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

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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Copyright

Cropping Copyright: Education is not an Exception!


Since the passing of the landmark DU copyright verdict, much ink has been spilt…on myriad opinions and news reports. As with any other pathbreaking order, the decision met with both bouquets and brickbats. In fact, we had two sets of views on this blog alone. While both Gopika and me hailed the decision, Prashant Reddy railed against it. For other wonderful opinion pieces on this issue, see Lawrence liangs’ take here (Hindu) and here (Kafila). And Alok Kumar in this Scroll piece….


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Copyright

Breaking News: Major Victory for Students and Educational Access in DU Photocopy Case!


As many of you may have heard, the Delhi High Court just handed down a major IP verdict in the DU photocopy case. In a 94 page decision, the court (Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw) dismissed the suit of the plaintiffs (CUP, OUP and other leading academic publishers) and held that the educational exception under section 52(1)(i) of the copyright act is broad enough to cover the acts of photocopying and the creation of course packs by Delhi University (DU) for…


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Copyright

Letter to Government On “Internet” Broadcasts and Compulsory Licensing


Rahul had earlier blogged on a problematic memo by the DIPP (Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion), wherein it interpreted Section 31D of the Copyright Act to include “internet” broadcasts as well. I believe this is clearly outside the constitutional competence of the DIPP and have requested the DIPP (through the letter below) to withdraw the memo. I also reflect on the recent trend of IP law making in the country, done with considerable opacity and flouting well established canons…


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Copyright

Of Bollywood “Blocks” and John Does: Towards an IP Ombudsman?


In a recent piece in the Wire, I develop the idea of a “neutral IP ombudsman” for “blocking” disputes. For background, do see our posts on the various John Doe orders and the corrective balance being ushered in through the Bombay High Court (and Justice Patel in particular). What a terrific moment in IP history to see our courts coming up with creative ideas to blunt the rough edges around John Doe’s and strike a balance between IP enforcement and public…


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