Starting today, we’re beginning a new section titled “Spicy Tidbits” that will bring you short announcements of leading news in the world of IP and innovation law/policy, in so far as they have some relevance for India.

1. The US moves ahead with its WTO complaint against China, asking for the establishment of a panel. The International Herald Tribune reports:

“The Bush administration has asked the World Trade Organization to rule in a complaint against China over the piracy of copyrighted movies, music, software and books, escalating a dispute that has roiled commercial relations.

The U.S. Trade Representative’s office took the formal step Monday of asking the WTO to decree that China’s laws fall short of international agreements, after consultations failed to resolve differences over what the United States says are weak Chinese laws to safeguard patents and copyrights.

Recall earlier post about the paradox inherent in the threat by Novartis and others to move investments to China, owing to India’s not so optimal “IP” climate.

2. The UK is moving for greater “price controls” in relation to drugs. Recall earlier post about similar efforts in India.

3. Krishna Ravi Srinivas (Indian Institute of Management Bangalore – Department of Economics and Social Sciences) has posted Intellectual Property Rights and Traditional Knowledge: The Case of Yoga (Economic & Political Weekly, Vol. 47, No. 27-28, pp. 2866-2871, July 2007) on SSRN. I extract the abstract below:

Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) related to traditional knowledge (TK) have been controversial and there has been accusations of bio-piracy and unauthorized appropriation of TK in the form of patents etc. There were reports that patents on Yoga had been granted by U.S. PTO and this was later denied. Patents on accessories, devices that enable practice and teaching of Yoga have been granted. Similarly there many trademarks related to Yoga have been granted. The copyright claims of the founder of Bikram Yoga have been controversial and the cases on these copyright claims have been settled out of court. Yoga with origins in India has become part of global consumer culture and has been transformed into what is called as ‘transnational yoga’. Hence it has many meanings in different contexts. This article addresses the controversies and discusses the complexities involved in intellectual property rights related to Yoga.

Recall the earlier SpicyIP posts on the Yoga controversy.


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