Patent

SpicyIP Petition: Indian Patent Database


Thanks to the overwhelming support of many of our readers , our online petition has now garnered close to 100 signatures.

An interesting mix of folks who signed–ranging from students to attorneys/in-house counsels to academics/policymakers to even the founder of a company that first brought Ayurveda to the US.

For those of you who support the cause and still haven’t signed, we would please request you to do so now. The petition is available here. We intend submitting this petition in the next couple of days. If possible, please also include your affiliation (and designation) in brackets after your name. Please also forward this message to your friends/colleagues who may be interested in supporting this cause.

Some of you wrote to inform me that the government is already doing this i.e. creating the database. Let me assure you that the government has been attempting to do this since the mid ’90’s. However, we’re worried that this has taken far too long. A little pressure from various stakeholders can only help–so your signature definitely counts!

Secondly, the government may be making some efforts at creating a database for patent applications. However, there is no move as yet to make patent office decisions publicly available. As we stress in the petition, it is critical that these decisions (either accepting or rejecting a patent application) be made public. This is the only way in which we can hope to increase public scrutiny of the Indian patent office. This will also help us in evolving better patent policy for India.

A recent Mint article seems to suggest that even with respect to patent application data, the scope of information to be made publicly available may be limited. The article states in pertinent part as below:

“Complete applications of patents granted after 2006 will be available in the next few months.”

Clearly, this is a good step forward. However, merely having post 2006 data is not enough–what about patents issued in all the previous years? With all our IT prowess, why has it taken this long? We need to make our collective voices heard and to request that this task, which began in the mid 90’s, be given priority status and fast tracked.

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.

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