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.

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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Patent

Industry Funding and Bias (I): Some Personal Reflections in the Aftermath of the Mashelkar Massacre


Reddy vs Ragavan Industry funding into academic spaces has always been a bone of deep contention. Little wonder then that we’ve had sharply divergent views on this blog in the recent past. While Prof Srividya Ragavan cautioned against industry funding into the academic space on account of the potential for bias/industry capture, Prashant Reddy thinks it’s perfectly kosher; in fact, he goes on to endorse a greater infusion of industry funding into this space. The Mashelkar Massacre: While I’m no…


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Copyright

The Pure Joy (Anand) of Creativity: The Story of India’s First “John Doe”


2.00 am. 3rd June, 2002. Nizamuddin East, New Delhi. 3 sleepless nights in a row and my body was beginning to give way. No food…no sleep…and the intellectual excitement around IP was beginning to wane. I dreamt of greener pastures. For I’d just been admitted to the University of Oxford for my masters. And couldn’t stop thinking of the better life that waited on yonder shore. After the slavish rigours of law firm life, what a refreshing change this would be!…


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Copyright

Barking up the Wrong Tree: Of Copyright, Course Packs and the Poverty of Indian Pedagogy


In a thought provoking piece in the Indian Express, Prof Krishna Kumar, a former NCERT Chairman argues that the Delhi University (DU) copyright decision encourages students to merely photocopy and skirt the more laudable aim of reading full books. Prof Kumar is right to mourn the severe pedagogical pathos plaguing our educational ecosystem. Unfortunately however, the solution he appears to advocate suffers a striking logical fallacy. Reversing the copyright verdict will not sway our students towards highly priced academic books; rather it will…


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Patent Plant Variety Protection

Patent Punches over Bt Cotton (Monsanto vs Nuziveedu): Bt it or Eat it?


My short take in the Hindu on the Bt Cotton Wars and the misplaced notion that the Plant Varieties Act trumps the Patents Act. I argue that both co-exist and one does not trump the other. Our previous posts from Prashant and Rahul also make the same point, in different ways. At the end of the piece, I’ve also recommended that the government consider the delightfully creative “eat the beetle” strategy advocated by maverick scientists in Assam, as below: “Shouldn’t…


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Copyright

Breaking News: Publisher Push for Injunction in DU Copyright Case Fails!


After a heated round of arguments between lawyers for publishers (senior counsel, Sudhir Chandra Agrawal and Pratibha Singh briefed by Sai Krishna Associates) versus lawyers for DU (Saurabh Banerjee), Rameshwari Photocopiers, ASEAK, a society of students (senior counsel Anup Bhambhani, a nuclear physicist turned lawyer, briefed by Jawhar Raja), SPEAK, the society of academics (senior counsel Dayan Krishnan briefed by Swathi Sukumar), the judge refused to grant any injunction against Rameshwari.  For background to this appeal including a copy of…


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Copyright

Breaking News: Publishers File Appeal in DU Copyright Case


As some of you may have heard, publishers filed their appeal today against Justice Endlaw’s pathbreaking decision in the DU copyright case. It runs into more than a thousand pages! For a scanned copy of this appeal, see our SpicyIP resources page here. As we noted earlier, Justice Endlaw endorsed a strong right to educational access in his decision, and paved the way for a progressive copyright frame, where private commercial interests would have to yield to larger social goals…


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