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Roundtable - Intellectual Property Exhaustion and Parallel Imports in the Brick-and-Mortar and Digital Worlds

When: Thursday, November 19, 2015 - 10:00 to 17:00
Venue: SMU School of Accountancy/Law Building, Level 4, Meeting Room 4.1, 60 Stamford Road


This roundtable addresses the principle of exhaustion of intellectual property rights. The academic discussions on this long-standing principle has traditionally been concentrated primarily on parallel imports, where genuine products have been lawfully purchased in a foreign country by third party (importers) and are imported in a given jurisdiction without the consent of intellectual property owners in that jurisdiction. In recent years, however, the intellectual property exhaustion is constantly challenged by the rules of international trade. The rise of e-commerce and the Internet enable the sale of products in cyberspace in addition to in the brick-and-mortar world. The application to new technologies, such as the disruptive technology of virtual private networks (VPNs), is calling for a comprehensive and updated discussion on the issue of “digital exhaustion” or “exhaustion in the digital market”. Specific topics of discussion of this Roundtable will therefore include (1) the relationship between free trade and IP rights; (2) integration of national markets; (3) digital exhaustion; and (4) conflicts of laws.


Participants’ Profiles

Irene Calboli is Lee Kong Chian Fellow, Visiting Professor, and the Deputy Director of the Applied Research Centre for Intellectual Assets and the Law in Asia (ARCIALA), School of Law, Singapore Management University. Irene started her academic career at the University of Bologna and has held visiting positions at the King’s College London, the University of California Berkeley, the University Complutense, De Paul University, and the Max-Planck-Institute for Innovation and Competition. Most recently, she was a visiting professor at the Faculty of Law of the National University of Singapore. Irene’s scholarship focuses on the intersection between intellectual property and international trade.

Yuanyuan Chen is Assistant Professor in the Department of Information Systems at the National University of Singapore (NUS). She joined NUS in September 2008 after receiving her Ph.D. and LL.M degrees from Emory University. She also holds a LL.M degree from National Huaqiao University and is a certified lawyer in China. Dr. Chen’s current research focuses on law and economics of IT and IT-enabled services. In specific, her research interests include the following three areas: (1) economics of intellectual property; (2) global governance framework for cloud computing; and (3) cybersecurity and data protection.   Her research has been published in journals such as Information Systems Research, MIS Quarterly, Journal of Strategic Information Systems, and Journal of Singapore Academy of Law.

Candra Darusman first joined the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Geneva, in April 2001, as Consultant, and is now the Deputy Director at the WIPO Office in Singapore. Prior to 2001, he was the General Manager of the Indonesian Collective Management Organization (KCI), and the Secretary General of the Indonesian Musicians Foundation (YAMI). He is a graduate (SE – PhD. candidate) from the Faculty of Economics, University of Indonesia, where he served as a researcher, lecturer and as Assistant Professor from 1982 to 1985. He also served as Director of the Indonesian Guild of Composers, member of the Indonesian National Copyright Council, the Director of the Indonesian Musicians Cooperative (KOSMINDO), and a member of the Anti-Piracy Coalition of the Indonesian copyright industries.

Susy Frankel is a Professor of Law and the Director of the New Zealand Centre of International Economic Law, at Victoria University of Wellington. She is also the Chair of the Copyright Tribunal (NZ), and the President of the International Association for the Advancement of Teaching and Research in Intellectual Property (ATRIP). She has been a Hauser Global visitor to New York University Law School, a visiting Professor at the University of Haifa, University of Iowa, University of Western Ontario and Fellow of Clare Hall and the Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Law, University of Cambridge (UK). She has published widely on the nexus between international intellectual property and trade law, and particularly focusing on international treaty interpretation and the protection of traditional knowledge. Her most recent book "Test-tubes for Global Intellectual Property Issues: the Small Markey Economy" has been published by Cambridge University Press in June 2015.
The participant will join the event via Skype.


