"You might care little for this, but I find the irony too amusing to ignore", says Riz Mohammad when drawing the IPKat's attention to an article on The Hindu by Ravi Sharma and Sara Hiddleston, "Mashelkar committee on Patent Law withdraws report; seeks more time", citing "technical inaccuracy and plagiarism" as reasons.
Right: plagiarism - a jumbo-sized problem for authors and scholars
A further three months have been requested from the Indian government for putting the 56-page report to rights. The report, prepared by a committee led by Dr. R.A. Mashelkar, examined two TRIPs-related controversies:
* whether it was legitimate to limit the grant of patents for pharmaceutical substances to new chemical entities or new medical entities involving one or more inventive steps only andThe committee took over a year and a half to reach its conclusions. However, it appears that some of the text of the report was copied verbatim from a November 2005 paper (Limiting the Patentability of Pharmaceutical Inventions and Micro-organisms: A TRIPs Compatibility Review) that was authored by scholar and Spicy IP blogger Shamnad Basheer of the Oxford Intellectual Property Research Centre, University of Oxford. Shamnad's research was published by the Intellectual Property Institute, a charitable organisation that encourages and commissions IP research.
* whether microorganisms could be excluded from patent protection.
Below: a succinct summary of plagiarism, from politicsnj.com
On the subject of the ethics of IP infringement, readers might like to reflect upon the following and draw their own conclusions. The article in The Hindu states:
"We have identified eight to ten lines that have been extracted verbatim from Basheer's paper. As a scientist I see this as not a good practice. In keeping with the highest and best ethical practices we want to withdraw the report". ...If you want to read Shamnad Basheer's IPI report in full, and not just the plagiarised bits, you can order it from the IPI (click here and scroll down to 106 for details).
Asked whether the committee would now like to rewrite the report or just change the "eight to ten lines" that have been plagiarised, Dr. Mashelkar said that "that depended on the members of the committee"".