SpicyIP Weekly Review (2nd-9th November, 2014)

spicyip weekly review

From 2nd-9th November, SpicyIP carried posts and updates on topics ranging from trademark battles over Khadi, Amma’s Mineral Water and Burger King; Patent disputes between Cipla and Novartis, and Cipla and Roche, an important Delhi HC decision on S.8 of the Patents Act, and much more.  

The SpicyIP Story of the Week is Swaraj’s post on the petition submitted to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution petition the free availability of Indian Standards to the Public. The petition is of utmost importance because it costs around Rs. 2 Lakh for an Indian manufacturer to purchase the Standards for certain goods thanks to the Ministry’s copyright policy- and these Standards have even been digitized.

This week also saw the Breaking News where the Delhi High Court held that that a patentee’s non-compliance with Section 8 of the Patent Act will not lead to an automatic revocation of its patent under Section 64(1)(m).  Shamnad had sent out an email update to SpicyIP subscribers highlighting this development, which was followed by Aparajita’s post on the issue.

The week began with a post by myself and Madhulika on Cipla’s brazen move to petition the DIPP to revoke Novartis’ patent for Indacetrol under S.66 of the Indian Patent Act on the grounds of excessive pricing and lack of local working. In the post, we analyse the legality of the move, especially in light of India’s TRIPS obligations.

Madhulika then brought us on an update on the Roche-Cipla patent dispute– The parties have failed to settle the dispute through mediation, and the issue has gone back to the Delhi High Court.

We carried two stories about the Trademark Battle over Khadi. The first was a post by Devika who brought us the story that a German company which is in the business of selling Indian-origin products has registered the trademark for Khadi. She points out how this is not the first instance of bio-piracy of Indian products by International players, reminding us of the incidents involving Neem and Turmeric. The second was a guest post by Ms. Latha R. Nair, where she talks about the legality of trademarking Khadi in light of the little-known Khaddar (Protection of Name) Act, 1950 and the Khadi Village Industries Commission Act, 1956.

Devika then posted on the DIPP having set up a think-tank to advise the Government on IPR issues, including the national IPR policy. The think-tank is a six member panel comprising Prathiba Singh, senior advocate; Punita Bhargava, advocate, Inventure IP; Unnat Pandit, Cadila Pharmaceuticals; Rajeev Srinivasan, director, Asian school of business; and Narendra Sabharwal, retired DDG, WIPO. The panel would be headed by Justice Prabha Sridevan, a former judge (Madras High Court) and former chairperson of the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB).

Devika also brought us a post on the European Patent Office having announced on its website that it has entered into an MOU with the Indian IPO on co-operation on patents to “promote innovation” in India and the EU.

This was followed by Devika’s very interesting post on whether a chess move can be copyrighted. She analyses chess moves in light of the idea/expression dichotomy, whether it will pass the threshold for novelty, etc.

This week saw another addition to the SpicyIP Blast from the Past series- where Devika brought us a post on Einstein and Thomas Jefferson’s years as patent examiners.

SpicyIP Tidbits:

1)      The Registrar of Trademarks has placed the trademark application by the State Express Corporation of Tamil Nadu for ‘Amma Mineral Water’ in the objected list  and said that it is liable to be rejected as it is devoid of distinctive character.

2)      Burger King Corp, the US based company is caught in a trademark battle with a company in India called Burger King India.

SpicyIP Events:

1)      On November 26th, Rainmaker will be conducting the annual ‘Question of Law’ quiz at Monkey Bar in Connaught Place, New Delhi. It is open for anybody to participate. More details can be found here.

International Developments:

1)      The CJEU ruled that embedding a publicly available copyrighted work does not constitute copyright infringement.

2)      IPKat reports that Ford has been denied the Trademark Protection status of ‘well known trademark’ in Russia.



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