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

Who am I? Branding the Indian Patent Office as an “Adjudicative Regulator”


Some of you may have heard of an exceptional book series on intellectual property (IP) called “Kritika”. Published by Edward Elgar and edited by the wonderful trio of Professor Peter Drahos, Hanns Ullrich and Gustavo Ghidini. In their third volume, we (Rahul Bajaj and me) have contributed a chapter on the Indian patent office titled “Who am I? Of Patent Independence and ‘Adjudicative Regulators’”. This SSRN link offers you a free download of the near final version of this piece….


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Patent

Decoding the Monsanto (BT Cotton Patent) Ruling: Story Abhi Baaki Hai, Mere Dost!


Monsanto’s fight against Nuziveedu and other seed companies over BT Cotton (that Prashant recently blogged about) will rate as one of the toughest patent battles ever. Not just patents, but involving a whole host of other laws including: i) Contract law (given that licensing contracts between Monsanto and some of the seed companies such as Nuziveedu were terminated) ii) Constitutional law (Monsanto’s challenge to cotton price control orders issued by govt) iii) Arbitration law (given that there are countless arbitration…


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Trademark

IP vs Morality vs Free Speech: What the Fuct?


As some of you may have heard, the USPTO denied a trademark to Erik Brunetti’s “FUCT” line of apparel on grounds that the mark was immoral/scandalous! The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) ruled that the refusal was unconstitutional since it violated the constitutional guarantee of free speech. The US government appealed and the US Supreme Court just granted cert and will hear arguments soon. As Dennis Crouch notes in Patently O: “..the Federal Circuit sided with Brunetti…


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Trademark

Trademarking “Hakuna Mata”: A Problem Free Philosophy For IP?


Even as we were bidding adieu to 2018, one of the most contentious IP issues cropped up. Thanks to Disney’s trademark over Hakuna Matata (from the Lion King) and an online petition protesting against this blatant cultural (mis)appropriation! I reflect on this in the Hindustan Times and excerpt some portions below. Hardly a stress free issue. But then again, these are complex cases not amenable to easy resolution. The best we can do is to continue to debate and remain…


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Patent

Novartis vs Section 3(d): Once Bitten, Clearly not Shy!


I was a tad bit surprised to see Novartis move a patent application claiming a polymorph, without much evidence of its therapeutic superiority. Resulting in a rejection from the  Indian Patent Office. Here is what the Assistant Controller, Dr Archana Gupta states: “The patent application no. 305/DELNP/2009 was filed on 14/01/2009 by the applicant entitled “Crystal Form of Epothilone B and use in Pharmaceutical Compositions”. Objections: 1. Subject matter of the claims do not constitute an invention under section 2[1(j)] of…


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Patent

The Politics of Patent Citations: Are Some Scholars More Equal than Others?


Last week, I was in for a bit of a shock! Spotted this piece on SSRN that touts the idea of an “investment protection regime” for new inventions. I’d mooted the very same idea (an investment protection regime for inventions) in my PhD thesis more than 8 years ago. This was later published (around 6 years ago) in the Journal of World IP,  as below: Shamnad Basheer, “The Invention of an Investment Incentive for Pharmaceutical Innovation”, 15 Journal of World…


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Trademark

McCarthyism in Indian IP


Scared you, didn’t I? With the title I mean. Triggering memories of an evil epoch in US history where fear reigned supreme. Where friends told on friends, to appease a blood thirsty committee trying to eradicate the curse of communism from a capitalistic America. But this McCarthy is a far cry from the evil one. This is J Thomas McCarthy, an IP rock star who influenced the course of trademark law, not just in the US but in far flung shores…


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Others

Merits of Mediation: Leading Mediator Offers to Resolve Indian IP Dispute for Free


A friend of mine informs me that a leading international mediator (one of the top 5 in the world) is willing to mediate a high stakes IP dispute for free. Any takers? Please let me know soon. He will be in Bangalore soon and can do this between August 23rd and  25th. If interested, please email me at <[email protected]> We’ve reflected on the merits of mediation in previous posts here and here. I’m given to understand that this creative win-win approach is being…


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Patent

Sexual Pleasure is Immoral: So Says the Indian Patent Office!


Don’t believe me? Read this decision where a patent claiming a sexually stimulating device (a unique vibrator) was denied on the ground that it was an “immoral” invention under section 3(b) of the Patents Act. In this case, the applicant, Standard Innovation Corporation (a Canadian entity) claimed a creative vibrator, branded now as “We-Vibe”. Unlike other vibrators, this does not really look like a vibrator, but is a rather interesting U-shaped device: sort of like a pair of headphones! Better still,…


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Patent

Trumping Trips: Indian Patent Proficiency and the Evolution of an Evergreening Enigma


In an earlier post, I argued that an Indian supreme court decision may have unwittingly unleashed a Chinese blockbuster. As promised, here is a bit more on this stupendous Supreme court (SC) ruling that effectively denied Novartis a patent over its blockbuster anticancer drug, Glivec. And raised the bar for pharma patents in the bargain! For those interested, here are some excerpts from a recently published piece of mine in the Oxford University Commonwealth Law Journal (OUCLJ) capturing the core…


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