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Dr. Mrinalini Kochupillai, LL.M.

MIPLC

Intellectual Property and Competition Law
Program Director

+49 89 24246-5463
+49 89 24246-522
mrinalini.kochupillai(at)miplc.de

Areas of Interest:

Inter- and multi-disciplinary studies on ‘Ethics in Innovation’, including the philosophical and cultural foundations of eastern versus western approaches to promoting, protecting, adopting and disseminating innovations; Plant variety protection law and policy, including UPOV; Patent law in developing countries with special focus on pharmaceutical patents.

Academic Résumé

Mrinalini has been associated with the Munich Intellectual Property Law Center (MIPLC) and the Max Planck Institute since 2008, first as an independent MIPLC research fellow (2008-2009) and then as a doctoral fellow with the International Max Planck Research School for Competition and Innovation (IMPRS-CI) from 2009-2013 during which time she completed her Ph.D. titled ‘Promoting Sustainable Innovations in Plant Varieties’ under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Josef Drexl. She joined the MIPLC as Program Director, and the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition as a Senior Research Fellow in September 2014. Her research areas include patents and plant variety protection, especially in developing countries. Her current research is broadly titled ‘Ethics in Innovation’, with a focus on studying the philosophical and cultural foundations of eastern versus western approaches to promoting, protecting, adopting and disseminating innovations, and adopts an inter- and multi-disciplinary approach.

Mrinalini obtained her B.A. LL.B (Hons.) degree from the National Law Institute University, Bhopal, in 2003, and an LL.M. in Intellectual Property, Commerce and Technology from the University of New Hampshire School of Law (formerly the Franklin Pierce Law Center) in 2006. She has been a faculty member at the European Business College, Munich and MIPLC, an adjunct faculty at Franklin Pierce, and a guest faculty at various institutes in India. She has also served as a consultant (India expert) to the International Technology Transfer Institute at the University of New Hampshire.

International Max Planck Research School for Competition and Innovation
  • Ph.D. dissertation titled "Promoting Sustainable Innovation in Plant Varieties” (Published with Springer 2016)
Franklin Pierce Law Center, Concord, NH (July 2006)
  • LL.M. in Intellectual Property, Commerce and Technology (GPA: 3.6/4.0)
Franklin Pierce Law Center, Concord, NH (July 2006)
  • LL.M. in Intellectual Property, Commerce and Technology (GPA: 3.6/4.0)
National Law Institute University, Bhopal, India (May 2003)
  • B.A., LL.B. (Hons.) (Overall grade: B+)

Publications

Books and Monographs

Promoting Sustainable Innovations in Plant Varieties (Munich Studies on Innovation and Competition, 5), Springer, Berlin; Heidelberg 2016, XXI + 335 pp. DOI

    Contributions to Collected Editions, Commentaries, Handbooks and Encyclopaedias

    Patent Enforcement in India, in: Reto M. Hilty, Kung-Chung Liu (eds.), The Enforcement of Patents, Comparing Asian, European and American Experiences (Max Planck Series of Asian Intellectual Property Law, 16 ), Kluwer Law International, Alphen aan den Rijn 2012, 351 - 389.

      Journal Articles

      HMT: Time to share benefits with our farmers?, SpicyIP India Blog 2012 02.11.2012.

        Protecting Parental Lines of Extant Hybrids in India, Parts I and II, SpicyIP India Blog 2012 12.09.2012.

          The Indian Plant Variety Protection Law: Historical and Implementation Perspectives, Journal of Intellectual Property Rights 16, 2 (2011), 88 - 101.

            The Protection and Utilization of Public Funded Intellectual Property Bill, 2008: A Critique in the Light of India’s Innovation Environment, Journal of Intellectual Property Rights 15, 1 (2010), 19 - 34.

            TRIPS, Patents and Parallel Imports in India: A Proposal for Amendment, The Indian Journal of Intellectual Property Law 2 (2009), 63 - 86 (together with Shamnad Basheer).

              ‘Exhausting’ Patent Rights in India: Parallel Imports and TRIPS Compliance, Journal of Intellectual Property Rights 13, 5 (2008), 486 - 497 (together with Shamnad Basheer).

