Prof. V.K. Unni, Associate Professor at the Public Policy and Management Group of IIM Calcutta has become the first Indian IP academician to receive the prestigious Thomas Edison Innovation Fellowship 2016-17 from the Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property (CPIP) at George Mason University School of Law, Virginia, USA.
The fellowship is a year-long non-resident fellowship program that brings together a group of IP scholars who will develop research papers on patent law and policy. It consists of a series of invitation-only conferences over the course of a year in which Edison Fellows study and discuss a structured curriculum, engage in roundtable discussions with expert senior scholars and industry representatives, and share and collaborate on both their research and early drafts. The Fellowship culminates in the production of substantial academic research papers that are published in law journals or other peer-reviewed academic journals.
Prof. Unni studied Law from Government Law College Thiruvananthapuram, University of Kerala, following which, he pursued an LL.M in Intellectual Property Law from School of Indian Legal Thought, M.G. University (Kottayam). He went on to earn his Ph.D. in Intellectual Property Law from NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad. He also taught IP Law at NALSAR Hyderabad for many years before moving to IIM Calcutta.
He was earlier awarded with the Max Planck India Fellowship for the term 2008-11 by the Max Planck Society, Germany (first and only awardee outside the stream of natural sciences). In 2010 and 2011 he delivered the Max Planck-MIPLC IP Lecture, which is one of the most prestigious lecture series in the field of Intellectual Property Rights organised by the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, Munich.
He also got the rare opportunity of working with noted economist Prof. Richard R. Nelson of Columbia University, New York on a book dealing with TRIPS Compliance and National Patent Regimes in Developing Counties published by Edward Elgar of UK. His research contributions have appeared in a various world renowned journals in the field of IPR like The WIPO Journal, European Intellectual Property Review, Intellectual Properly Quarterly etc and his research works have been cited by the European Commission and the International Telecommunication Union in their reports dealing with IPR and Cyber laws.
Prof. Unni regularly contributes various write-ups in Live Law on patents and copyright. Some of the contributions he made for Live Law include write ups on the gene patenting case of Myriad Genetics and the fair use decision involving Google books project.