Monday, April 20, 2009

Patent Circle Will Stop Blogging

Coincidently three years back Dennis Crouch, a US patent attorney and author of leading patent law blog Patently-O suggested me to start a patent law blog to keep posting my views and articles rather than sending them to other bloggers to publish and from there came the idea of
Recently, SpicyIP in their recent post referred about recent pre-grant oppositions decided by the Indian Patent Office which is incidentally reported by our blog only. We wrote a friendly comment to Shamnad’s post about the fact that these decisions are exclusively reported by our blog and we would surely appreciate if his post can acknowledge our blog. In fact, we too have made same mistake in past when we accidentally and unknowingly used a phrase coined by SpicyIP without acknowledging them, for which we later apologized to Shamnad. In reply to our comment to Shamnad’s post, an Anonymous reader made (what we feel) a derogatory remark against me which we are reproducing below.
For your information, these decisions are first available on the Indian patent office..... From where u take and put your water mark to claim its yours....
Don't become so selfish and mean. It's already there in the public domain and how can you claim that its only available in your blog???”
We made a counter reply to above comment which we are reproducing below.
No idea who you are but sole purpose of putting watermark is to distinguish the source if someone download the decision from our blog and obviously not to claim ownership. If you have any problem with that then who is asking you to refer and download from our blog (feel free to surf around patent office website). Indeed decisions are available on official website of patent office but why it was still not reported anywhere in media or news even after 15 days of decision made available on official website. Simple nobody knows about the decision even the companies involved in opposition proceedings. In fact, it was our blog that keep monitoring and retrieving such decisions to bring them in notice of our readers. There are more than 15 decisions listed in February and March 2009 but we decided only to cite five of them and incidentally SpicyIP referred those decisions only (except Pegasys) and sufficient to understand that author has referred those decisions from our blog only. Is it wrong to ask author to acknowledge our blog for such info? Yes if you do not feel respecting and acknowledging someone time and effort for bringing such valuable information in public then we have no point of discussion here.”
We do not know how to react to such comments but this is for first time we are showing our displeasure to such activities. In fact, we are very disturb knowing that such comment is not moderated by Shamnad and made public despite having personal remarks against us. In our counter reply we also wrote to Shamnad which we are reproducing below.
We always have great respect for you, both personally and professionally, and your contribution to IP awareness. As you referred in past that you moderate comments made to your blog. We sincerely expect such professionalism at least from you that any comment making personal remarks specific to someone using words like “selfish” and “mean” should be avoided from being posted in public.”
This episode has finally brought us to an understanding that our time, expertise and resources are not appreciated by readers and anyone can anytime disrespect our contribution and hard work. We sincerely feel it is our duty now that we should take reasonable measures to hold our respect and dignity by stopping blogging anymore in future. Readers do have right to criticize our posts/views but they have no right to make personal remarks against us. We appreciate your support and contribution in bringing success to
Patent Circle
and hope you too enjoyed the journey as do we. Thank you.
Patent Circle
. Thanks Dennis!!! And from there on it was a great journey, never thought my views and articles would be widely read by hundreds of readers working in corporate R&D, law firms, news media and universities across the globe. Not only
Patent Circle
became regularly read patent law blog from India but also brought us a decent recognization in patent domain. We started writing posts to create patent awareness and understanding, and to keep our readers updated with latest developments across the globe, particularly India. Obviously we enjoyed doing that and sharing our knowledge without any selfish interest. Over past few months we focused more on Indian patent landscape such as parallel importation, pre-grant and post-grant oppositions, compulsory licensing, patent-drug regulatory linkage, and so on, however, some our posts brought us some criticism which is well understandable. We always encourage constructive debate and positive criticism from our readers but unfortunately some readers rather criticizing our post made personal remarks against us. Some Anonymous readers commented us for showing bias attitude in our writing which is still acceptable as everyone has his/her own way of judging our posts. But there are few readers who made personal remarks against our integrity and questioned our motive behind writing posts. If fact one of the reader (Ajay Chauhan) went ahead to write full-fledged post on his blog against me (which he later deleted) --- accusing me to be manipulative in our posts. He even earlier bluntly pointed fingers on my integrity making comment that our posts are tailored to lure foreign law firms. In other instance, one of his co-author Jeena raised finger on our credibility in writing posts by questioning our motive. Obviously such comments are not tolerable and completely unprofessional. However, we still maintain patience despite such absurd comments because comments made by any Tom, Dick and Harry cannot question the hard work and integrity of our blog.


