SpicyIP Weekly Review (June 4th Week)

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This week SpicyIP brought to its readers very interesting and informative guest posts on recent cases in the US, interesting announcements, insightful and eye opening posts on surveillance by the Central Monitoring System, URL blockings and other legal developments. 
Anubha brought to our readers a very interesting piece of news akin to USA’s PRISM project happening in India. The Indian government is in the process of setting up a Central Monitoring System which will provide security agencies with ‘unfettered real-time access’ to all data exchanged online as well as telephonically. Through her post she brings out the illegality of such surveillance and the threat it poses to the right to privacy and free expression. 
As blogged by Gopika the trend of blocking URLs has a become a subject of controversy as URLs such as Uploaded.net, ul.to, stooorage.com and lookingglass.blog.co.uk have been blocked on certain ISP’s in India. Unlike other ULRs that were blocked in the past, there was an absence of the custom message that states that the website was blocked as per the instructions of the DoT. Therefore there is a lack of clarity on whether the ISP’s by themselves or as per the instruction of the DoT blocked these websites. 
Anubha updated her post on the Thai compulsory license issue. The update states that the first compulsory licence was issued in 2006, which expired in 2011 and that the drug was be manufactured by the Government Pharma Organisation(GPO) on a five-year compulsory license. Additionally, the Thai govt. imported generic Efaverenz from Ranbaxy as an interim measure in 2007 until the GPO had production of the same in place. 
I blogged about the recent copyright controversy regarding the remake of the Tamil movie – Thillu Mullu. It was noted that scriptwriters in Bollywood and now Kollywood have started using the Copyright Act to protect their original scripts from unauthorized remakes and releases though sometimes unsuccessfully. Thillu Mullu 2 alleged to be a copy of veteran filmmaker Vishu’s script, lost ground in court as the affidavits of Director Badri and Balagurunath stated that Badri and Balaji were the authors of the new screenplay and dialogues. 
Guest Posts 
We received two interesting and informative guest posts on the Myriad and Actavis cases. 
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Christopher Ohly wrote on the Myriad case (here) which deals with the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Myriad did not create anything. To be sure, it found an important and useful gene,” the Court added, “but separating that gene from its surrounding genetic material is not an act of invention”. Ohly brings out the ‘myriad’ implications this judgment could have, such as, the decision will affect the manner in which patent claims are written and drafted and will also provide a basis distinguishing an ‘invention’ from a ‘discovery’. 

whether genes should be patented. In this case, the U.S. Supreme Court was set to answer the question – Are human genes patentable? By its decision the court found that the human genome is the common heritage of mankind as it stated “

George Yu wrote on the Actavis case (here)- regarding the legality of reverse-payment settlements. The majority held that reverse payment settlements will be analyzed under the standard “rule of reason”(a test typically used in antitrust cases) and may discourage generics from challenging pharmaceutical patents. 
SpicyIP Announcements
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1. Lawyers Collective has an interesting job opening for its HIV/AIDS Unit, New Delhi. The post is open for entry level professionals as well as those having 2 to 3 years experience in pharmaceutical patent law. Preference will be given to those having a sound background in organic chemistry, biochemistry, pharmaceutical chemistry. Lawyers Collective has been involved in several significant pharmaceutical patent cases including, the Glivec, Valcyte and Pegasu. For more details see Prashant’s post here
2. IPEX – 2013, a conference and exposition on “Building and Managing an IP Ecosystem for Business Excellence” (26-27 July 2013: Taj Krishna: Hyderabad: India). SpicyIP is the Media Partner for this event which is being partnered by the Indian Patent Office, USPTO-GIPA and the Nalsar University of Law. For more details see Swaraj’s post here
3. The Franklin Pierce Centre for Intellectual Property Essay Competition, 2013 conducted by the University of New Hampshire School of Law, Concord USA in association with the School of Law, Raffles University, Neemrana, Rajasthan. The competition is open to law students of Indian sub-continent (India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bhutan). Participants can choose from 5 interesting topics. Prizes offered are extremely attractive! Prof. Shamnad is one of the four judges! For more see Sai’s post here
International News 
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New Draft Text Issued By WIPO Negotiators For Visually Impaired Treaty [IP Watch] – More than 600 negotiators from WIPO’s 186 member states meet at Marrakesh from June 18 to 28, 2013, to negotiate what is expected as the first treaty creating exceptions and limitations to copyright for the benefit of the visually impaired. This is will ensure easy access to books for the blind, visually impaired and print disabled. WIPO Director General Francis Gurry said: “The objective of the Diplomatic Conference is a relatively simple and straightforward one – to alleviate the book famine that causes over 300 million visually impaired persons, the majority of them in developing countries, to be excluded from access to over 90% of published works.” 
UNICEF Supply Annual Report Highlights Medical Products Access, Innovation [IP Watch] – The UNICEF released its Supply Annual Report for 2012 recently. Access to vaccines in middle-income countries was a primary goal for UNICEF in 2012. In 2012 the UNICEF also launched its innovation website. This website encourages external partners to engage in innovative work in order to create new ideas and solutions. 
A Very Active White House on IP: The 2013 Joint Strategic Plan on IP Enforcement [IP Finance] – The White House is playing a very proactive role in matters of IP. The U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator has released a new 2013Joint Strategic Plan on IP enforcement. This plan is based on the 2010 Joint Strategic Plan. The new plan can be viewed here.

Aparajita Lath

Aparajita graduated from the WB National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata. She was formerly an editor of the NUJS Law Review. She is a lawyer based in Bangalore. All views expressed by her on the blog are her personal views.

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