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SpicyIP Weekly Review (3rd August to 9th August, 2014)


[Original post edited for better structural flow]

SpicyIP Highlight of the Week- a Double Writ Whammy by Shamnad!

The SpicyIP Highlight(s) of the week go to both the RTI petition and the writ petition filed by Shamnad this week:

1. The SpicyIP blog has always focused on transparency. So when the Patent Office turned down requests for information under the RTI Act stating that they had the discretion to do so, Prof. Shamnad Basheer filed a PIL in the Delhi High Court challenging Section 144 and the Patent Rules. The Court recently issued notice to the Centre seeking its reply on the PIL. See more on our post here.

2. In continuation of his earlier writ petition challenging the constitutional validity of IPAB, Shamnad has now filed a miscellaneous writ seeking a stay on the appointment of a Vice-Chairperson (VC) to the Intellectual Property Appellate Board; the challenge to the appointment is on the ground that it does not conform to the standards laid down by the Supreme Court (Read more about this here).

Comment of the week

Some time back, Shamnad had blogged about “judicialising” of executive power by the Patent and Trademark Office (IPTO). Recently, an anonymous commenter introduced a very interesting angle to the debate by arguing that the indiscriminate granting of patents by IPTO may be attributed to “performance indicators”, wherein, the Controllers are under pressure to grant more patents every year. (Swaraj has highlighted the comment separately in a ghost post here.) We will be carrying forward a follow up post on this very soon that is bound to be of interest to our readers – keep an eye out!

Stories of the Week

We, at SpicyIP, had a ball this week- from copyright claims involving selfies and monkeys to the Delhi High Court issuing notice in a PIL against Indian Patent Office for denying requests for information, we had quite a few interesting developments to cover.

The week started with Spadika analysing the John Doe order which was passed by the Delhi High Court recently to prohibit the illegal broadcasting of the India-England 2014 Test Series; additionally, the Court ordered DoT to direct ISPs to block over a hundred infringing websites.

It is not often that one thinks of the IP aspects of Formula One racing; Rajiv, in a very interesting post, reflected upon some of the intellectual property issues in the world of Formula One racing.

We also had Madhulika reporting that Pharma industry lobbyists, Organization of Pharma Producers of India (OPPI) and Indian Pharma Alliance (IPA), have filed a petition against the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority’s decision to fix the ceiling price of drugs.

Next, we had Thomas reporting the decision of the Supreme Court in Precious Jewels v. Varun Gems which relates to section 35 of the Trademarks Act.

Pran Kumar Sharma, the creator of one of the country’s beloved comics, ‘Chacha Chaudhary’, passed away this week. We were fortunate to have Aritra Das, one of the legal representatives of Pran, write a tribute on SpicyIP. Mr. Das also shared with us some of the copyright disputes over Chacha Chaudhary comics.

A unique copyright controversy involving a monkey, a selfie and Wikipedia has surfaced recently! Read more about this here.

The Trade Marks Rules 2002 were recently amended. Aparajita has blogged about it here.

SpicyIP Tidbits:

  • In a move which would severely limit use of research, scientific publishers are now producing model copyright licenses governing copyright on open access articles. Several open access advocates, publishers, library organisations and civil society bodies, in an open letter, warn against the consequences that this will have on open access.
  • The legal battle involving copyright claim over Sherlock Holmes has finally come to an end with the Court ruling that Sherlock Holmes indeed belongs in the public domain.
  • Hidesign, an elite leather goods brand based in Puducherry has sent a legal notice to Canadian company Woodland alleging that the latter blatantly copied its designs.
  • Tesla, which was earlier reported to be embroiled in a trademark controversy with a Chinese businessman has resolved the dispute.
  • The Warli tribes have recently received GI status for their world-famous art.

The next week is sure to be packed with some very interesting news/views on the intellectual property front. Don’t miss out on any of it, subscribe now to SpicyIP! (Also visit our Facebook page).

Devika Agarwal

Devika Agarwal

Devika is a 5th year student at RMLNLU, Lucknow. She is an IP enthusiast, more specifically a copyright law enthusiast. She keenly follows the emerging copyright issues in the digital era & tries to spot an IP connection wherever possible (which she manages to do fairly often). She supports the access to knowledge movement and believes in open access and net neutrality. Additionally, she likes to keep herself abreast of the latest copyright claims in the entertainment industry.

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