SpicyIP Weekly Review (27th October to 2nd November, 2014)

spicyip weekly reviewSpicyIP Highlight of the Week!

The SpicyIP Highlight of the Week goes to Thomas’ post on the plain packaging notification issued by the Government of India this week. According to the notification, atleast 85% of the packaging of tobacco products must now bear pictorial and textual statutory warnings; one wonders if this amounts to a de facto plain packaging requirement. The issue of plain packaging of tobacco products assumes importance in the light of the recent WTO dispute regarding the same in which India has intervened as a third party.

The week began with a post that I wrote in SpicyIP’s ‘Blast from the Past’ series; in the post titled ‘Dilip Kumar Pickles & Parveen Babi Soap’, I reflect on some vintage ads dating back to the era of Parveen Babi and Zeenat Aman, where clearly actors were aware of their personality rights and were signed on to be brand ambassadors for various products.

In a significant judgment with potential implication for the ongoing DU Photocopying case, the US Eleventh Circuit Court has reversed the finding of the District Court that digital course packs in US infringe upon the copyright of publishers; the matter has been remanded to a lower court. Gopika reported this here.

Next, we had a guest post by Mr. Jatin Talwar (partner at Talwar Advocates) who has commented on the online system of filing of patents (The CGPTDM has recently spruced up the website making available tools to obtain real-time information on patent applications); lamenting the various problems faced in filing of patents online, he offers solutions to remove the difficulties encountered by those who avail of the online system for filing of patents.

I then reported that Delhi University is set to come out with its own IP policy to create awareness among various researchers affiliated with DU, including students and researchers, on various IP issues like patentability of their research.

Lastly, we had an extremely interesting and fun post by Madhulika where she shares with us the story of how the Ouija Board (also known as a ‘spirit board’ which figures prominently in séances) came to be patented; the patent story of Ouija Board is nothing short of the spookiness which one associates with the talking board.

Some Further IP Developments:

  • A company in Tamil Nadu has moved the IPAB to remove the ‘iPhone’ trademark registered by Apple Inc. in India, from its trademark registry.
  • In an interesting case before a US court, New York Pizzeria claimed that its rival had violated its trademark by creating a pizza that tasted the same as the one made by New York Pizzeria; the judge didn’t buy this claim saying that the flavour of pizza cannot be a subject matter of trademark.
  • It is anticipated that very soon all life-saving drugs in India would be subject to a ceiling price; the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has prepared a detailed noted with recommendations to revise the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) list.
  • Last month, we had reported that All India Drug Action Network (AIDAN) had filed a petition in the Delhi High Court challenging the order where NPPA withdrew its internal guidelines relating to capping of prices of certain drugs under the Government’s order. The Bench headed by Chief Justice H.L. Dattu has refused to entertain the petition.
  • An interesting development occurring in Spain at the moment is that the Spanish government has recently passed a copyright law compelling Google to pay news sites for using their content.

With this, we close our weekly review. Don’t miss out on any of the SpicyIP updates next week, subscribe now to SpicyIP and also follow us on Facebook.


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