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SpicyIP Weekly Review (23rd-30th November, 2014)


spicyip weekly reviewThe last week saw a lot of IP action in various fields. SpicyIP carried posts about Pudhin Hara, Chetan Bhagat, Dishonest Vice Chancellors, and much more.

The SpicyIP Highlight of the week is Thomas’ post on The BIS, Standards and Copyright. Swaraj had earlier carried a post on a petition led by Carl Mahmoud to make Standards published by the Bureau of Indian Standards freely available for the public to use. Mr. Mahmoud had informed the BIS that he had uploaded online around 192 documents of the BIS containing 19,000 Standards in an easily accessible format. The BIS responded with a notice alleging copyright infringement, and Thomas’ post analyses the legality of the claims made in the post, arguing that even if the Standards are copyrightable, they fall within the exception of fair dealing.

Last week, Devika carried a series of posts highlighting instances of academic plagiarism among Vice Chancellors of prominent universities in India. First, the Ex-Vice Chancellor of Delhi University, Deepak Pental was sent to jail for plagiarism and forgery. Before him was the Vice Chancellor of Jadavpur University This was followed by the news that the current Vice Chancellor of Pondicherry University (and ex-VC of NLU Odisha) Ms. Chandra Krishnamurthy is also in trouble for the same reason.

Devika also posted two TidBits on copyright disputes in the entertainment industry: Chetan Bhagat has been sued by an English scholar from Bihar alleging plagiarism in his new book ‘Half Girlfriend’; Rajnikanth starrer ‘Linga’ has also run into legal trouble following an allegation that the script has been stolen from K.R. Ravi Rathinam, an aspiring film maker.

Shamnad carried a post analyzing the 2013 decision Micolube India Ltd v. Rakesh Kumar Trading regarding whether a dual cause of action for both passing off Design infringement can be maintained. The Court had ruled in the affirmative. Shamnad argues that a correct reading of S.19 of the Designs Act would imply that if a design is being used as a trademark (for the tort of passing off to apply), it would cease to be a design.

Aparajitha then carried a post on a case involving trademark and copyright infringement related to an advertisement campaign. Reckitt Benckiser sued Dabur over its advertisement for Pudin Hara, alleging that the concept of a fireman fighting gastro-oesophageal  disease inside the body infringed on their copyright and trademark. The Court ruled in favour of Pudin Hara.

The week ended with Aparajitha’s post on a pre-grant opposition filed by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research against the Taiwanese company The Development Center for Biotechnology regarding an invention titled A Pharmaceutical Composition And Process Thereof For The Preparation Of Plant Extracts For Treating Skin Disorders And Enhancing Healing Of Wounds”.

International Developments:

  • The UK High Court has decided in favour of Vringo in the case Vringo v. ZTE regarding the validity of the patent which disclosed a method for relocating a protocol termination point in a communication system.
  • An interesting question has been referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union: If a person offers free, password-free access to the internet, and a user uses that connection to commit copyright infringement, can the person providing internet access be held liable as a “mere conduit”?
  • In more news regarding ISP liability, two major American music labels have sued ISP Cox Communications for copyright infringement claiming that the ISP does not do enough to punish those who use Cox’s service to illegally broadcast copyrighted content.

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Spadika Jayaraj

Spadika Jayaraj

Spadika is a student of the National Law School of India University, Bangalore. Apart from Intellectual Property Law, she is also interested in Law and Technology issues.

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