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Spicy Tidbits


Prof. Samir K Brahmachari appointed new CSIR Director General

Professor Samir K. Brahmachari took charge as the new director-general of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) on Monday. Prior to this appointment, Prof. Brahmachari was the director of the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB). See Full Report Here.

Novartis, Glivec and the IPAB: Who cares about Statutory law?

This Tuesday, the Madras High Court accepted a formula proposed by the government, under which the patent appeal will be heard by a two-member bench comprising the chairman and vice-chairman. In short, a bench sans a technical member will hear the matter!

This is a rather interesting development! Readers might be aware that under section 84(2) of the Trademarks Act, 1999 read with section 116 of the Patents Act, 1970, there is a statutory requirement that “a bench shall consist of one Judicial Member and one Technical Member….” I guess the Madras High Court, in its wisdom, considers itself to not be bound by this provision of statutory law.

Spicy IP has discussed this issue at great length and has opined quiet the opposite. See here.

Piracy: Still a hot topic!

The Hindu reports: “The Central Crime Branch has, over the last one year, arrested 172 persons and registered 159 cases of copying and selling pirated compact discs (CD) and Digital Versatile Discs (DVD) of new films in the city.

Of those arrested, five habitual offenders from Burma Bazaar were detained under the Goondas Act, according to a release. The value of the equipment seized during the period is estimated to be Rs.10.34 crore, as against Rs.1 crore equipment seized last year. This year, Rs.8.36 crore worth VCDs/DVDs, Rs.1.58 crore worth printing machines, besides wrappers, DVD writers, computer equipment, photostat machines and two-wheelers and four-wheelers used for transport have been seized.

On Monday, three persons were arrested and 4,375 CDs of films released during Deepavali were seized by the CCB Police and cases were registered against them under the Copy Right Act. The total value of the items seized on Monday was estimated to be Rs.26 lakh.”

Spicy IP is still welcoming readers’ comments and suggestions on the issue of piracy – pros and cons – for a master compilation of ideas planned for the end of the year!

Hollywood in Mysore? Not exactly, but…

Law takes time to catch up with social change, (or so we were told in law school). However, lawyers by training are quick on the uptake. Following the outsourcing of IT, SPICY IP foresees legal outsourcing to be the next hot topic of discussion for professionals from the real and reel life.

The Times of India reports: “Production houses like 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures and Universal Studios have roped in Mysore-headquartered SDD Global Solutions to support the legal requirements of their movie releases.

Darjeeling Tea: The Pride of India

The Econmic Times Reports: “The Tea Board of India filed an application here Monday to register Darjeeling as a Geographical Indication (GI) in the European Union (EU).

….Darjeeling was the first GI to be registered in India and is the first application for registration of a tea in Europe.
The distinctive characteristics of Darjeeling tea are due to both its geographic origin and the way in which the tea is processed in Darjeeling.
” Look out for more on GIs from Spicy IP.

Intellectual Ventures LLC: Nurturing University R &D or just another Patent Troll?

Indian Universities engaged in serious R&D may have something new to look forward to. According to the Wall Street Journal, Intellectual Ventures LLC, a low-profile investment firm run by former Microsoft Corp. executive Nathan Myhrvold, is laying plans to go global: It hopes to raise as much as $1 billion to help develop and patent inventions, many of them from universities in Asia.

There are a number of views on the business model of the venture. Some hail it as a fund focused on nurturing “prepatent” ideas, particularly those coming from Asian universities. and state that “The firm would work with inventors there to develop ideas and then help to patent and license them, much as big U.S. universities do through their technology-transfer offices. Intellectual Ventures would own the patents, or have exclusive rights to them, but the original inventors would get a cut of any revenue generated from them”.
According to Mr. Myhrvold, his company is pursuing a new business strategy of helping outside inventors develop ideas before they are patented. He also said Intellectual Ventures wants to work more with inventors overseas and hopes to soon open offices in China, India, Japan, South Korea and Singapore.

Others are not so certain and ventures similar to these are often labeled as patent trolls: Intellectual Venture’s business model has stirred debate. Officials from some U.S. universities — including Stanford University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology — say they aren’t working with the firm because they worry it could use its patents for litigation or other purposes that don’t promote innovation.
Read the full report here.

Dr. Reddy’s Lab (DRL): Eyeing the US Market

In keeping with the common accusation that Indian Generic companies focus more on foreign markets and less on Indian requirements, the Economic Times reports that Pharma major Dr Reddy’s Labs is planning to storm the US generics market by launching around 200 products over the next five years. All the elements are in place with the company having entered into a number of in-licensing arrangements and intellectual property sharing agreements to take its business plan ahead.

The licence and IP sharing arrangements are primarily meant for injectibles, inhalers, liquid orals and topicals,” Dr Reddy’s Laboratories president (North American Generics) Mark T Hartman told ET.

DRL’s focus is not only on the now (in)famous para IV filings (applications that challenge existing drug patents), but also on non-infringing formulations and Para II products.

Non-infringing formulations are those drugs where the company filing for approval to the USFDA has the ability to prove that the drug has been developed through a separate process vis-à-vis the development process of the innovator. Para II products of the Orange Book of the USFDA are drugs that have already gone off-patent.
….
“To keep its sales growing in this area, Dr Reddy’s seems to be looking at launching more than 20-25 products every year. Having a high number of launches every year is becoming more and more essential as the top line from a drug older than two years starts eroding because competition drives down prices,” the analyst said.

DRL has already made 32 para IV filings so far challenging drug patents for a number of therapeutic areas. Of these, 21 para IV filings with the USFDA are first-to-files (FTFs), which if approved could give the company a huge opportunity in terms of exclusive marketing rights.

Read the full report here.

International Tidbit: Michael Robertson and the EMI Group

Techwhack reports that the EMI Group has filed copyright infringement law suits against Michael Robertson and his company MP3tunes LLC. Mr. Robertson, well known founder and former CEO of MP3.com, is also associated with Linspire (originally Lindows), SIPphone, Ajax 13 and a number of other cool technologies. His former company, MP3.com was involved with similar litigation and paid a hefty sum to settle.

According to Techwhack, Robertson had this to say on this new lawsuit: “These guys rush off to court and tell the court that I am terrible and then they end up buying my company. It is really a shame because instead of using these technologies to improve their business they make an enemy of every technology company out there.”

One comment.

  1. AvatarMars

    Hi Mrinalini,

    While the Indian media reports on piracy and other such issues that purportedly “erode” into the profitability of infotainment companies, I draw your attention to the “very lengthy” article / blog post:

    http://www.demonbaby.com/blog/2007/10/when-pigs-fly-death-of-oink-birth-of.html

    Caution : The above blog post is quite verbose, and will need your continued reading attention to understand the subject matter.

    Disclaimer : Not a single download I have done, from http://www.oink.cd, to comment on the quality of the music.

    /Ram

    Reply

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