              • India’s amendment to her patent regime in 20051 to introduce pharmaceutical product patents attracted unprecedented attention, both domestically and globally. While multinational pharmaceutical companies were concerned that the Act withered away their exclusive rights, civil society activists decried the new product patent regime, fearing that it would cause steep hikes in the price of life saving drugs. This politicization of patent law produced some interesting results; most recently, a recent Delhi High Court case that denied an injunction to a multinational patentee on the ground that it sold a more ‘expensive’ drug than the infringing generic manufacturer.2 While some provisions in the new patent regime, such as Section 3(d) continue to attract a lot of attention, others have been lost in the legalese. One such provision is Section 107A(b) dealing with parallel imports, which, if read in a strict literal manner could have far reaching implications for the rights of a patentee. This paper aims to highlight this particular provision, which has thus far not attracted the attention it deserves. It explores the ambiguities inherent in this section and discusses the gaps in the Indian law pertaining to exhaustion and parallel imports. Lastly, it goes on to suggest statutory amendments in order to remove ambiguities inherent in the section and expand the scope of exhaustion envisaged therein, whilst at the same time remaining TRIPS compliant. The paper is divided into four sections: The first section explains the concept of exhaustion/parallel importation in relation to patents. Section two examines the ambiguities inherent in Section 107A(b). It also explores the gaps in the law relating to exhaustion in India and assesses the TRIPS compatibility of the current provision. The third section recommends a creative way of interpreting the current statutory provision so as to remove the ambiguities, and balance out the rights of patentees and parallel importers in an optimal manner without violating the TRIPS Agreement. The final section recommends statutory amendments to Section 107A(b).
              • http://nopr.niscair.res.in/handle/123456789/2037

              Arbitration of Patent Infringement and Validity Disputes Worldwide, Harvard Journal of Law & Technology 19, 2 (2006), 299 - 357 (together with M. Coust et al.).

                Case notes

                The Parental Lines Case, IIC 44, 3 (2013), 369 - 379. DOI

                  Research Papers

                  TRIPs Compatibility of UPOV 1978 and the Indian Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Act, 2001, Independent Research completed with funding from the Munich Intellectual Property Law Center (MIPLC), 2010.

                    The Intellectual Property and Innovation System in India: Developing Effective University/Industry/Government Partnerships, Research Report funded by the International Technology Transfer Institute (ITTI), Franklin Pierce Law Center, 2009.

                      Patent Procurement in India, Asia Practice Committee White Paper, IPO Education Foundation, Patent Rights in India and China Conference, Washington D.C. June 11-12, 2007, 2007 (together with M. Pillai et al.).

                        Content of Right to Health in India, Research report compiled for the National Judicial Academy, India for training seminars for district and high court judges, March 2005, 2005.

                          Compulsory Licensing and Experimental Use Exemption Under the Indian Patents Act, 1970, Research assistant for a report commissioned by the Japanese Patent Office, May – June 2004, 2004.

                            Health and Human Rights in India with Reference to National Health Programs, Research report submitted to the National Human Rights Commission of India, June 2000, 2000.

                              Economic Liberalization and Human Rights in India: Drug Price Hike and the Right to Life, Research report submitted to the National Human Rights Commission of India, June 1999, 1999.

                                Blog-Posts

                                • HMT: Time to Share Benefits with our Farmers? SpicyIP India Blog (Nov 2012)
                                • Protecting Parental Lines of Extant Hybrids in India, Parts I and II, SpicyIP India Blog (Sept 2012)
                                • Indian Agriculture, Some Basic Facts and Food for Thought, Lost Clauses Blog (July 2011)
                                • The Public Funded R&D Bill: Does India Need a Bayh-Dole? Parts I, II and III, SpicyIP India Blog (July 07, 2008; Sept 04, 2008; Sept 27, 2008) (Also reproduced in the University of New Hampshire's ITTI Blog)
                                • The Competition Act, Patents and Over Hyped Drugs: Parts I, II and III, SpicyIP India Blog (February 05, 2008; February 06, 2008; February 07, 2008)
                                • Moral Rights Under Copyright Laws: A Peep into Policy: Parts I, II and III, SpicyIP India Blog (December 04, 2007; December 20, 2007; January 13, 2008)