  1. Nikhil6:21 PM

    How unfortunate.

  2. Varun,

    To use a phrase from Douglas Adams...
    "so long and thanks for all the fish".

    It was fun reading your blog.. and I am sure we will continue our IP debates, off -line.

    Thanks once again,
    Sandeep K. Rathod

  3. Anonymous11:18 PM


    Sad I would suggest to have second thought about this. This is not good.


  4. Thanks Sandeep. At least someone had fun reading our blog. Good to know that. Sure debates will continue ... and also we will come back with new colors and better content.

  5. VC,
    Thanks for sharing valuable information.
    Really sad, I would suggest to rethink on this, if possible.

  6. Thanks Rakesh for your kind words. Believe me it was not an easy decision for us to stop blogging but it looks like even after making couple of friendly requests to SpicyIP to remove derogatory remarks made against us they have still decided to keep it to disrespect us and our hardwork. Tell me in such case how can we except to rethink? Professionalism is taking a big beating here.

  7. Anonymous1:30 PM

    Sad, really enjoyed your informed perspectives and insights. Some people will always be negative and critical. You should ignore them and keep going (assuming there is no legal liability). Thank you for all your hard work. It was really one of a kind.

  8. Anonymous3:06 PM

    Dear Varun

    Best of Luck for your future endeavours.

  9. Dear Varun,
    Myself Vinay Pandya. I am a regular visitor of your blog. I have read almost all articles. This decision is not in a favour to spread IP awareness in a society. Infact I was thinking to contact you for this blog.

    Thanks for yr hard work.

    What will be the next step?
    Hope that you understand reader's feelings and will continue to spread the IP fragrance.

    Vinay Pandya

  10. Anonymous3:38 PM

    Dear VC
    It is unfortunate that we won't be having Patent Circle in future. Though I believe that your concern was well taken care of by the reply posted by Mr. Shamnad Basheer of SicyIP. I am reproducing it below:

    "Dear Varun,

    I'm not entirely sure where your angst stems from. Are you claiming a monopoly over all patent office decision reporting? Or that none of us have the expertise to follow patent office developments independently, without going through your blog.

    I am a great fan of your blog, but I do independently follow patent office developments as well--and have been doing so for the last several years.

    All of these decisions are available on the patent office site. The cases selected were the ones that this blog has been tracking anyway. In my last post on the Kurian effect, I even referenced some of our earlier posts in relation to Caduet. And 2 articles on the tamiflu patents, which I'd been tracking.

    See this post here:

    As for the alpha crystalline patent of Novartis, I'm not sure if you know--but Joe Mathews of BS broke this news.

    And also take a look at DWS site, which reports on all these cases and provides some decent analysis--just to help you ward off the misconception that you are the only one following patent developments in India.


    Apart from the above post which covers Rosiglitazone, I had independent access to its decision, As you know has been mired in some very deep litigation which we reported on the blog--and friends of mine that deal with this case keep me appraised of all the developments re: this patent and other related patents of GSK.

    In any case, I'm not sure I owe you an explanation at all in this regard...for this is all public domain material and you don't have a monopoly over this information.

    And just so that you read me loud and clear: my patent related knowledge or information does not come from your blog. And whenever it does originate from your blog, we have always acknowledged it. But where it hasn't, we don't see the need to, just because you were the first to borrow these cases from freely available public domain material."

    I am not associated with any of the blogs(in the capacity of writer) but do follow many, including yours' and Shamnad's.

    To make it more practical, I would like to refer to the postings of PatentDocs, another well read blog on Pharma and Biotech Patenting. Here you will find that links (direct links to pdf docs and not to any share website like box)are provided to redears, who can immediately download the entire document.

    These documents are for the most of the times first available on Paid sites like LexisNexis etc. Still the writer has never (and I don't see a reason to do it in future) quoted any of the paid sites for the availability of the documents.

    The reason is simple, no matter what pain you took to make available to public, a document which was public, it will and should remain a public document without having a need to be given acknowlegdement for such "efforts and pain."

