriss (Dean, Texas A&M)
7.30 pm onwards -
Dinner (sponsored by Texas AM University)
10:00 am to 11:30 am
Prof Dev Gangjee (University of Oxford),
Prof Arul Scaria (NLU Delhi),
Prof Shubha Ghosh(Syracuse University),
Malavika Jayaram (Berkman Centre, Harvard) and
Prof. Sunita Tripathy
Moderator: Swaraj P Barooah (Editor in Chief, SpicyIP)
11:30 am to 11:45 am -
11:45 am to 1:15 pm -
Open Law/Policy (including Transparency in IP, Open Patent data)
Prof (Dr.) Richard Jefferson (Cambia and Prof, Queensland University of Technology),
Prashant Reddy (IP Consultant) and
Prof Prashant Iyengar (Jindal Global Law School)
Open Access IP Dictionary (Presentation by team of Nirma University/SpicyIP) Moderator: Arpita Sen
1:15 pm to 2:15 pm -
2:15 pm to 2:30 pm - Special Presentation by Free Software Movement of Karnataka
2:30 pm to 4:30 pm -
The Future of the Commons: Friends or Foes?
Zakir Thomas (Former Director, Open Source Drug Discovery),
Dr Tabrez Ahmed (Director, UPES, Dehradun),
Arun Mohan (IP lawyer) and
Sunita Sreedharan (IP Lawyer)
Moderator: R. Muralidharan
4:30 pm to 4:45 pm -
4:45 pm to 5:15 pm -
Summary and Conclusions
5:15 pm to 5:45 pm -
Closing and Valedictory
SpicyIP and the Law and Technology Society invite you to join us for what is sure to be an absolutely fascinating event! The conference is open to the public, but attendance is subject to registration prior to the event, and a confirmation of the same from the Registration Desk. Registration costs for attending the whole event over the two days are as follows:
Corporates: Rs. 5000
Non-profit organizations and individuals: Rs. 2500
Students: Rs. 1000
The Gala Dinner on the first day is sponsored by the Texas A&M University. To register, please send an email stating your name, designation and institutional affiliation to firstname.lastname@example.org with subject “Registration for Consilience”.
Our special thanks go out, of course, to our Sponsors: Obhan and Associates, Software Freedom Law Centre and the Indian Cellular Association.