Shamnad Basheer

Shamnad Basheer

Prof (Dr) Shamnad Basheer founded SpicyIP in 2005. He is currently the Honorary Research Chair of IP Law at Nirma University and a visiting professor of law at the National Law School (NLS), Bangalore. He is 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 Professor Basheer joinedAnand 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. Prof Basheer has published widely and his articles have won awards, including those instituted by ATRIP and the Stanford Technology Law Review. He is consulted widely by the government, industry, international organisations and civil society on a variety of IP issues. He also serves on several government committees.

Patent

Break in India: Were the Dark Ages Really Dark?


In a recent post, I reflected on the disingenuous US Chamber of Commerce rankings designed to coerce India into picking up TRIPS plus IP standards that suit US industrial interests! I exhorted that India should use this opportunity to break the obsolete IP paradigm and refuse to play ball on the patent numbers game! Some months ago, I had the opportunity to reflect more on this “Break in India” theme for a special issue of the Seminar. For those interested, the…


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Patent

Break in India: Leapfrogging Patent Obsolescence


The US Chamber of Commerce is at it again! Ranking India close to the bottom of its inane IP index. Unfortunately, some of our commentators have fallen prey to the seductive logic of these rankings and warned us in dire tones that if we didn’t ramp up our patent numbers, we’d suffer on the technological front. I’ve cautioned against this myopic vision in a recent op-ed in the Hindu. This comes close on the heels of a recent post by…


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Copyright

Breaking Free of the IP Freeze: Happy New Year!


“Frozen” broke most box office records. And turned out to be the highest grosser for Disney studios. And yet this maverick of a movie almost never came to pass. Until a creative set of screen writers decided that they would stray from the parent script …one conjured up more than a century ago by Hans Christian Anderson, the celebrated childrens’ writer. Anderson wove his basic story around the “Snow Queen”, an evil queen who unleashes her freezing power upon the…


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Copyright

The Power of Purpose: A Meteoric Moment for Copyright Justice


  In a decision that will go down as a landmark in the annals of global copyright jurisprudence, Justice Pradeep Nandrajog (along with Justice Yogesh Khanna) brings bold clarity to a much needed area in copyright law. Namely that when interpreting copyright defences, one has to be guided by their “purpose”. And not some fancy sophisticated four factor fair use/fair dealing test, notwithstanding that it emerged from arguably sophisticated common law courts. Pankhuri has already dealt extensively with the decision…


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Copyright Innovation Patent

Artificial Intelligence and Intellectual Property: Mind the Machine!


In a world that is revealing itself to be distinctly devoid of any natural (human) intelligence, artificial intelligence might well turn out to be less scary than we imagined it to be. Indeed, some months ago, when a student of mine asked me if I wasn’t worried about machines taking over, I quipped that I was more worried about Trump taking over. And if Trump did come to pass as President, tis’ only appropriate that machines take us over, I…


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Competition Law Patent

IP vs Competition Law: Who Trumps Whom?


To say that IP vs Competition interface is a contested one is an understatement. Indeed, much ink has been spilt on resolving the apparent tension inherent within! And into this murky territory, I decided to wade right in…to commemorate what is known celebrated as the “World Competition Day”. I was requested to do a piece on this theme by CUTS, a leading think tank in India (and globally as well) on trade and competition policy. Apart from traversing the obvious…


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Data Exclusivity Drug Regulation

Killing Me Softly: Of Data Exclusivity and Deadly Drugs!


In a recent post, Prashant took issue with the IPA’s contention that the Indian governments’ latest move to extend the moratorium for state drug regulatory approvals from 4 years to 10 years results in a long and damaging data exclusivity. Who is right? And who is wrong? Once one begins to trudge down this rabbit hole in search of answers, one realises that the alleged data exclusivity norm is the least of our worries. We have a far more deadly…


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Copyright

Cohen and Copyright: Lessons in Letting Go


(Image from here: Verse from Cohen’s “Anthem”) “And like that..poof…he [it] was gone!” These legendary lines describing the enigmatic Keyser Söze, (from a stunning suspense of a Hollywood thriller titled “The Usual Suspects”) could well have described Leonard Cohen’s tryst with copyright. For, before he knew it, he’d signed a bunch of papers that effectively divested him of all rights in “Suzanne”, a song that went on to propel him to stardom. But did he weep? Did he cry? No, in much…


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Overlaps in IP Patent Plant Variety Protection

The Seed(y) Saga: Who Makes Law in India?


Well, if Prabhakar Rao’s response to my op-ed in the Hindu is anything to go by, it would appear that is the executive (govt) that makes law in India. Never mind that the constitution says otherwise; and vests this power with our Parliament! Mr Rao clearly has his own constitutional handbook, drawing from which he notes: “As clarified by the government in the IPR Policy 2016, only the PPVFR Act, 2001 governs IP rights for transgenic varieties.” Firstly, whatever be…


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Patent

Industry Funding and Bias (II): Towards Transparency and a Plurality of Perspectives


In an earlier post, I noted that industry funding will, more often than not, carry the presumption of bias towards results that ultimately favour industry bottom-lines or priorities. Let me offer another example on industry funding and how it tends to slowly dry up when the dividends don’t yield. During my stint at the National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata (NUJS), I was approached by a prominent policy advocate (working in-house with a leading global IP giant), keen on finding…


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