    Last but not the least, It is my humble request to all the bloggers to go for following the "Text of the GNU Free Documentation License" available at Only in this way can truly fulfill our objective of selfless service to our fellow readers.

    Best of Luck!!!

  11. Dear Anonymous (4)

    Thanks for advocating for SpicyIP but do you think we are discussing about acknowledgment or “efforts or pain” here. Issue that made us to stop blogging is the personal remarks made against us which knowingly and deliberately made public by respected Shamnad. And even after we made couple of friendly requests to respected Shamnad to kindly remove that comment he still decided not to remove it. We surely would have appreciated your thoughts if you would have also added a word of advice for respected Shamnad to refrain doing such act but unfortunately you opted to comment on minor issue.

    Thank you for writing.

  12. Sad a complete setback to patent awareness … not professional by spicyip. Rethink VC

    This blog is a strong platform and represented Indian patent law on global level. Your hard work is always appreciated by us. It is unfortunate some made absurd comments to you … at least selfish is a word that does not fit you at all.

  13. Dear Varun

    when i commented to your tarceva post it was your blog from where my comment was deleted after publishing it. The comment appeared only after when i went with that post and posted that comment again to your patent circle.

  14. First off, congratulation for excellent blog and work generated over the years. It was interesting reading the blog. Sad to know a fellow blogger published crude comment by unknown and that even not bothered to delete after requests made by author of blog. This is rude man.

  15. Dear Ajay,

    Yes your comment was published and accidentally got deleted due to wrong mouse-click (which we later reposted) but does that mean you will put a harsh post on us and accuse us to be manipulative in our post. Do you know how much devotion and hardwork is required to bring blog to level of Patent Circle? Do you feel that we took our precious time out from our hectic schedule to manipulate facts? I would suggest first come to that level where you have credentials and expertise to make such raging remarks.

    My wishes to you and your blog!!!

  16. Thanks Goutam. Even I wonder how a selfish person can think of writing posts and sharing his knowledge.

  17. Thanks Smith. Crude n rude is big fashion nowadays. Professionalism is history now.

  18. Patent Agent10:35 AM


    What have you done? This is complete irrational to stop blogging, stop this and resume back to blog. You cannot stop blogging just coz some spicy people tried to tarnish you n your blog. Creditability and authenticity of your blog is well recognized in patent sphere. So leave ego and keep doing what you are good in – blogging. Hope to see Patent Circle back in action …

  19. Dear Varun:

    While it is sad that you have stopped blogging, your reasons are even more sad.

    Your issue about the acknowledgment appears to be wrong simply because the decisions causing this entire controversy are available on the internet publicly. Hence, there is no reason one should acknowledge you unless they have never visited the patent office's website.

    Secondly, some guy who doesn't even have the guts to put his own name in the comment has called you "Selfish." Big deal!!!

    It's not entirely derogatory, it's not abusive, it's a plain english adjective. It's a matter of opinion, and it doesn't mandate moderation.

    In any event, its not on your blog, its not from your "readers." Why would you wanna stop blogging for something so external? Really, dude, wake up to the real world...

  20. Anonymous6:07 PM

    I like both your blog and the sipicyIP and request you to refrain from this decision. Your readers can well judge who is contributing what and you better have an idea about the access data on your blog and I believe it should be considerable as yours is a good blog along with a few others. So pleae go ahead with this. Otherwise, we will miss a good source of information and it would be aloss for people like us who don't have interest in personal probloems between you and shamnad.

  21. VC,

    Kudos!!! Finally Shamnad has obliged to remove the derogatory comment after a humble request from some kind anonymous.
    Thank God, at last some sense and above all may peace prevail.

  22. Dear varun
    Let's forget (won't say forgive). Shamnad is a fantastic & talented blogger so are you.
    I personally think that you should not discontinue an activity which pleases you (& helps others too)for any reason what's so ever of temporal significance or otherwise.

    I wish to coontinue as a contributory author for your blog and hoping that you would take my request seriously.

    As a token of good jesture , please post your comments on shamnad's petition to mr. Kurian for attaining more transparancy.

    Uday Gokhale

  23. Peter Ollier10:19 AM

    As a regular reader of SpicyIP and Patent Circle I find this decision very unfortunate. India is an important and interesting IP jurisdiction but information is not easily available. It needs more than one blog to remedy this.

