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SpicyIP’s Shamnad Basheer Essay Competition on Intellectual Property Law: Submit by June 30

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SpicyIP is one of India’s leading blogs/repositories on intellectual property (IP) and innovation law/policy. Through its independent reporting/analysis, SpicyIP is committed to fostering transparency within the Indian IP ecosystem.

Founded in 2005 by Professor Shamnad Basheer, an IP academic and consultant, the SpicyIP team comprises a group of passionate analysts and fellows, well versed in different aspects of Indian IP law and policy.

About the Essay Competition

On the occasion of SpicyIP’s Founder Professor (Dr.) Shamnad Basheer’s 44th birth anniversary today, SpicyIP is announcing the first edition of the Shamnad Basheer Essay Competition on Intellectual Property Law. Shamnad’s family has kindly consented to us conducting this competition in his name.

About Professor (Dr.) Shamnad Basheer

Shamnad Basheer was an Indian legal scholar and founder of the blog SpicyIP. He was also the founder of IDIA, a trust which works on making legal education accessible for underprivileged students.

A master with the pen, Shamnad was a prolific writer. Apart from publishing extensively in academic journals (most of the publications can be accessed on his SSRN page), he was also the rare Indian academic who wrote extensively for law students and the lay audience, through various media such as SpicyIP and mainstream newspapers.

We have put together a collection of all his publications and public interest interventions here (also accessible from our Resources page).

Professor (Dr.) Shamnad Basheer

Professor (Dr.) Shamnad Basheer


The topic of the essay can be anything related to intellectual property rights – the more creative the better. SpicyIP encourages participants to take inspiration from Shamnad’s work, which has challenged the orthodoxy of conventional IP wisdom by looking at the subject through the lens of the global south and its development needs.

Two values that guided Shamnad through the course of his academic writing, were the need for transparency and democratic participation, during the process of making the law and implementation.

His commitment to transparency in enforcement of India’s patent law led him to suing the Patent Office on two occasions in order to secure our right to information. He was also playful in his writing, never afraid to think and communicate unconventionally. He brought rigour and substance to his non-conforming ways and we encourage you to bring the same spirit into your entries.


  • 1st Prize: Rs. 15,000/-
  • 2nd Prize: Rs. 10,000/-
  • 3rd Prize: Rs. 5,000/-

How to Submit?

For its first edition, the competition will be open to students currently enrolled in any LLB program (or its equivalent – meaning students enrolled in J.D. programs can take part) across the world.

The word limit for submissions is 5,000 words (inclusive of footnotes). All submissions and any queries should be e-mailed to [email protected]

Deadline for submissions is June 30, 2020 (23:59 IST).

Panel of Judges

  • Justice (Retd.) Prabha Sridevan: Former Chairperson of Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB)
  • Jayashree Watal: Former Counsellor in the Intellectual Property Division of the World Trade Organisation (WTO)
  • Siva Thambisetty: Professor at London School of Economics (LSE)

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