SpicyIP Belated Weekly Review (29th September to 5th October)

spicyip weekly review

Some very interesting IP developments took place last week.

SpicyIP Highlight of the Week!

The SpicyIP Highlight of the Week was Swaraj’s post on the recent cap on NPPA’s power to control prices of certain drugs in public interest (the development had been reported by Madhulika earlier); when the Government announced the withdrawal of NPPA’s powers, there was considerable panic that the price of drugs (including that of a cancer-drug called Glivec) which hitherto had been controlled by NPPA would shoot up as a result of the withdrawn NPPA guideline. Swaraj, in his post, clarifies that this would not be the scenario since the NPPA’s power has technically not been reduced but has merely been clarified; in any case, the withdrawal is prospective and not retrospective.

The week started with Thomas reporting a very important development, which is sure to affect the future IP policy of India; the US and Indian Governments have in a joint statement announced that a US-India Trade Policy Forum would be set up. This move is naturally being viewed with much trepidation and there is considerable apprehension that the US might take the opportunity to increase its pressure on India to make it more “IP-friendly” like US.

 Next we had Anubha blogging about the Allahabad HC order wherein the Court has asked the Government to implement plain-packaging of cigarettes at the earliest.

Spadika then blogged about the recent judgment of the Delhi HC in Tech Plus Media v. Jyoti Nanda where the Court has held that a database of email addresses would not enjoy copyright protection; the Court in this case relied on an earlier SC judgment delivered in Eastern Book Company v. D.B. Modak and upheld the ‘skill and judgment’ test to determine whether a work enjoys copyright protection or not.

The last post for the week was by Prof. Shamnad, where he has reflected on some of the worrying implications of agreements which are now being entered into by pharmaceutical giants and several generic drug makers in India- the latest in the trend is the licensing agreement signed between Gilead and seven generic drug companies in India.

International Developments~

  • The popular “copyright termination” dispute involving the heirs of Superman creator has finally come to an end. The US Supreme Court has ruled that the heirs are no longer entitled to copyright over the popular comic character.
  • UK has recently allowed ‘parody’ as an exception to copyright law.
  • The US Copyright Office has made available the public draft of the Compendium of its practices.
  • An interesting trademark controversy is brewing over the use of the word ‘how’.
  • Popular fashion designer, Manish Malhotra, has moved a court in Pakistan against the use of his trademark ‘Manish Malhotra’ by a Pakistani textile firm.

With this we come to the end of our weekly review. We would also like to alert our users to the Media, Advertising and Entertainment Legal Summit (MAELS) which is taking place on October 16th in New Delhi (Further details of the same are available here).

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