Reminder: 1st Shamnad Basheer Essay Competition on Intellectual Property Law [Submit by June 30]

On the occasion of our Founder Prof. (Dr.) Shamnad Basheer’s 44th birth anniversary on 14th May, we had announced the first edition of the Shamnad Basheer Essay Competition on Intellectual Property Law to celebrate his memory and his legacy of outstanding scholarship. After the announcement of the competition, we’d answered some common queries that we’d received from the interested participants here.

We wish to remind you that the deadline for submissions for the competition is June 30, 2020 (23:59 IST).

The details of the competition are as follows:

Submission Guidelines

Eligibility: For its first edition, the competition will be open to students currently enrolled in any LL.B. program (or its equivalent – meaning students enrolled in J.D. programs can take part) across the world.

Registration: There is no registration fee or registration process for the competition. You may send us your essay whenever it is ready.

Co-authorship: Only single author submissions will be accepted for the essay competition. A submission cannot have two or more authors. Submission with more than one author will not be 

Selection of Topic: The topic of the essay can be anything related to intellectual property rights – the more creative the better. We encourage participants to take inspiration from Shamnad’s work, which has challenged the orthodoxy of conventional IP wisdom by looking at the subject through the lens of the global south and its development needs. Two values that guided Shamnad through the course of his academic writing, were the need for transparency and democratic participation, during the process of making the law and implementation. His commitment to transparency in enforcement of India’s patent law led him to suing the Patent Office on two occasions in order to secure our right to information. He was also playful in his writing, never afraid to think and communicate unconventionally. He brought rigour and substance to his non-conforming ways and we encourage you to bring the same spirit into your entries.

Word Limit: The word limit for submissions is 5,000 words (inclusive of footnotes).


  • Please submit the essays in a MS Word format, with 1.5 line spacing. Please do not submit essays in a PDF format.
  • We are not prescribing any specific format for footnoting. As long as it is consistent, it should not be a problem.

Deadline and other Details

  • All submissions must be original and unpublished.
  • The deadline for submissions is June 30, 2020.
  • Please e-mail all submissions and queries to [email protected] (only).
  • Please submit a covering letter stating the law school where you are enrolled as a student, along with your essay.

Winning Essays

The winning essays will receive the following prizes:

First prize: INR 15,000

Second prize : INR 10,000

Third prize : INR 5,000

Also, a copy of the winning essays will be uploaded on our website when announcing the winners. This does not stop the winning essays from being published in law reviews/journals though. In fact, we would be glad to assist the authors of the winning essays to get published in quality law reviews/journals.

Panel of Judges

Entries will be scored on creativity and analytical strength. Judges will also take into account entries that demonstrate the values Shamnad displayed in his life and career. This does not mean you have to necessarily agree with everything he wrote. Judges reserve the right not to award the prize if it is considered that no entry is of sufficiently high standard or to divide the prize between two or more entries if they so decide. Judges’ decisions in this respect will be final.

The SpicyIP team may shortlist essays to be submitted to an external panel of experts for the final decision. The following experts have very graciously consented to judging the competition and we are very thankful to them for sparing their time and providing us with their inputs for this essay competition:

1. Justice (Retd.) Prabha Sridevan, Former Chairperson of Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB): As a judge on the IPAB and before that the Madras High Court, Justice Sridevan has delivered several landmark IP judgments, including in the constitutional challenge to Section 3(d) of the Patents Act, the Pegasys case, the Nexavar compulsory licensing case. Some of her contributions to Indian IP jurisprudence include the P.Sita test for obviousness, which is an elevated standard of the conventional obviousness test that is followed in most western countries. To know more about Justice Sridevan, please read this wonderful interview that Shamnad has conducted a few years ago.

2. Jayashree Watal, Former Counsellor in the Intellectual Property Division of the World Trade Organisation (WTO): Ms. Watal, who has recently retired from the WTO was formerly a senior bureaucrat with the Government of India and was one of India’s key trade negotiators for the TRIPS Agreement in the early nineties. She subsequently wrote one of the most useful and accessible accounts of the negotiations in her book Intellectual Property Rights in the WTO and Developing Countries (OUP 2001)She then joined the WTO as a Counsellor in its IP division 2001 and only recently retired from the job in 2019. Ms. Watal has for long had one foot in academia and has held an adjunct professor position at Georgetown Law since 2009 apart from being an Honorary Professor at the National Law University, Delhi since 2019. She is currently on the Board of Governance of the Medicine Patents Pool (MPP).

3. Siva Thambisetty, Professor at London School of Economics (LSE): Siva Thambisetty is an Associate Professor of law at the Law Department, London School of Economics and Political Science. Her research interests include comparative and international patent law, emerging technologies and the institutional and regulatory dimensions of intellectual property. Her recent work includes a Horizon 2020 funded project on the Nagoya Protocol and an advisory role attached to the Office of the Pacific Ocean Commissioner on treaty negotiations related to biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction. Her policy work is often inter-disciplinary and she has been consulted by the EU’s Joint Research Council, WHO India, The Nuffield Bioethics Council, the UK Intellectual Property Office and the UK Government’s Commission for Intellectual Property Rights. Amongst others her work is published in the J of Law and the BiosciencesOxford J of Legal StudiesJurimetricsEuropean Intellectual Property ReviewIntellectual Property QuarterlyNature Sustainability and the Journal of World Intellectual Property Law. You can read more about Prof. Thambisetty on her LSE page over here.

If you’ve any queries, please drop us an e-mail at [email protected]. We look forward to your submissions!

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2 thoughts on “Reminder: 1st Shamnad Basheer Essay Competition on Intellectual Property Law [Submit by June 30]”

    1. Hey, I had asked them the same via e-mail. I was intimated that the results may be announced around the first week of August.

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