Patent Trademark

Accessing Ayyangar Openly: SpicyIP Teams with EBC


Open access lies at the heart of SpicyIP’s mission to democratize the discussion around intellectual property rights. Fortunately for us, we’ve been blessed with some wonderful partners in the past.

One that stands out is Eastern Book Company Pvt Ltd (EBC), a leading legal publishing house. First, they agreed (upon our request) to create a savvy searchable digital duplicate of the Ayyangar Committee Report on Patents. We uploaded it on our SpicyIP resources page, and here is the precise link for those interested in accessing this famed report (“Report on the Revision of the Patents Law, September 1959”).

As many of you know, this report formed the blueprint for the 1970 Indian patents act, and was, by most accounts, the key driving force behind the stellar success of the Indian generic industry. As I’d noted in the past:

“The success of the generic industry today is testimony, albeit in some small way, to the brilliance of  (Justice Ayyangar’s) foresight.”

As to whether or not Ayyanar’s policy recommendations continue to hold sway today is a highly contentious issue, with heated arguments on either side of the political fence. I’d noted the unusual “policy style” dependence of the Indian patent office on this report (treating it as a sacrosanct bible of sorts), but this was in 2005. I’m not so sure that this reverence holds true anymore.

Despite the monumental importance of this report, hard copies were hard to come by (there were but a few copies circulating around in very select law firms and a handful of libraries). So we have much to thank EBC for, and in particular Sumeet Malik, their dynamic director and star editor, who I had the great privilege of going to law school with.

Ayyangar on Trademarks

More recently, EBC made us another wonderful offering. The “Report of Shri Justice N Rajagopala Ayyangar on Trademarks Law, 1955”, another outstanding report from the stable of the sagacious judge.

Yes, one man (almost single-handedly) gave us two outstanding IP policy reports. Unfortunately, despite the proliferation of alleged IP experts and committees, we’ve not had anything half as worthy in the recent past! (and I’m being kind when I say “half”!)

Anyway, more of our policy paralysis and lack of imagination later. For now, please do consider helping further this open access mission in your own small way. If you wish to partner in this venture and/or offer support (financially or otherwise through digitising documents, passing on important historical documents that you have with you etc), please do reach out to us. We’d be very grateful, and the larger IP and innovation/creativity community will have much to thank you for!

ps: Image from here.

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. Nataraj

    great job Shamnad, SpicyIP team and Sumeet! This, and the Bakshi Tek Chand report are seminal documents for anyone with the wish/inclination to be a patent attorney/agent. BTW, I wonder if it is also possible to start a move to make this mandatory reading for the agent exam as well as for recruitment into the IPO?



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