Saturday, August 22, 2009

Indian “Bayh Dole” Bill

Conference on Publicly Funded Patents and Technology Transfer: A Review of the Indian “Bayh Dole” Bill

Organized by the IP Chair at NUJS, Kolkata (along with IPTLS and Share)

Venue: NUJS, Salt Lake, Sector III, Kolkata

12 September 2009

In January 2009, the government introduced the Protection and Utilisation of Public Funded Intellectual Property Bill, 2008 in the Rajya Sabha. The bill is currently undergoing scrutiny by a Parliamentary select committee, after which it will be placed before the two houses of Parliament. The Indian bill is based to some degree on the US Bayh-Dole Act, which according to The Economist unlocked "all the inventions and discoveries that had been made in laboratories throughout the US with the help of taxpayers' money" and one that helped "reverse America's precipitous slide into industrial irrelevance."

This conference will aim to generate more awareness around the Bill and what is stands for. For one, the Bill is not an instrument that enables university patenting for the first time. Rather, under the present legal regime (most notably the patents act), all institutes and researchers working with such institutes are free to patent the results of their research, irrespective of whether or not such research comes out public funding (unless there is a contractual bar by the funding agency). Such protection of publicly funded research through patents and subsequent use is not specifically regulated and scientists and institutes can use their patents in whatever way they wish (subject to safeguards under current Indian patent law and other laws such as competition law). Therefore, the Bill presents a great opportunity to regulate publicly funded research and patenting activities associated with this for the first time.

The conference will examine the framework of the current Indian bill, with a view to helping improve it. In particular, the conference will try and examine the current structure of university research and technology licensing in India and see if the Bill can be tailored better to help promote the permeation of more university research to society in the form of useful products/services and/or knowledge transfer. The conference will also examine whether, and to what extent, concerns of public interest can be addressed in the present bill. Illustratively, it will seek ways in which the Bill can promote more non-exclusive licensing, which in turns is likely to enable a wider utilisation of publicly funded research. It will also examine whether, and to what extent, the current Bill can be improved to promote more transparency in publicly funded research (and the results thereto) by creating a list of public funds, the recipients, the usage of such funds and the dissemination of such research through technology and knowledge transfer to the public.

Lastly, the conference will aim to iron out some of the creases in the current wordings of the Bill, creases that are likely to lead to litigious waste.


  • Session 1: Bayh Dole and the International Experience
  • Session 2: Patents and Technology Transfer in India
  • Session 3: The Triple Helix Model and Technology Transfer: Evolving a Framework for Developing Countries
  • Session 4: Specific Issues with the Indian Publicly Funded IP Legislation

Registration is free. However, if you wish to attend, please email Prakruthi Gowda (prakruthipgowda[at] indicating your name, designation etc.

No comments: