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School of Law

Barasha Borthakur


PhD Student



Thesis Title

Green Intellectual Property and TRIPS Flexibilities: Climate Mitigation Technologies as ‘Public Good’ and Climate Change as ‘National Emergency’


Professor Uma Suthersanen and Professor Duncan Matthews

Summary of research

My foremost aim to consider this research was to add a more comprehensive outlook to the issue of climate change and the reasons were twofold:

  1. Humanity does not have the luxury of finding solutions over a century to solve problems created by global climate change. Developing countries need both development and access to technologies that will facilitate the transition to less carbon intensive economy as soon as possible. The IPR issues needs to be identified and technology transfer need to be tackled by a combination of policy measures, incentives and bringing in changes at the global IP regime under TRIPS Agreement. The challenge of climate change calls to look beyond IP to find solutions that can make a difference.
  2. Secondly, the scholarships that has emanated in this interface are mostly decade old and lacks in proposing specific framework to address the problem. The level of urgency and local capacity differs from country to country. Thereby, being one of the leading producers of ESTs, specific case study needs to be done on jurisdiction like India.

This research will provide a complementary paradigm which emphasizes the importance of trade, foreign direct investments, public-private role, public funding, technology partnership and other mechanism by which technology transfer can be taken place internationally. The paradigm will also reflect diversity in the geography of technology flows, a different focus on the types of international economic flows that facilitates technology transfers, a different set of barriers to such flow, and different institutional framework that can facilitate or impede technology flows. In this research I will push to answer how a framework could be achieved on such assimilation depending on the country and its capacity. Enhanced collaborative R&D is necessary between developing and developed countries to improve R&D strengths in specific areas of low-carbon technology. However, this thesis will further analyse how R&D collaboration between developing countries (South-South solidarity) is also an option and portray this as an opportunity for developing countries to acquire technological expertise in key emerging energy technologies. My thesis will analyse India’s domestic and international climate policies, it will study the renewable energy sector. Along with the IP flexibilities, non-IP ways like technology pooling through a collective global approach, open innovation, global system to share know-how, initiatives on publicly funded technologies etc. will be dealt with. My thesis will contribute to the scarcity of literature to address the issue of global climate change by non-IP ways and specific country-based data of India from empirical study will provide an extensive solution to the problem put forth in the research.


Barasha has completed her BA, LLB (Hons.) from National Law University and Judicial Academy, Assam (2014-2019) with international law as her specialisation. She was involved with the Centre for Child Rights where she volunteered, organized various seminars and workshops in collaboration with UNICEF. She has completed her LLM from National Law University, Jodhpur (2019-2020) in intellectual property law and is the highest CGPA holder in her batch. She had interned in various law firms in India and even in the Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India where she was actively involved in legislative drafting of the laws in India.

In September 2020, Barasha has obtained Herchel Smith Scholarship to pursue her research under Professor Uma Suthersanen and Professor Duncan Matthews.


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