Announcing the 3rd Shamnad Basheer Essay Competition on Intellectual Property Law

A photograph of Prof. (Dr.) Shamnad Basheer
A photograph of Prof. (Dr.) Shamnad Basheer

On the occasion of our founder Prof. (Dr.) Shamnad Basheer’s 46th birth anniversary today, we at SpicyIP are proud to announce the third edition of the Shamnad Basheer Essay Competition on Intellectual Property Law.

We’d started this competition in 2020 to celebrate his memory and his legacy of outstanding scholarship. The response to the competition was overwhelming in the previous years and we’ve received entries from law students across India on an impressive range of topics. The past two years saw the competition being open to current law students. This year, we will be accepting entries from not only current law students but also those who completed their first law degree in 2019 or later.

A master with the pen, Shamnad was a prolific writer. Apart from publishing extensively in academic journals (most of the publications can be accessed on his SSRN page), he was also the rare Indian academic who wrote extensively for law students and the lay audience, through various media such as SpicyIP and mainstream newspapers. A collection of all his publications and public interest interventions can be found on SpicyIP here (also accessible from our Resources page) as well as on (a website dedicated to him).

In his time, Shamnad won prizes in three prestigious essay competitions. The first was an essay competition held by the Stanford Technology Law Review. He won the second prize in that competition for a great piece on the ‘Policy Style’ Reasoning of the Indian Patent Office. The second essay competition that he won was held by the International Association for the Advancement of Teaching and Research in Intellectual Property (ATRIP) for young academics. Shamnad won the very first edition of that competition for his essay on Section 3(d) of the Patents Act. The third was an essay competition held by CREATe on the topic of how Artificial Intelligence would change the practice of intellectual property law. Shamnad won the second prize in that competition for his essay titled ‘Artificial Invention: Mind the Machine’.

Submission Guidelines

The details of the competition are as follows:

Eligibility: 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, as well as to those who have completed their first law degree in 2019 or later.

Registration: There is no registration fee or registration process for the competition. You may e-mail 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. Submissions with more than one author will not be considered.

A photograph of Prof. (Dr.) Shamnad Basheer

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 July 14, 2022 (23:59 IST).  Edit: Now extended to July 24, 2022 (23:59 IST)

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. If you are a recent graduate, please mention the law school and year of graduation in the covering letter.

Prizes for Winning Essays

The winning essays will receive the following prizes: (Edit: prizes increased thanks to an anonymous supporter)

First prize: INR 15,000 30,000

Second prize : INR 10,000 20,000

Third prize : INR 5,000 10,000

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. Prof. Shubha Ghosh and Prof. Srividhya Ragavan 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. Please see their brief profiles below:

Prof. Shubha Ghosh

Dr Shubha Ghosh is Crandall Melvin Professor of Law and Director of the Technology Commercialization Law Program and the Syracuse Intellectual Property Law Institute at Syracuse University College of Law in Syracuse, New York, United States. He earned his J.D. from Stanford University, with distinction, and his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Michigan. He earned his B.A., cum laude, from Amherst College. Prior to joining Syracuse University College of Law, Ghosh taught at the University of Wisconsin Law School as a chaired, tenured professor and co-director of the Innovation cluster, consisting of faculty in the law and business schools.
His extensive research focuses on the development and commercialization of intellectual property and technology as a means of promoting economic and social development. He has published extensively on pharmaceutical, design, copyright protection of standards, competition policy, and other intellectual property issues; antitrust law; legal construction of the marketplace; technology transfer; and the role of intellectual property law and policy in shaping these diverse areas. His most recent book, Exhausting Intellectual Property Rights (Cambridge, 2018) was the subject of a panel discussion at the World Trade Organization in Geneva and the AALS Annual Meeting in New Orleans.
A member of the California, Federal Circuit Bar, and US Supreme Court bars, Ghosh was elected to the American Law Institute in 2012 and is currently a member of the advisory board on the Restatement of Copyright. He has been a Visiting Fellow at Bucerius Law School in Germany; IIP Research Fellow in Tokyo; a Fulbright Fellow to India; the inaugural AAAS Science and Policy Fellowship at the Federal Judicial Center; and a recipient of a National Endowment of the Humanities research grant.
Ghosh is also a frequent blogger and commentator in webcasts and webinars, including the JOTWELL section on International & Comparative Law; Hedgehogs and Foxes, a blog on law and popular culture; and the webcast series for SIPLI and the Technology Commercialization Law Program.
Prof. Srividhya Ragavan
Prof Srividhya Ragavan is a Professor of Law at the Texas A&M School of Law and the Faculty Director of the School’s International Legal Studies Program. Ragavan graduated with a BA. LLB (Honors) from the National Law School of India University in Bangalore where she was a merit certificate holder. Further, Ragavan received the Overseas Development Agency Shared Scholarship Scheme (ODASS Scholarship) administered by the Administration of Commonwealth Universities to pursue her LL.M from King’s College, University of London. Later, Ragavan completed her SJD from the George Washington University Law School. Ragavan was the First Texas Instruments Visiting Scholar at the Center for Advanced Study & Research on Intellectual Property at the University of Washington at Seattle. At the Texas A&M School of Law, Ragavan teaches patent law, intellectual property law, trademarks law, international trade law and biotechnology & pharmaceuticals seminar, law of torts and contracts law.

Ragavan’s scholarship emphasizes issues intersecting international trade law with intellectual property rights. Ragavan’s books include Patents and Trade Disparities in Developing Countries (Oxford Univ. Press, 2012); Diversity in Intellectual Property: Identities, Interests, and Intersections (Eds., Calboli, Cambridge Univ. Press, 2019) and Intellectual Property Law and Access to Medicines (Eds., Vanni, Routledge 2021). The book was listed as one of Book Authority’s 12 Best New Intellectual Property Books to read in 2022. The book was also nominated by IPKat for the top ten Best IP Law books for 2021. She has authored numerous law reviews and book chapters on a variety of issues published in top law reviews.

Ragavan has the distinction of her work being cited by US Appellate Judge, Judge Jimmie V. Reyna, United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, in Aatrix Software, Inc. v Green Shades Software, Inc., No 17-1452 (Fed-Cir, 2018) and in a different matter being by the Chief Judge of the Intellectual Property Appellate Board, India, 2012 in a leading Indian decision Bayer v. Natco, (M.P.Nos.74 to 76 of 2012 & 108 of 2012 at p. 23).

She has testified in support of India’s position involving access to medication issues with the US International Trade Commission and at the Office of the US Trade Representative. Ragavan is a regular speaker in forums that include academics, government officials and policy makers from the World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Intellectual Property Association (WIPO).

We eagerly look forward to your submissions!


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16 thoughts on “Announcing the 3rd Shamnad Basheer Essay Competition on Intellectual Property Law”

  1. Hi Team, by when can we expect the announcement of the results? Been more than 2 months since the submission. Thank you!

  2. When will the results be declared? In the previous editions the results were declared well within 2 months.

    It’s going to be 3 months now.

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