Shubha Ghosh is the Vilas Research Fellow and the George Young Bascom Professor of Intellectual Property and Business Law at the University of Wisconsin Law School. He holds a BA from Amherst College, a MA and PhD in economics from Michigan, and a JD from Stanford. Before entering legal education, he was a professor of economics at University of Texas at Austin, a judicial clerk on the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for Judge John Noonan, and an associate for Baker & McKenzie in San Francisco and Palo Alto. His scholarship focuses on competition policy and intellectual property, innovation and the scope of intellectual property rights, freedom of expression and data access, and legal and economic analysis of the exhaustion doctrine. He has published articles in the many leading journals and authored several casebooks. In addition to his scholarly work, he has authored several amici briefs in cases before the Unites States Supreme Court, including the Quanta and Bowman cases. In 2014-2015, he was the inaugural AAAS Law & Science Fellow at the Federal Judicial Center in Washington, D.C.

Yanbing Li is currently Yong Pung How Research Fellow at the Applied Research Centre of Intellectual Assets and the Law in Asia, School of Law, Singapore Management University. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Law at the Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg and holds a German LL.M. degree from the Ruprecht Karls University of Heidelberg and an English LL.M. degree in European Intellectual Property Law from the Queen Mary University of London and the Leibniz University of Hanover. Prior to joining SMU, she has been doing research in the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition Law since 2013. Her current research interests include Copyright Law and Media Law with a special focus on China, Germany, the U.K. and the E.U. 

David Llewelyn is Deputy Dean and Professor (Practice) in the School of Law, Singapore Management University and Professor of Intellectual Property Law, King’s College London.  He is joint author of Kerly’s Law of Trade Marks and Trade Names (15th ed, 2011) and Cornish, Llewelyn & Aplin, Intellectual Property: Patents, Copyright, Trade Marks & Allied Rights (8th ed., 2013). His business book Invisible Gold in Asia: Creating Wealth through Intellectual Property was published in 2010.  David is a door tenant at 8 New Square in London through which he advises on international IP matters and accepts arbitration work in IP and technology-related disputes. Before moving to Singapore in 2010, he practised as a solicitor in London for more than 25 years after qualifying with Linklaters. He was also the partner heading the European IP/IT practice at White & Case in London.  From 2005 to 2007, David was Director of the IP Academy Singapore and between 2007 and 2012 its Deputy Chairman & External Director.

Giuseppe Mazziotti is Assistant Professor at the Trinity College Dublin. Giuseppe specializes in intellectual property law, media law, antitrust law and information technology law. From 2009 to 2011 he was Assistant Professor at the University of Copenhagen, where he also led research projects funded by the EU Commission such as MEDIADEM (media policy-making in EU member states) and LAPSI (legal aspects of public sector information). Giuseppe was also Visiting Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley (2004/2005), at Columbia Law School, New York (2010/2011) and Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University (2011/2012). He is currently Associate Fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) in Brussels, where he co-managed the CEPS Digital Forum from August 2012 until December 2013.
The participant will join the event via Skype.

Eliza Mik has worked in-house in a number of software companies, Internet start-ups and telecommunication providers in Australia, Poland, Malaysia, Australia and the United Arab Emirates, mainly advising on e-commerce, software licensing and patenting as well as technology procurement, PKI, data protection and provider liability. Throughout her professional career Eliza maintained a keen interest in all developments (both legal and technical) pertaining to the Internet and its use as an enabler of commerce. Those interests resulted in the 2007 thesis “Contract Formation in Open Electronic Networks” at the University of Sydney, Australia. After joining the Singapore Management University in 2010, Eliza continued her research into the regulation of e-commerce, the interaction between contract law and technology and the use of the Internet as a platform for commerce. She teaches contract law and the law of e-commerce.

Yogesh Pai is an Assistant Professor of Law at the National Law University, Delhi. He teaches and writes on issues relating to intellectual property law and policy. He has previously worked with the South Centre in Geneva, Centad, New Delhi, and was an Assistant Professor of Law at the National Law University, Jodhpur. In 2012, Yogesh was a Visiting Scholar at the Asian law Center of the University of Washington School of Law, Seattle. He serves as legal member in an ad hoc committee constituted by the government of India to assess the granting of compulsory licenses for affordable healthcare in India. Previously, he was part of an ad hoc expert committee formed to examine the need for utility models in India. Since 2014, Yogesh is on the roster of WTO consultants for Regional Trade Policy Courses. Yogesh is interested in reforms in Indian legal education.
The participant will join the event via Skype.

