Tuesday Titbits: Mashelkar, Correa and "Unnatural" Crimes

1. The Eco Times published an editorial of mine today on the Mashelkar vs Correa Controversy. I find it incredulous that Prof Correa himself has now trained his guns at Dr Mashelkar with a rather contrived “binary” proposition.
My first thought was: Prof Correa, it is but natural for an Indian to think “binary”. After all, Information Technology (IT), which put us on the world economic map for the first time is all about being “binary”! But jokes apart, anyone reading the TEG’s terms of reference in a straightforward, logical manner will fail to see it as anything but “binary”. Perhaps this misreading of the terms of reference comes out of intrinsic differences between Argentine English and Indian English?

Unfortunately, I cannot post the ET article on the blog for another 2-3 days. For those of you who wish to read it, it is on page 15 of today’s Eco Times (Delhi edition). You can also try and access it online here.. though not in an optimal readable format.

ps: Prashant Reddy wrote a very persuasive piece exposing the flaws of a commentary that attempted to draw a misleading distinction between the terms “limiting” and “excluding”. I also address this specious distinction in the ET piece above.

2. Despite my best efforts, I’m unable to find a credible “IP” peg for the Naz Foundation judgment dealing with section 377 of the Indian Penal Code and the criminalisation of homosexuality in India.

So for those of you who want a small break away from the “natural” world of IP to the “unnatural world” of section 377, see this post of mine on LAOT, where I co-blog.

Incidentally, Venkatesan, a journalist with the Frontline and the key force behind LAOT has written a superb piece on the Tirupati Laddu case, which Sumathi referenced earlier.

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.


  1. mnbvcxzaq1

    i ll respond to the 2nd issue first: i totally endorse your (n justice verma’s) views regarding the legalities involved, shamnad.

    now, your first issue: i hope u remember my comments on correa vs. mashelkar report issue. i had told u that mashelkar report arrived at the right substantive conclusions, but it relied on / quoted correa slightly out of context. i had specifically pointed out to u that the mashelkar relied on correa’s 2000 article, while his comprehensive views were expressed better in his 2007 article (which, if i remember correctly, i specifically named therein, too). as far as the correa’s ‘binary’ observation is concerned, my response is that his observation is frivolous. also, correa’s insinuation (that mashelkar committee missed the opportunity to explore a wide gamut of related issues) doesnt seem to hold good, as those issues, in essence, get largely covered under the substantive conclusions arrived at by the mashelkar report. however, shamnad is only partially right in observing (in his today’s op-ed in the economic times) that “correa appears unaware of the section 3(d) …”. well, correa is most certainly well aware of the section 3(d) {his 2007 article even quotes the said section verbatim}. however, it can be said that correa seems to have missed to comprehend the real import n wide implication of the said section. lastly, in my view, it would have been understandable if correa wud ve objected to mashelkar’s out-of-context reliance on some parts of his previous article, but his other objections dont appear worth pondering over.
    -aditya kant

  2. Anonymous

    @ aditya kant : “if correa wud ve objected to mashelkar’s out-of-context reliance on some parts of his previous article, but his other objections dont appear worth pondering over”
    I am sorry, but I dont get this somehow? Why arent Correa’s other objections worth pondering over? I would appreciate a merit based rebuttal of Correa. Thanks

  3. mnbvcxzaq1

    dear Anonymous,
    i didnt elaborate much upon ‘other’ objections of correa coz, firstly, shamnad has already dealt with them, in detail, here n in his yesterday’s op-ed in the economic times (others also, at spicyip, have dealt with them in some posts in the last few weeks). secondly, i myself ve already commented that the ‘binary’ objection is frivolous. whether the terms of reference is binary, decimal, hexadecimal, tertiary, quarternary, or subjective, does it really make any difference at all? moreover, what is wrong in having a ‘binary’ tor? similarly thirdly, despite mashelkar’s misplaced/out-of-context reliance on correa’s earlier publication, did mahelkar report really failed to arrive at the wrong conclusion, or did it really failed to consider other important issues? i think not, coz the ambit/over-reach/implication/impact of section 3(d) is actually very wide n it inheres/subsumes many of the aspects that correa says it missed. lastly, all these objections (to mashelkar report) were not substantive in nature. under these circumstances, i didnt consider them ‘worth pondering over’ too much.
    -aditya kant

    ps: corrigendum: in my last post, i mentioned correa’s later article as of 2007. it is actually of 2006. readers may read it accordingly.

  4. Shamnad Basheer

    Dear Anon:

    In response to Aditya’s comments, you state:

    “I would appreciate a merit based rebuttal of Correa.”

    Isn’t that what my Eco Times piece was all about–a merit based counter to Correa’s assertions. Why do you want Aditya to repeat that? The main thrust of his comment was that, contrary to my assertion, there was indeed a misquoting. And on that aspect, I have to agree to disagree with Aditya.

  5. mnbvcxzaq1

    dear shamnad,
    1. i ve already told the same thing to the Anonymous, acknowledging/referring to your yesterday’s article in economic times.
    2. another corrigendum: i seem to ve been goofing a lot these days. in my response to Anonymous, i posed u question as follows, “similarly thirdly, despite mashelkar’s misplaced/out-of-context reliance on correa’s earlier publication, did mahelkar report really failed to arrive at the wrong conclusion….”. here, i wrongly used the word “wrong”; instead, it shud ve been “correct”. readers, sorry for the poor (inadvertantly) semantics.

  6. [email protected]

    Bad style and poor logic signal a piece that has not been written under normal circumstances and is, in any event, unworthy of an academic.

    It is indeed close to impossible to get the point of the “world renowned patent expert Carlos Correa” (this is from Pharmabiz…).

    If it was to simply conclude that the Technical Expert Group missed “the opportunity to explore the various means available to India (and other developing countries) to limit the grant of patents that only cover minor, often trivial developments or uses of existing pharmaceutical products…”, then one has to ask why he wrote his text and asked – on an activists’ website – for it to be circulated.

    Common sense would have required to acknowledge that such an exploration was not in the TEG’s mandate and that it would have been politically improper for the TEG to go out of its way.

    For anyone who knows something about the previous episodes and the content of the TEG report, it is still close to impossible, but it is fairly clear that it is FUD and an attempt to stir a new controversy. The result is there: Pharmabiz reports “Carlos Correa accuses Mashelkar for misinterpreting his quotes in revised report”. Ironically, Pharmabiz misinterprets Correa…


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