    Having read this thread, it seems your problem is not with Spicy IP’s possible borrowing of publicly available information that you analysed on your blog, but with the fact that they chose to allow a negative comment.

    Different bloggers have different attitudes to comments: some block all personal criticism, most allow it if it doesn’t go too far. I regularly read online comment threads on articles on the UK’s Guardian newspaper. These almost always rubbish the author, their lack of research, previous mistakes, failures of analysis etc etc.

    Most of those anonymous critics are simply selfish, jealous and small minded. The Guardian journalists must find these comments hard to read, but they don’t give up. They pick themselves up and keep writing (I guess they have to because that is how they make a living!).

    Incidentally, I sometimes read Patently-O and he also gets criticised in his comments. He probably gets criticised on other blogs as well. But he keeps on posting.

    I think you should do the same. You are a good blogger and the fact that another blog allowed an anonymous comment calling you “selfish and mean” is not a good reason to stop blogging!


    Peter Ollier (Asia editor, Managing IP magazine)

  24. Hi Varun,

    It was only recently that I spoke to you about the Pegasys case and its really sad that you are stopping to blog just when I started knowing you.

    I will miss your knowledge sharing exercise and would go a step ahead in asking you to reconsider your decision.

    Minor comments here and there should'nt deter strong and committed people.

    Cheers and All the best,

    Vikas Dandekar

  25. Anonymous12:33 PM

    I note the offending post has now been removed.

  26. Hi Varun,

    I know Shamnad and believe me he is not like that. Why he posted such comment is still not understandable to me and more than that he should have removed the comment when u requested him to do so. Anyhow my request to you and shamnad is to put end this unfortunate incident and make truce. Your blog is strong pillar of IP awareness and resources in India … keep your personal issues aside and work jointly to progress.

  27. Patent Agent4:44 PM

    Comment that created all this mess is now removed by SpicyIP … so now put it end and reconsider your decision … I just noted many readers (commented here) too have same opinion … good work is not ended like this … you need to weigh your readers’ request.

  28. Anonymous4:15 AM

    I don't see a reason to stop blogging? Am i missing some thing!

  29. IPM Pharma6:29 PM


    I am heading IPM in a generic company and wanted to tell you that your blog was excellent source of knowledge and information for all of us in pharma industry. Your decision to stop blogging has undeniably created a void. Your hardwork and blog will always be known as a great learning platform for many. Not many have that writing agility and practical approach like yours. Still it would a great if you reconsider your decision for larger good.

    Thank you for all your support to patent and pharma industry.

  30. Tabrez6:47 PM

    Dear friend Varun your decision to stop blogging is good. In fact I was never comfortable with your approach and idea of sharing expertise and knowledge that can always bring you value for your time. Some of your posts were simply excellent and not thought by anyone else particularly post on gliptins competition etc. Buddy value your knowledge … IP is a knowledge industry … readers will always be happy to get free information and that is why they take you n your blog for granted. Now you are IP consultant so keep info and expertise with you this will give you competitive edge in business. Hope to see you soon in Delhi.

  31. Soumili Das10:28 AM

    Dear Varun,

    I must say this is a very sad decision. Your blog has really been very very helpful and a ready reckoner for me in various patent issues. I hope you re-initiate the blog. If not, then we surely can keep discussing important patent issues on a personal front.



  32. Anonymous10:33 AM

    Dear VC
    I am 100% agree with Tabrez but as Indian we are not stoped by any one's advise @ donot share you knowledge" so it is better to forget acknowledgment etc matter and come back to yiou blog and write some spicy material about indian IP.
    This is fact every person need fame and acknowledgment. But remember if yiu become "NEEVAN KA Pathar" of Indian IP yours efforts acknowledged by others

    Personally some time I like shamnad ingact I would suggest shmnad to writea book "how to become popular in IP world".
    Readers note that reading this comments is injurious to their sentiments If you read this comment donot paste your comments/suggestion against this. Author donot take any responsibility of hurting any one sentiment.


  33. Come on Varun - this is not good.
    Either way, looking forward to seeing you again next time I'm in India.

  34. Hello Varun,
    Its really a sad news for all the readers of patent kindly start again please.