Intellectual Property day 2017 at the Faculty of Law
The Department of Commercial Law of the Faculty of Law hosted the first ever Intellectual Property Day, on the 26th April 2017, from 2-4 pm. At the Advocacy Room of the Faculty of Law. The theme for the event was: “Intellectual Property Law and Policy: Sri Lankan Perspectives”. The programme consisted of debates on key topics of IP, which was done by the students, as well as a panel discussion by experts in the field.
The Panel discussion, which was attended by the Dean of the Faculty of Law Ms. Indira Nanayakkara, staff members and students of IP law, began formally with the Welcome Address was delivered by Dr. Shanthi Segarajasingham, the Head of the Department of Commercial Law. The Chairman of the panel Mr. N. Selvakkumaran,, Senior Lecturer in IP and former Dean, introduced the theme and outlined the key points on which the discussion should take place.
The first panelist was Dr. D M Karunaratne, Founder Director-General, National Intellectual Property Office (NIPO) of Sri Lanka, whose presentation was on “Managing the NIPO and striking a balance between the TRIPS Agreement and local needs.” He spoke about the setting up of the National Intellectual Property Office, and the challenges and opportunities it presented. He also spoke of the level of development reached by the NIPO in serving the IP needs of the country. The next presentation titled “Shaping IP Jurisprudence: the role of the Commercial High Court and significant IP judgements” was made by Hon. Justice K T Chitrasiri, Judge of the Supreme Court and formerly Judge of the Commercial High Court. His Lordship spoke about the role of the Commercial High Court, highlighting some significant judgements that have had an impact on IP jurisprudence in this country.
This was followed by a presentation by Mr. Jagath Gunewardene, Attorney-at-Law, Biopiracy expert and environmental scientist, on the topic “Protecting vital local interests within the global IP framework.” He highlighted several areas that require careful consideration when designing policy and legal responses concerning IP issues. The final presentation was made by Ms. Soundarie David, well-known artiste and Entertainment Law Specialist. She spoke on New Facets of IP Protection in the Digital Era, focusing on the law of copyright protection and the impact on performers. She also dealt with the issue of copyright management collectives, and considered their usefulness in the Sri Lankan context. The session was wrapped up by the Chairman, and an interesting Q and A session followed.
The proceedings concluded with the award of certificates of participation to the students who participated in the student activity, and presentation of souvenirs to the panelists. Fellowship and refreshments brought the event to a close.