Government’s foolish proposal vetoed by Natco

Readers will recollect an earlier post, where I lamented on a government proposal to have the IPAB decide the Novartis patent matter without a technical member. Thankfully, a sensible Natco has opposed this move. The Hindu reports:

“Hearing on the Novartis AG’s plea to exclude a Technical Member of the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) from hearing its statutory appeals against rejection of its patent application was on Tuesday adjourned to November 6 by the Madras High Court.

Proposal opposed

The First Bench, comprising Chief Justice A.P. Shah and Justice V. Ramasubramanian, adjourned the matter after senior counsel for the Hyderabad-based Natco Pharma opposed the proposal to post the statutory appeals before the IPAB’s Bench, comprising its Chairman and Vice-Chairman, and to enable the Chairman to play the role of a Technical Member during the proceedings.

Time sought

Additional Solicitor-General of India V.T. Gopalan, on his part, sought time to get instructions from the Centre. Counsel for Novartis also wanted time to respond to the objections.”

Shamnad Basheer

Shamnad Basheer

Prof (Dr) Shamnad Basheer founded SpicyIP in 2005. He is currently the Honorary Research Chair of IP Law at Nirma University and a visiting professor of law at the National Law School (NLS), Bangalore. He is also the Founder of IDIA, a project to train underprivileged students for admissions to the leading law schools. He served for two years as an expert on the IP global advisory council (GAC) of the World Economic Forum (WEF). In 2015, he received the Infosys Prize in Humanities in 2015 for his work on legal education and on democratising the discourse around intellectual property law and policy. The jury was headed by Nobel laureate, Prof Amartya Sen. Professional History: After graduating from the NLS, Bangalore Professor Basheer joinedAnand and Anand, one of India’s leading IP firms. He went on to head their telecommunication and technology practice and was rated by the IFLR as a leading technology lawyer. He left for the University of Oxford to pursue post-graduate studies, completing the BCL, MPhil and DPhil as a Wellcome Trust scholar. His first academic appointment was at the George Washington University Law School, where he served as the Frank H Marks Visiting Associate Professor of IP Law. He then relocated to India in 2008 to take up the MHRD Chaired Professorship in IP Law at WB NUJS, a leading Indian law school. Prof Basheer has published widely and his articles have won awards, including those instituted by ATRIP and the Stanford Technology Law Review. He is consulted widely by the government, industry, international organisations and civil society on a variety of IP issues. He also serves on several government committees.


  1. AvatarPatent

    Having a Technical member in the IPAB is a very sensible thing. But appointment of a new member in Chandrasekaran’s place is going to be time consuming as there will be a lot of competitors for the post.And knowing the Ministry’s way in such postings its not going to be free and fair. At the most we can expect more delays as senior officials in the Patent Office use their influence in the Ministry to ‘eliminate’ their closest competitor.

  2. AvatarShamnad Basheer

    Dear Patent,

    All this could have been avoided–had the government not decided, in all its wisdom, to hastily shift the venue of the litigation from the Mad HC to the IPAB. Alas–no point cyring over spilt milk now.

    As you rightly note, these appointments are political and will come with its fair share of controversy (one hopes it will not get stuck, in the way that the Competition Commission membership was!!)–but it seems that, given all other options, this seems the most reasonable one to take.


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