SpicyIP Tidbits – No Magnum, More Glivec, Namenda Para IVs, & bio-trade in Namibia

1. After 15 years, High Court rules, “No use of ‘Magnum’ as trademark”
13 Jan 2008, Times of India

Allowing a petition filed by cigarette giant ITC, a division bench of Justices S Radhakrishnan and Anoop Mohta recently quashed an order allowing rival GTC Industries to register a trademark for ‘Magnum’.

“We are of the view that the word ‘magnum’ is of common usage and purely descriptive,” said the judges. “It can serve as an indication of character or quality or value of the goods since one of its laudatory and descriptive meaning is ‘great’. Such words/marks should not be registered (as a trademark).”

The order comes as sweet victory for ITC, which had mounted a legal battle for over 15 years against GTC’s plan to register ‘Magnum’ as a trademark for cigarettes and cigars.

ITC, the leading cigarette manufacturer in India, has a 65% share of the market with a portfolio of popular brands including Insignia, India Kings, Classic, Gold Flake, Silk Cut, Navy Cut, Scissors, Capstan, Berkeley, Bristol and Flake. GTC Industries Limited (formerly known as the Golden Tobacco Company), a flagship of Dalmia Group, owns brands including Chancellor, Panama, Style, Esquire, Flair and Ms Special Filter—a cigarette for women.

Read the full article at the Times of India

2. Glivec / Gleevec – Novartis’ ‘other’ crystalline patent – the alpha form

Novartis’ 2004 patent filing in the Chennai patent office, for an alpha crystalline form of its cancer drug imatinib mesylate has recently come to light following a pre-grant opposition filed by Okasa Ltd, a Mumbai-based small pharmaceuticals company.

SpicyIP has previously covered Novartis ongoing struggles over the beta crystalline form.

Read more at livemint

3. Forest Labs commences Para IV litigation against Indian companies for infringement of Namenda patents

US-based Forest Laboratories has sued leading Indian drug firms, Lupin Ltd, Orchid Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals Ltd and Wockhardt Ltd, for alleged infringement of patents related to Forest’s Alzheimer’s drug, Namenda.

In a suit filed in the US District Court of Delaware, along with its partner, Merz Pharma GmbH, Forest Labs argued that the generic drugs to be launched by the firms will infringe the ‘703 US patent, granted to the company for Namenda, its leading drug for treating Alzheimer’s disease. The other defendants named in the lawsuits include Barr Laboratories Inc, Cobalt Laboratories Inc, Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc, and Upsher-Smith Laboratories Inc. The ‘703 patent expires in April 2010. Namenda generated sales of $192.9 million during the fiscal 2008-second quarter.

Read more at Financial Express.

4. Establishment of interim measures for the regulation of bio-trade activities in Namibia.


picyIP recently found this intriguing decision from the Namibian Cabinet meeting held back in August 2007.

Namibia has a large genetic diversity in plants and animals that has potential for commercial development. Bio-trade and bio-prospecting have the potential to generate significant economic benefits to Namibia if properly controlled.

In the absence of a regulatory framework, Namibia stands to lose millions of dollars in potential revenues from renewable plant, animal, fungal and microbial resources if these are exploited by international pharmaceutical, medicinal and agro-chemical interests without sound benefit-sharing arrangements.

The Ministry of Environment and Tourism is currently busy with draft legislation on Access to Biological Resources and Associated Traditional Knowledge, which is expected to be finalised this year.

For the interim, there is a need for an Interim Bio-prospecting Committee to coordinate the Government’s approach on bio-trade and bio-prospecting according to a proposed terms of reference.

Further information can be obtained from the Shebeen website and the Ministry of Environment and Tourism at telephone number 2842335

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