SpicyIP Weekly Reviews (1st to 7th September & 8th to 14th September)

Some very important IP developments took place early this month.

Anubha blogged about the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and how Japan is pushing for TRIPS plus commitment in the RCEP negotiation rounds. If this is accepted, it would be a great setback to India’s generic medicines industry.

Thomas analysed a recent order passed by the Competition Commission of India wherein the CCI fined automobile manufacturers (including Tata Motors and Maruti Suzuki) for indulging in anti-competitive practices during sale of spare auto parts. The reason why this case is important from an IP perspective is because the CCI in its order deconstructed the defence available to the opposite party under section 3(5) of the Competition Act 2002 which allows for imposition of reasonable conditions for the protection of one’s IP rights.

In the context of the controversial Bill relating to judicial appointments which was passed this year by the Parliament, Shamnad wrote an op-ed in Mint about the need for significant pubic consultation before a Bill is introduced in the Parliament. This shift from a representative to a deliberative democracy is imperative for a healthy democracy to sustain and to encourage transparency in law-making. Excerpts of the Mint article can be read here.

Chris Ohly, an IP luminary and a regular guest-blogger on SpicyIP passed away last month. Sailesh Patel, leading IP attorney and partner at Schiff Hardin LLP, has written a touching tribute on SpicyIP.

More IP News:

  • Disney is embroiled in a trademark controversy with DJ Deadmau5; at the heart of the controversy is a mouse-shaped LED helmet used by the DJ while performing, which according to Disney is too similar to Disney’s Mickey Mouse character.
  • According to Commerce and Industry Minister, Nirmala Sitharam, the Government is working on a policy framework to protect intellectual property rights; the said policy would be put up online in four months for public discussion.
  • In light of the recent leak of nude celebrity pics, it is interesting to note that the celebrities are invoking Digital Millennium Copyright Act to send takedown claims to the sites which host their pics. One wonders if this is the proliferation of IP claims in a situation which does not warrant the same, i.e., “plaintiffs are using IP to achieve non-IP ends.”
  • In a significant judgment, a US Federal Court has upheld ‘fair use’ after rejecting the copyright claim of Fox News which was based on the redundant hot news doctrine.
  • After its ice-bucket challenge went viral on social media sites, ALSA (a non-profit health organization committed to fighting ALS or Lou Gehrigs disease) had recently sought to trademark the ice bucket challenge where the challenge is undertaken for charity. However, they decided to drop the trademark application eventually after the public decried the move on the ground that several ice-bucket challenges have been undertaken in the past for various charitable purposes.

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