New Year Wishes: The Dawning of a "Collaborative" Era

This comes a bit late–but, as they say, better late than never. Here’s wishing all our readers a wonderful New Year ahead. We have much to thank you for.

Amongst all the New Year greetings received, the one that really stood out for me was one from Ms Anuradha Maheswari, who runs the Institute of Intellectual Property Studies (IIPS), a wonderful IP academy that does a lot to improve the lot of IP education in this country. She quotes Kahlil Gibran:

“I will not bid you a happy new year, but will bid the new year happiness in having you, and I will not wish you what people wish each other, but I will wish for people some of what you possess — for you are rich in yourself, and I am rich in you”.

Yes, dear readers, as the new year dawns upon us, so too the thought that you (our readers) are rich in yourself and we are rich in you.

As we reflect on all that transpired in this blog in the last year or so, I have to say that there is a tremendous sense of gratitude to all our readers for patiently hearing us out, being courteous with your objections to our analyses (well, not always…) and raising the discussion to a level of sophistication that we never thought possible when we set out to offer our tuppence on IP happenings in India via this spicy medium. Thank you all!

We (well, at least I) started out with the faulty assumption that we knew more than our readers and that this was but a gratuitous one way transmission of information. Time proved us horribly wrong: searching queries posed by readers forced us to rethink several aspects of our posts and led us to question the assumptions that we had worked with and the neat boxes that we had conveniently drawn up. And incisive comments by many of you pointed to many a gaping hole in our not so well thought out posts. Humbled, we strived to do better. And yet you always managed to offer us a different perspective or point to a key aspect that we’d overlooked.

And then it dawned on us: Collaborative participation was always going to be better than an arrogant one way transmisison of information. And this was more than borne out by our heavily contested parallel imports posts, where many of you (well, not the trouble mongers who were only interested in promoting their blog at the cost of ours) genuinely participated and pointed to issues that had never even crossed our minds. But for this thought provoking discussion, we would have never been prompted to write up a paper recommending an amendment to the parallel imports provision in our patents act. For those interested, you can download this paper for free from this SSRN link.

More power to collaborative participation! In the coming year, we’ll strive to reorient our blog as a platform where we don’t arrogate to ourselves the burden of coming up with a conclusive analysis. Rather, we’ll strive towards what might, at best, amount to a “tentative” idea/thought… and then wait for that idea to be churned vigorously in our comments section so as to blossom more fully in your able hands. And perhaps, such a reorientation may cause the prophetic Gibran’s words to ring even truer: “for you are rich in yourself and we are rich in you….”

Shamnad Basheer

Prof. (Dr.) Shamnad Basheer founded SpicyIP in 2005. He's 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 Prof. Basheer joined Anand 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. Later, he was the Honorary Research Chair of IP Law at Nirma University and also a visiting professor of law at the National Law School (NLS), Bangalore. Prof. Basheer has published widely and his articles have won awards, including those instituted by ATRIP, the Stanford Technology Law Review and CREATe. He was consulted widely by the government, industry, international organisations and civil society on a variety of IP issues. He also served on several government committees.


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