Saw Cheng Lim is an Associate Professor of Law at the Singapore Management University (SMU), where he has taught for more than 15 years.  His research interests lie mainly in the law of intellectual property and he has published widely in both local and international journals, including the Singapore Academy of Law Journal, Singapore Journal of Legal Studies, Journal of Business Law, Cambridge Law Journal, European Intellectual Property Review and International Journal of Law and Information Technology.  He is also a member of the Advisory Panel and Senior Fellow at the IP Academy of Singapore, as well as the Director of the LL.M. Programme at SMU. Cheng Lim holds an LL.B. (Hons) degree from the National University of Singapore and an LL.M. degree from the University of Cambridge, England.

Simon Seow is the Director of the Intellectual Property Policy Division in the Ministry of Law, Singapore.  He is also a Board member of IPOS International Pte Ltd.  He previously held a variety of roles in Patents, Designs, Plant Variety Protection, Strategic Planning, Policy and Legal with IPOS.  His work also included the development of the Singapore Government’s IP management policy and international negotiations.  Prior to joining the public sector, Simon was in legal practice and venture capital investment.  At various times, Simon has been the Vice-Chair of the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) Standing Committee on the Law of Patents (SCP), Chair of the ASEAN Patent Examination Cooperation (ASPEC) Task Force, and co-Chair of the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA (AANZFTA) Committee on IP and the EU-ASEAN Project on the Protection of IP Rights (ECAP III) Project Steering Committee.  He has co-authored A Guide to Patent Law in Singapore.

Daren Tang became the Chief Executive at the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) on 16 November 2015. Daren was previously the Deputy Chief Executive of IPOS and was in charge of overseeing the Registries Cluster. He was also the Head of IPOS’ Legal Department. In this capacity, Daren has supervised important developments in Singapore's IP policy and legal framework for all types of IPR including trademarks, patents, designs and copyrights. He was also responsible for representing Singapore at international IP negotiations in a variety of settings, including WIPO, ASEAN and bilateral Free Trade Agreements. In the past several years, Daren also chaired the IP negotiations in both the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreements. Prior to being with IPOS, he was a Senior State Counsel with the International Affairs Division of the Attorney-General’s Chambers, where he advised government on public international law issues.


Wang Jiangyu (SJD & LLM, University of Pennsylvania; MJur, Oxford; MPhil in Laws, Peking University; LLB, China University of Political Science and Law) is the Deputy Director of the Centre for Asian Legal Studies (CALS) and a tenured Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law of the National University of Singapore. He is also the co-Chief-Editor of the Asian Journal of Comparative Law and Deputy Chief Editor of the Chinese Journal of Comparative Law. His teaching and research interests include international economic law, Chinese corporate and securities law, law and development, and Chinese legal system. He practiced law in the Legal Department of Bank of China and Chinese and American law firms. He is also a director on the Executive Board of the WTO Institute of the China Law Society, a Senior Fellow at the Law and Development Institute (LDI), and a fellow of the Asian Institute of International Financial Law (Hong Kong). He has also been invited expert/speaker for the WTO, International Trade Centre (UNCTAD/WTO), United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) and United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP).

Kimberlee Weatherall is an Associate Professor specialising in intellectual property, based at the University of Sydney. Kimberlee teaches and researches in intellectual property law, with a particular interest in digital copyright, the relationship between international trade and intellectual property, and the systems for administration and enforcement of intellectual property rights. Her two current projects relate to the use of methods from cognitive psychology in trade mark cases and decisions, and enforcement provisions in international IP treaties. She is a member of the Law Council of Australia IP Subcommittee and was a member of the Commonwealth Government’s Advisory Council on Intellectual Property from 2013-2015.
The participant will join the event via Skype.

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Last updated on 14 Mar 2016 .