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SpicyIP Weekly Review (14th to 20th April, 2014)


weekly-reviewWe started this week with Swaraj providing us an update on the suggestions for the upcoming SpicyIP report on 2013’s leading IP developments. This was a request for input regarding our list of 2013′s biggest IP developments that we plan to write a report on. He writes that “we have loosely defined ‘biggest’ as those with most jurisprudential value or those that have made a substantial impact on the Indian IP eco-system.” Find the suggestions that have made the cut and the ones that were suggested earlier on the post.

The next post was a report on the Declaration on Patent Protection made by the Max Planck Institute in collaboration with a number of distinguished scholars from across the country. The document attempts to provide an interpretation of TRIPS flexibilities that are in built into the agreement. At a time when the Indian IP regime is under strict scrutiny by the developed world, this comes with much needed validation of our policies especially with regards to compulsory licensing, generic drugs in transit etc.

We then reported that Intex was being sued by Ericsson for the alleged infringement of a large number of its Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) in the Delhi High Court. The post states that “Ericsson argued that Intex’s tactics for licence procurement were barely satisfactory, thus it was demonstrably an “unwilling licensee”. Ericsson sought an ad-interim injunction on this ground” It goes on to clarify that the court had noted that the parties had communicated a day prior to the filing of the suit and therefore no injunction could be maintained.

Anubha then brought to our attention to the fact that Origiin IP Solutions had released a FREE e-book titled the Basics of Patent Search. The E-book can be downloaded here and deals with the following aspects:

  1. Assessing novelty of the invention;
  2. Minimising patent infringement risk;
  3. Formulating IP strategies;
  4. Enforcement/opposition of patent.

Our next post (and the SpicyIP highlight of the week) was a report on the recent Delhi High Court decision in Mohd. Ahmed v. Union of India wherein the court ordered the State to foot the bills of the treatment to be given to the child for Gaucher disease (a rare disease) which was to the tune of nearly Rs. 6-7 lakh a month. The court rules in no mixed terms that just because a person is poor, it cannot allow the person to die. The decision reflects majorly on considerations regarding access to medicines and affordable healthcare. We spoke about how it points to the constitutionalisation of IP and the implications generally for IP Law. We tried to point out that policy makers would be compelled to create policies that now promote innovation or be forced to pay from the State exchequer. We also pointed out how initiatives like the Open Source Drug Discovery should be encouraged and as to how this might impact the generic markets. Please refer to Gautam’s comment on this post for some helpful references on the constitutionalisation of IP.

Spadika finished the week with a post on the MTS baby. MTS had carried an advertisement that depicted a baby doing things on the Internet as soon as it was born including searching for ‘how to cut an umbilical cord’. The ad was banned by the Advertising Standards Council of India for being disrespectful to women. MTS appealed this in the Delhi HC on the grounds of violations of Art.19(1)(a) and Art.14. The Delhi HC stayed the order of the ASCI on the grounds of irreparable harm to ASCI.

On the International front, IPKat reports an update on the AdWords saga in the form of a French Appellate court ruling that held that the AdWords policy of Google was generally not an infringement of trademark.

Patently-O reports on the decision Trebro Mfg. v. FireFly Equipment and Steven Aposhian which talks about how a preliminary injunction can be issued even though patentee does not practice the invention. They also reported on Edwards Life Science v. CoreValve and Medtronic dealing with how an injunction may be granted in a patent suit if the public’s right to health may be affected in the interim.

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Thomas J. Vallianeth

Thomas is a final year law student at the National Law University, Jodhpur pursuing a B.Sc. LL.B. (IP Hons.) course. His first exposure to IP law was at a workshop that he attended in High School and ever since then, he has pursued a keen interest in the field. However, his real interests lie in the interfaces between Technology Law and IP, with an active interest in the Open Source movement.

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