SpicyIP Weekly Review (20th to 26th October, 2014)

The Week in which the Delhi High Court addressed Patent Application Pendency

spicyip weekly reviewThe SpicyIP Highlight of the Week was Anubha’s post on the case at the Delhi High Court – Nitto Denko v. Union of India. The case was filed by Nitto in reaction to what they perceived as an inordinate delay in processing applications at the Patent Office. They argued that this delay was in complete disregard of the time schedule provided Rule 24B of the Patents Rules, 2003. The Court considered the suggestions of the Government in terms of increase in manpower, funding etc. and also directed it to constitute a committee to consider a number of suggestions to speed up the process. Anubha’s post summarises the recommendations made by the Court and is worth a read.

 Our first post of the week however was Devika’s post on Shemaroo being denied an injunction restraining the release of the film ‘Tamanchey’. Shemaroo Entertainment Ltd. had earlier filed an application before a Single Judge Bench of the Bombay HC asking for an injunction to restrain the release of Suryaveer Singh Bhullar’s ‘Tamanchey’ on the ground that the film incorporated a video clipping of the popular song ‘Pyar Mein Dil Pe Maar De Goli’, the copyright over which was claimed by Shemaroo. The Single Judge Bench had rejected Shemaroo’s application for injunction.

The next post was my analysis of the second draft of the DST/DBT Open Access Policy that was recently released and opened for comments. I tried to point out that the second draft is extremely timid in its handling of copyright and seems to write over the entire thing. There appears to be no justification for this that is apparent from the comments. Spadika followed this up with a post on the dispute between the two Singh firms prominent in IP – Singh and Singh and Singh and Associates. Both of them were allowed to retain their names, however Singh and Associates now had to include the name of their founder under their logo.

 Spadika also posted about a somewhat strange episode where a photographer seemed to have to go up against the PMO, for infringement of copyright in his picture. The photographer had found that the Prime Minister’s Office had used one of his pictures, slightly modified, as a part of its Diwali wishes on Facebook. She analyses the law on the subject in her post.

 Shamnad sir authored the next post, on IPRS and PPL’s declaration that they are not collecting societies as under the Copyright Act but are merely companies and are therefore not subject to the inquiry constituted under the Act. He then proceeds to analyse whether they can enforce copyright on behalf of its holders and also the possible causes of action against them for their past misdeeds.

 Shamnad sir and I had co-authored our next post, on a significant development in IP and Constitutional Law, wherein the Delhi HC struck down a clause of a recently issued notification. The clause prevented registrars from accepting amendments to TM applications that made a substantial alteration to the application. The Delhi HC ruled that the registrar acted as a quasi-judicial authority, when deciding whether or not to accept amendments, and as per the settled principles of administrative law could not have any guidelines governing his discretion.

 Stories that caught our attention:

  1. The IPKat reported on the EPO’s relaxation of the Unity Procedural Rules and as to how this works in practice. They also reported on a decision of the CJEU in the Bestwater case which held that framing of videos on websites was not infringement.
  2. Meanwhile over at Canada, the government is considering adding a copyright exception for the purposes of political advertising – IPWatch reports.
  3. KEI reports on the US Government’s push to end the WIPO program on limitations and exceptions to patent rights in developing countries.
  4. Closer to home, KEI also reports on the creation of an IPR Think Tank to Draft National IPR Policy by the  Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion.

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