Keep Shining Upon Us, Our Guiding Star – Prof. (Dr.) Shamnad Basheer (1976 – 2019)

We are saddened beyond words to inform you that our Founder and Chief Mentor, Prof. (Dr.) Shamnad Basheer, has passed away in an unfortunate accident.

As our readers know, his contribution to legal scholarship, especially intellectual property rights in India, was unparalleled. Beyond that, he established IDIA, which gave wings to the dreams of numerous aspiring law students from marginalized backgrounds to access legal education. His body of work is only matched by his personality – incredibly kind, loving, caring, generous, empathetic and friendly to one and all.

We hope to carry forward the mission of democratisation of discourse around IP law and policy that he embarked upon through SpicyIP!

As we try and come to terms with this devastating loss, we hope our readers will join us in celebrating his wonderful life that touched so many lives!


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16 thoughts on “Keep Shining Upon Us, Our Guiding Star – Prof. (Dr.) Shamnad Basheer (1976 – 2019)”

  1. Praofessor Prabuddha Ganguli, CEO Vision-IPR and Visiting Professor, Rajiv Gandhi School of Intellectual Property Law, IIT Kharagpur.

    The news of Shamnad Basheer’s demise comes as a shock to the IP Community in the country and the IP World. A was a model of committment to a cause, a dedicated scholar who spared no pains to speak out when and where it mattered most and above all, he continually and tirelessly worked wth a purpose upto the last day of his life. As a young pass-out from the National Law School, and then working in Anand and Anand, he came to me for advise on how he should proceed in life. Seeing the glimmer in his eyes and listening to his firm voice, I remember telling him that he was not meant for routine practice and that he would excel in research, advocacy and teaching. He came back to me after a few days to mention that he was proceeding for further studies and decided not to pursue a run-of-th- mill standard career pathway. That was his bold decision. There was never looking back for him as the rest is contemperory history in the field of a developing IP World. His contributions in such a short time remains unparalleled. We will miss his wonderful smile, his indepth understanding, unconventional views and voice in various IP fora. He has been the pole star to countless young aspiring students. It was wonderful to work with him in several committees. He has left behind a anIndelible stamp of scholarship. We pray that his soul rests in peace.

  2. Dr. Mathew Thomas

    Life is short and shorter still the night. That’s how life is! He was a lamp that spread light and what a light it was. He will be remembered for his body of work, unflinching devotion to the cause of IP and justice.
    I left teaching in 2014, ( was a teacher for a short span time) I met him thrice during my very brief teaching career- he was truly humble. Humility is rare virtue and rarer still is it, to find it in the world of teaching. The IP world will be dim without him and hope the light he lit, will burn bright. Rest well my friend and be it known that the seed you planted will grow into a mighty oak.

  3. Dr Meera Sharma

    Life is too short to live and even shorter was that of Prof Shamnad Basheer. The indelible mark that contributions of Prof Basheer in law and intellectual property rights has left is unparalleled. He was one of the stalwarts whom I had always wanted to meet. His deep insight into the small details of IPR always fascinated me. It was truly a pleasure going through his writings. His untimely sad demise has left a big void in the field of intellectual property rights. May his soul rest in peace.

  4. No person who practises or is interested in IP Law in India would not gone without Shamnad’s name coming up at some point of time. My brief interactions with him have always been marked with a profound passion for Law in General and IP Law in particular. ONLY THE GOOD DIE YOUNG, they say. Shamnad was TOO GOOD. Offering Condolences to such a spirited personality is never going to be enough. My prayers to the family and long list of friends who now only have each other to console ourselves.

  5. Shashank Mauria, Phd, LlB; Independent IP Practitioner, Former Assistant Director General, ICAR; for Intellectual Property and Technology Management, International Relations, Policy & Perspective Planning, and Seeds

    From Govt. of India’s Department of Agricultural Research and Education and Indian Council of Agricultural Research, I got drawn into the IPR issue in late-1980s. At that time, my first involvement was in (kind of) PBRs for India and the GATT text. Ever since, till Sept 2018, when I retired, I was quite closely involved from our Delhi Hqrs in nearly all IPR-related issues (more so of biodiversity, plant variety rights and agriculture – a big management challenge from IPR standpoint). My particular interest, however, is best IP practices for research and education, to bring in academic excellence, and towards best collaboration and commercialization practices in public sector R&D. Naturally, I was interacting more with sister scientific organizations and Govt. Departments. I also enjoyed involvement in litigation issues of broad-based biology-related patents. I opted for avoiding commenting on difficult IP issues for obvious reasons. Only when I began seeing spicyip, I could come into some contact with legal IP fraternity. It was here that I could update myself on issues that I was not able to catch up because of my preoccupation with multiple related issues. So, as I look back, I owe a lot to this blog, initiated by Prof Shamnad Bashir. I used to ask my contemporaries and seniors in agri R&D, “That when I was studying Botany in Delhi University (till 1977), education in Law was generally not a priority for bright high-scoring students; but today Law has become such a much-sought after course in education. So, I used to ask them (in jest, ofcourse) when will agriculture become the much sought after subject for bright high scoring students. Prof Shamnad’s contribution in making Law education accessible to poor and marginalised students is another feather in his cap. And I know of several other of his grand contributions. He was a legend, and I pray to the Almighty that the legacy he began moves from strength to strength so that his soul could rest in peace.

  6. He came as a ray into IP community when there is a big transition in Indian IP history. He contributions in fighting for contemporary IP is incredible.

    RIP Prof Shamaad Basheer.

  7. I had the honor of co-editing a book, “Overlapping Intellectual Property Rights” with Shamnad and over the decade I came to regard him as a brilliant IP scholar. But he was even better as a person, a singularly kind individual. A tragedy for all of us in the IP world and for those who still prize human decency above all in an increasingly disturbing world.

  8. Big loss for the entire legal fraternity specially IP.
    We’ll always remember his contributions towards IP law, IP policy and his dedication and work to make entire IP system transparent in India.


  9. Always a guiding light, that was Shamnad. Despite his busy schedule, he was ever ready to address any one with SMILE and enthusiasm. Bundle of joy and energy that he was, his untimely final Good bye is SHOCKING. Prayers to the family and the HUMBLE Soul. IP fraternity will miss him ever.

  10. He made great contributions to the IPR scene in India. He contributed to the pharmaceutical industry in India through the landmark Novartis case and helped keep medicine prices down while ensuring the quality of medicines. An icon of legal scholarship and a beacon of hope for those who believed in fostering equality through educational merit! Thank you so much for everything you have done Professor Basheer.

  11. The best way to remember him is in deeds. His unfinished dream was to see NLUs restructured by making VCs accountable, having compulsory alumni representation in the governing council, and having scholarships for deprived students through efforts by admin and alumni to raise private funding. Perhaps the recently established NLU Student Consortium can do something.

  12. Prof. Shamnad’s most untimely departure leaves a huge vacuum in the nascent IP field in India. Through the blog and this website, he has been instrumental in creating a platform where healthy exchange of views on IP was possible. I hope the biggest tribute that the current team can do is to keep this light shining for ever- through insightful posts and discussions on IP. RIP.

  13. A lovely, gentle man. The (rather long) viva that Graeme Dinwoodie and I had with him for his DPhil in Oxford will always remain one of my most vivid memories: for his repartee, humour and intellectual agility.

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