                                Lectures

                                26.06.16

                                IP Pluralism in Plant Variety Protection: Empirical Findings from India

                                International Association for the Advancement of Teaching and Research of Intellectual Property (ATRIP) Congress

                                Location: Krakow, Poland


                                15.12. -17.12.15

                                Promoting Inclusive and Sustainable Innovations in Plant Varieties

                                Global Congress on Intellectual Property and Public Interest

                                Location: National Law University, Delhi, India


                                14.04.15

                                Revisiting „Market Failures“ for Sustainable Innovations in Plant Varieties

                                Cultivating Innovation Conference: How (and How Not) to think About Intellectual Property in Agriculture and Plant Sciences

                                Location: John Innes Center, Norwich, UK


                                11.04.15

                                Is UPOV a Good fit for Developing Countries?

                                16th EIPIN Congress: The Innovation Society and Intellectual Property

                                Location: Munich, Germany


                                04.12.14

                                Addressing Market Failures for Sustainable and Inclusive Innovations in Plant Varieties

                                IEG-IFPRI Conference on 'Innovation in Indian Agriculture: Ways Forward', India International Center

                                Location: New Delhi, India


                                26.05.14

                                The Role of Institutions in promoting inclusive and sustainable innovations in Plant Varieties

                                8th WIPO Advanced Research Forum

                                Location: Geneva 


                                05.01.- 08.01.12
                                Plant Variety Protection in India: The First Ten Years
                                4th Global Intellectual Property Convention, India Habitat Center
                                Location: New Delhi, India


                                05.06.- 07.06.11
                                Market Failure and Intellectual Property Protection in the Seed Sector: The Indian Example
                                2nd Workshop for Junior Researchers on the Law and Economics of Intellectual Property and Competition Law
                                Location: Wildbad Kreuth


                                31.03.10
                                Protection & Utilization of Public Funded Intellectual Property Bill, 2008: A Critical Review
                                Guest Lecture at the Indian Institute of Technology
                                Location: Chennai, India


                                01.08.10
                                Protection & Utilization of Public Funded Intellectual Property Bill, 2008: A Critical Review
                                Asia Round Table, Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property and Competition Law
                                Location: Munich, Germany


                                28.09.09
                                India’s Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act, 2001: An ‘Effective’ Sui Generis System?
                                MIPLC Fachbeirat, Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property and Competition Law
                                Location: Munich, Germany


                                19.03.2000
                                Health and Human Rights in India – With Reference to the National Anemia Eradication Program
                                National Human Right Commission Conference, Indian International Center
                                Location: New Delhi, India

                                Teaching Experience

                                • Faculty, Munich Intellectual Property Law Center, Munich: Asian Patent Laws, India (Current)
                                • Adjunct Faculty, European University Business School, Munich: International Business Law; Public International Law (August 2013 - May 2014)
                                • Guest Faculty, Pforzheim University, Pforzheim, Germany: Ethics and Economics in Indian Patent Law (November 2014)
                                • Adjunct Faculty, Franklin Pierce Law Center, Concord, NH: Legal Protection of Traditional Knowledge and Biodiversity (2007-2009)
                                • Guest Faculty, Institute of Bioinformatics and Applied Biotechnology, Bangalore: Introduction to Intellectual Property Law (2003, 2004, 2008)
                                • Guest Lecturer, M. S. Ramaiah Institute of Management, Bangalore: Managing Intellectual Property Assets: An Introduction (2003)

                                Miscellaneous

                                • Volunteer for the International Art of Living Foundation (2003 - Present)
                                • Consultant, International Technology Transfer Institute, Franklin Pierce Law Center (2008 - 2009)
                                • Legal Intern, Licensing and Strategy Department, IBM, New York (2006)
                                • Adjudged 2nd Best Speaker in the P.M Bhagwati Constitutional Law Moot Court Competition, National Law School of India, Bangalore, India (2001)
                                • Awarded the Kureha Scholarship to attend the Summer Workshop in Intellectual Property Rights, University of Washington, Seattle (May - June 2000)
                                • Admitted to practice before all courts in India (December 2003)
                                • Admitted to the New York Bar (November 2007)