SpicyIP Weekly Review: 24th-30th March, 2014

SpicyIP brings to you the review of the week 24th-30th March, 2014. The story of the week is Gopika’s post on Novartis obtaining an injunction against Wockhardt  regarding the sale of a drug containing the active ingredient vildagliptin. The Delhi High Court held that  the three conditions for an interim injunction, namely, prima facie case, irreparable loss and balance of convenience were all in favour of Novartis in the instant case and thereby granted an injunction order against Wockhardt.

The week began with Aparajita reporting that IPAB Delhi finally got a permanent office. This was thanks to a writ petition filed by the Asian Patent Attorneys Association highlighting the inconvenience caused due to lack of such office, which was upheld by the Delhi High Court.

This was followed by Shamnad bringing some comic relief by bringing us a ‘QU-IP’ by Professor David Waver, a renowned IP academic in the keynote address  of the Meredith Memorial Lecture in 2006. The Quip reads as follows-

““I was given a speaker’s dream brief: to talk about whatever I wanted so long as it had something to do with the theme of the conference – intellectual property (“IP”). A few suggestions were made in a nice, non-authoritarian way.  These could, of course, have been treated the way IP lawyers usually proceed, i.e., by entirely ignoring them. That is called purposive construction, and Canadian and British courts do it all the time.  So a British court has read a patent claim to say that “vertical” can also mean “leaning”,1 a decision that comforted builders everywhere.  Not to be outdone, a Canadian court last year decided, in construing a claim, that “wet” could also mean “dry”.2  Inhabitants of the Sahara might be surprised; so might those from Vancouver or San Francisco.”

I then posted a TidBit regarding the stellar achievement of Indian IP firms Anand & Anand and Saikrishna and Associates, as they won the awards for Best IP Prosecution in India and the India Contentious awards respectively at the Managing IP Global IP Awards.

Swaraj carried a post soliciting inputs on something the SpicyIP team has been working on for a while- a comprehensive review and analysis of the hard-hitting IP developments in 2013. We’ve shortlisted 12 cases and 3 Events, and we request our readers to come forth with suggestions.

This was followed by Gopika’s post on the Delhi High Court order in the matter between Phonographic Performance Limited and Spring Club. The plaintiffs in this case were a registered copyright society. The defendants had filed an application for rejection of plaint on the ground that there was no cause of action disclosed. The matter was regarding the defendants which are commercial establishments engaged in the hospitality business who were going to host shows in their premises and making commercial gain by selling tickets to these shows, were going to use the copyrighted sound recordings of the members of the plaintiff at these shows. The Delhi High Court rejected the application for rejection.

International Developments

The UK Government has issued draft regulations regarding creating specific exceptions in Copyright Law for caricature, comedy and pastiche. These regulations, according to the Government are aimed at making copyright law “more suitable to the digital age”. It is to be seen whether they will be approved by the House of Lords.

In other good news, Microsoft has announced a change in policy with regard to how they handle their services being misused for IP violations. This was after a controversial incident where the software giant searched through a reporter’s email on realizing that they had an unauthorised copy of Windows 8. Responding to the backlash, Microsoft has apologized and promised that if they now receive any information indicating that their services are used in trafficking stolen intellectual property, they won’t inspect the person’s mail themselves but will refer the matter to law enforcement authorities.

The Brazilian Government took a great step in Internet Governance by approving the Marco Civil Bill. The Bill establishes that net neutrality should be guaranteed, restricts intermediary liability for content uploaded by third parties and strongly advocates protection of personal data, multi-stakeholder governance and open government data ,

A Court in the UK has held that information in the digital realm cannot legally be termed ‘property’. Lord Justice Floyd made a distinction between the information itself, the physical medium in which the information is recorded and the rights to which the information gives rise. Techdirt.com argues that the implication of this decision is that it confirms that “the property of “intellectual property” is of monopoly rights, not of the information in the creative work. And since that information cannot be possessed, it therefore cannot be stolen, despite what copyright maximalists would have us believe.”


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