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Ananth Padmanabhan



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Research Interests

  • Copyright Law
  • Data Protection
  • Privacy
  • Media Law
  • Technology Policy

Ananth Padmanabhan

Ananth Padmanabhan joined the Penn Law S.J.D. program as a Dean’s Scholar. Prior to that, Ananth received the Dean’s scholarship to pursue his LL.M at Penn Law. He graduated from this program with distinction, and received the Karin Iest Award of Excellence, LL.M Class of 2013-14. He also holds an LL.B degree from the National Law School of India University, Bangalore.

Ananth is currently Dean, Academic Affairs at Sai University, Chennai and a visiting fellow at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi. Previously, he has also served as a research fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, New Delhi and practiced law at the beginning of his career before the Madras High Court. While at Penn, Ananth also worked as a student research fellow at the Center for Technology, Innovation and Competition.


Ananth’s dissertation discusses the interplay between technological advances, particularly in the digital realm, and copyright law. It argues that copyright law has traditionally approached technology in three different ways: property, pirate and protector. Critiquing these approaches, it argues that the time is ripe for a reset in copyright law and policy – one that conceptualizes technology as a proponent of enhanced creator incentives and user access, and an independent form of innovative play that merits promotion through copyright policy. With India as the focal jurisdiction, it compares the needs of her domestic content industry with the paradigms set by United States and the European Union. Finding a mismatch between local needs and these imported paradigms, this dissertation builds a compelling case for legal and policy reorientation in Indian copyright law.

Dissertation Committee

Prof. Shyamkrishna Balganesh

Representative Publications

  • India as a Pioneer of Innovation (Oxford University Press, 2017) (co-editor with Ezekiel J. Emanuel and Harbir Singh)
  • Intellectual Property Rights: Infringement and Remedies (LexisNexis Butterworths Wadhwa, 2012) (foreword by Justice Chelameswar, Supreme Court of India)
  • “Big Data”, in Regulation in India: Design, Capacity, Performance (Hart Publishing, 2019) (with Anirudh Rastogi)
  • “The Supreme Court and India’s Judicial System”, in Rethinking Public Institutions in India (Oxford University Press, 2017) (with Madhav Khosla)
  • “Rights: Breadth, Scope and Applicability”, in The Oxford Handbook of the Indian Constitution (Oxford University Press, 2016)

  • “Foundations for a Sustainable Growth: India’s Constitution and its Supreme Court”, in Routledge Handbook of Contemporary India (Routledge, 2016)


Awards & Fellowships

  • Public Interest Technology Fellow, New America, Washington D.C.
  • University of Pennsylvania Law School Dean’s Scholarship Award 2014-2019
  • University of Pennsylvania Law School edDean’s Scholarship Award 2013-2014

  • University of Pennsylvania Law School LL.M. Excellence Award