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Natco sues SpicyIP’s Shamnad Basheer for Rs 25 lakh defamation

Whoever said IP was not spicy enough?Whoever said IP was not spicy enough? Exclusive: Pharmaceutical company Natco has filed in the Delhi high court against intellectual property (IP) blog SpicyIP, claiming that the website published an article that allegedly contained “false, derogatory and defamatory” statements about the company.

Natco prayed for ex parte relief by way of injunction, which Justice Kailash Gambhir declined to grant, and RS 25 lakh in damages.

The judge on 17 August issued notice on SpicyIP founder Shamnad Basheer, who is also professor at NUJS Kolkata, and ordered to list the matter for 21 September.

Basheer is represented by advocate Abhishek Malhotra, while Natco has instructed Gaurav Barathi.

SpicyIP had reported on 2 August that Natco had denied on oath before the Delhi high court that it was planning to launch a generic version of an anti-cancer drug. However, a later submission to the Delhi high court, which the blog republished, allegedly contradicted that earlier denial.

Natco is also claiming that its reputation was seriously disparaged and degraded by the blog’s criticism of the company’s legal strategy, as well as its publication of the pleadings and written statement in Natco’s court battle.

Basheer commented that he would strongly contest this “high-handed attempt by Natco to conceal the truth and quell free speech”, adding that he would provide a response to the allegations once he had filed in court.

The case reference is CS(OS) 2475/2012 in the Delhi high court.

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