Profile of Justice (Retd.) Prabha Sridevan

Justice (Retd.) Prabha Sridevan served as a judge of the Madras High Court from 2000 to 2010. Post retirement, she was appointed as the Chairperson of the IPAB (Intellectual Property Appellate Tribunal) from 2011 to 2013.

Judicial Impact:

During her tenure as a High Court judge, Justice Sridevan dealt with a wide range of cases, including the celebrated Novartis Glivec case, where she ruled against Novartis, holding that India’s section 3(d) was a constitutionally valid statutory provision.

In her capacity as Chairperson of the IPAB, she delivered a number of important IP decisions including one relating to India’s very first (post TRIPS) compulsory licensing case. She also played a monumental role in improving the functioning of IPAB (documented here, here and here).

Notable Decisions

  1. Novartis v. Union of India
  2. Bayer v. Natco & Ors. (Nexavar CL case)
  3. Yahoo v. Controller & Rediff
  4. Tata Chemicals v. HUL
  5. Financial Times v. Times Publishing House
  6. Subhash Jewellery v. Payyannur Pavithra Ring Artisans
  7. Thalappakattu Biriyani & Fast Food v. M/S Thalappakatti Ananda Vilas Biriyani Hotel & Anr.
  8. Sankalp Rehabilitation Trust v. Roche & Controller (Pegasys case)
  9. Bayer v. Union of India & Ors.
  10. Allied Blenders & Distilleries Pvt. Ltd. v. M/s John Distillers Ltd. & Anr.
  11. Enercon (India) Ltd. v. Aloys Wobben
  12. HUL v. Girnar Exports (Red Label tea case)
  13. Ajanta Pharma v. Allergan

Over the years, she’s had numerous distinctions conferred on her, two of the most important of which are highlighted below:

1. She was named as one of the 50 most important persons in the IP world in 2012, 2013 and 2015 by Managing Intellectual Property.

2. She was awarded the Justice Shivaraj V. Patil Award for Service to Humanity.

3. In 2004, she was tasked by the government to head an IPR Think Tank to formulate India’s IPR policy.

Notable Writings / Talks:

She is also a prolific writer and public intellectual, and pens regular columns for both English and Tamil newspapers on a range of social, legal and political issues:

1. Some of her notable editorials have been documented on SpicyIP: here, here, here and here.

2. Her articles for the Tamil daily Dinamani were compiled and published in the form of a book titled “Karappan poochi nagaikkumo” (Will the Cockroach have the last laugh?) in 2015.

3. Last year, a book titled ‘Of Vineyard Equality’, containing a compilation of her published articles and speeches was published and launched at an event hosted by CUSAT, Kochi.

4. She’s contributed a chapter titled “Intellectual Property in the Ancient Indian texts” in the book “Diversity in Intellectual Property” edited by Irene Calboli and Srividhya and published by CUP in 2015.

5. She translated a number of short stories written by R. Chudamani from Tamil to English (some of which have been published in the book ‘Seeing in the Dark’).

An excellent public speaker, she’s been known to deliver punchy talks including one at the MIP India and Innovation Forum on the topic of “Life of P.I. (Public Interest)”.

A truly versatile personality, her recently found interest is line drawing and some of her artworks have been auctioned for the purpose of fundraising by two prominent NGOs: The Banyan and IDIA.

Scroll to Top