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Ms. Jayashree Watal

Visiting Professor

Jayashree Watal retired from the Intellectual Property, Government Procurement and Competition Division of the World Trade Organization in mid-2019, where she had worked for over eighteen years and had contributed inter alia to work on TRIPS and public health, Patents, Undisclosed information, Economics of TRIPS, IP and Transfer of Technology, and IP and Competition Policy. She assisted the then Director of the Intellectual Property Division on the negotiations that led up to the adoption of the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health in November 2001; the interim waiver solution in August 2003; and the Protocol on the amendment that resulted in a new article 31bis in December 2005. She participated extensively in technical assistance and training programmes on TRIPS flexibilities both in the WTO and other intergovernmental organisations.

Prior to joining the WTO, Ms. Watal has had more than twenty-two years of experience in government in India.  She represented India at a crucial stage in the Uruguay Round TRIPS negotiations from 1989-90, contributing substantially to the development of the text, especially on compulsory licensing and other TRIPS flexibilities. She was a consultant to several international organisations on TRIPS matters, including The World Bank, UNCTAD and UNDP in the period 1998-2000, when she was a visiting fellow at the at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, Washington DC and subsequently at the Center for International Development, Harvard University.

She currently holds the position of Adjunct Professor at the Georgetown University Law Centre, Washington DC (since 2009), and is affiliated with the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law. She teaches L.L.M and J.D. students an annual course on International Trade, Intellectual Property and Public Health (except 2020-21). She is also an Honorary Professor at the National Law University, Delhi since August 2019, where she will co-teach a course on International Intellectual Property Law, with a module on TRIPS and Public Health from 2023. She was a member of the Governance Board of the Medicines Patent Pool, a non-profit organization based in Geneva for six years until mid-2021 and has since been consulted on MPP strategy. She holds several part-time consulting positions to assist WTO developing country members and observers on TRIPS-related issues.

Ms. Watal holds post-graduate degrees in both law and economics. She is the author of an early seminal book that explained TRIPS flexibilities titled Intellectual Property Rights in the WTO and Developing Countries (Oxford University Press, India and Kluwer Law International, 2001). She is the co-editor of three WTO books: A Handbook on the TRIPS Agreement, (Cambridge University Press, 2012/2021); The Making of the TRIPS Agreement, (WTO, 2015); and Trade in Knowledge (Cambridge University Press, 2021). She has published to-date several articles in peer-reviewed journals and chapters in well-known edited books on issues related to the law/economics of intellectual property rights.