Announcing the Winners of the 3rd Shamnad Basheer Essay Competition on IP Law!

A picture of Prof Shamnad Basheer

We are very happy to announce the results of the 3rd Shamnad Basheer Essay Competition on IP Law! The annual essay competition was earlier announced on 14 May 2022,on the occasion of Shamnad‘s 46th birth anniversary. Like previous years, we kept the topic selection open to participants – asking them to choose any topic they wanted so long as it related to IP. And encouraged participants to draw inspiration from Shamnad’s scholarship. We received several excellent submissions across a various range of topic areas. And ended up having a very tight run for the top 3 positions! As in earlier years, we shortlisted the top 6 essays from across the entries for our esteemed judges, consisting of Prof Shubha Ghosh and Prof Srividhya Ragavan  (click here for their bios) Now that we have collated the scores, we are very happy to announce the top 3 winning essays.

And the winners are:

1. The First prize goes to Pravertna Sulakshya, from Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Punjab (Batch of 2025) for their essay titled, “An IPR-Kajal for Dupes’ Evil Eye? Exploring the “Space” for Makeup Dupes in the Indian IP Framework

Our winning essay this year is a fascinating walk through the challenges and opportunities presented by ‘dupes’, as distinguished from counterfeits and knockoffs, in the fashion industry. The author walks the reader through the standard IP tools of patents, copyrights and trademarks, noting the gaps in them in the Indian context, vis-a-vis dupes. Recognising the diverse benefits brought on by the thriving of the dupes industry, the author suggests that these be left to the negative spaces IP scholarship.

The essay is available here.

2. The Second prize goes to Aditya Subarno, from West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata (Batch of 2024) for their essay titled, ‘AI Authorship, A Futile Pursuit? A Look Through The Lens Of Music Generating AI’.

In this essay, the author takes up a fundamental question in the “AI authorship” arena: whether there are valid reasons for granting AI generated works IP rights, focusing on musical works. The essay takes the reader through the basics of how AI technology in this field functions along with the issues that arise when IP protection is assigned to them. Looking at the gaps and problems that this creates, the essay then answers its opening question in the negative, and instead suggests that such works are left to the public domain.

The essay is available here.

3. The Third prize goes to Tanishka Goswami, from National Law University, Delhi (Batch of 2023) for their essay titled ‘The Copyright Paradox: Striking The Balance Between Free Speech & Copyright In India’

In this essay, the author takes issue with the notion that the idea-expression dichotomy and fair use and fair dealing exceptions serve as adequate free speech safeguards. To back this, the essay highlights various shortcomings and inconsistencies in the US and Indian context in the free-speech / copyright interplay. Finally, it concludes by mooting different potential methods of reconciliation that have been highlighted by different copyright scholars.

The essay is available here.

We will contact the winners to give out the prize money shortly. Thanks again to the anonymous supporter for increasing the prize amounts for this year.

Notable Mentions:

Given how close it was between the finalists, we would also like to give a notable mention towards the other three finalists, in no particular order:

– Akanksha Badika, for the essay titled: Proscribing Drug Look-Alikes: Assimilating Trade Dress Environs
– Akshansh Singh, for the essay titled: Standard Essential Patents in India: Questions of FRAND, Antitrust, and Injunctions
– Anjali Baskar, for the essay titled: Idea-Expression Dichotomy in the 21st Century

The SpicyIP team would like to give our heartiest congratulations to the winners, and our gratitude to all the participants for their enthusiastic participation, pandemic notwithstanding! And once again, we’re incredibly thankful to our wonderful set of judges for lending their time to judge the essays and ensure the success of the competition!

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