13 Jul 2023

Book launch by WTI alumnus Dr Santanu Mukherjee in New Delhi

The book launch of "Patent Exhaustion and International Trade Regulation" (WTIAS Volume 13), authored by Dr Santanu Mukherjee, MILE 1 WTI alumnus, was held on 19 June 2023 at the Centre for WTO Studies (CWS) at the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) in New Delhi. The book consists of his PhD thesis, which he wrote under the guidance of Prof Thomas Cottier, Professor Emeritus, University of Bern, who was invited as an honourable guest and keynote speaker to the event.

The event started with an opening session with several guests of honour, followed by a panel discussion. In his keynote address, Prof Thomas Cottier highlighted the difficulty of the book's subject matter since not much has been written on exhaustion. He also lauded the significant efforts of the author in not stopping at the TRIPS Agreement but extensively analysing exhaustion from GATT and GATS perspectives. Chief Guest Hon'ble Ms Justice Prathiba M. Singh congratulated the author for analysing one of the most complex issues in IP law that many experienced IP practitioners also fail to grasp. She recommended the book not just for lawyers and law students but also IP law adjudicators. While she stated that although the author has recommended a single mode of exhaustion for all IPRs, courts in India have so far differed in their judgments in different instances. She hoped that the book would serve as a spark for further conversation surrounding the recommendations.

In the discussion that followed, the panellists, all experts in either Patent or WTO laws, praised not only the comprehensive discussion on the evolution of the doctrine of exhaustion and its practice in a wide range of countries, but on Competition policy as well as the in-depth analyses of both GATT & GATS and analyses of public health - IPR debates. It was expressed that Dr Mukherjee’s work could encourage a follow-up book examining the issues from a larger perspective, through the integration of other disciplines into the WTO system, such as international environmental regimes and international human rights.

Thanks to the Centre for WTO Studies, IIFT, and Ministry of Commerce for organising the book launch and Mr Debaratna Ghosh for the photographs.