SpicyIP Weekly Review (12 July – 18 July)

Ahoy, folks ! This week’s been a rather busy one, and to help you take a quick look at all that we’ve covered, we’ve got our weekly review for you below !

spicyip weekly review

SpicyIP Highlight of the Week

Our Highlight of the Week is Spadika’s post on the Delhi HC ruling where Justice Manmohan Singh upheld BMS’ patent for anti-cancer drug Dasatinib. She summarises the long-standing tussle between the US-based multinational Bristol-Myers Squibb and BDR Pharma – which came to the fore in 2013 when BDR applied for a CL for Dasatinib on account of its exorbitant price. This application was rejected when it was found that BDR did not act in good faith during negotiations for a voluntary license. Spadika then analyses the important arguments considered in the course of the proceedings – particularly the argument for invalidity of the patent under Section 3(d) of the Act, and concludes by wondering why BDR was arguing that it should get away with paying royalties, instead of attempting to re-negotiate with BMS and then applying again for a CL.

In our first post for the week, Balaji briefly considered the issues presented in the appeal before the IPAB, by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) against Hindustan Unilever Ltd. regarding the former’s application for a patent on a novel iodising agent for table salt and the process for its preparation – which had earlier been rejected by the Assistant Controller on the ground of lack of inventive step. He notes that the absence of the respondent at the proceedings may very well have influenced the IPAB’s decision, where it ultimately directed the Assistant Controller to grant the patent within two months of the order date. He concludes by stating that the decision helped define further, the boundary that separates optimisation and invention.

Balaji then followed up with his second post, on the Premam piracy incident, where three teenagers were arrested by the Kerala police in connection with the illegal release of a ‘censor copy’ of the film on the internet by someone masking their IP address. He writes that the police’s current approach to combating film piracy involves more of a ‘show of force’ than a more effective and discreet investigation into the matter, that quite evidently involves Censor Board bigwigs. In the light of the Kerala Film Exhibitors Federation calling for a shutdown last week, Balaji notes that this knee-jerk reaction to piracy issues does little to put out the fire. He further writes that the solution to resolving piracy issues is not to cut off access to content, but to increase the flow of legitimate content into the market.

Next, we had a guest post by Santosh Vikram Singh – partner at Fox Mandal & Associates, Bangalore – on the recently launched .sucks gTLD (generic top level domain) that could turn around the entire cybersquatting game altogether. This gTLD has reportedly been introduced for the sole reason to troll entities and celebrities, offering the public a specific platform not only to voice their opinions on subjects, but also to freely engage in brand and celebrity-bashing. He notes that what is most worrying, is the fact that this gTLD will be owned by one enterprise, leaving everybody else with essentially no control over what is shared on it.

Kartik then wrote in, launching the SpicyIP Survey – SoftPat’s Hard Effects. This survey is an attempt gain a bird’s eye-view of how software patents, in all their legal ambiguity, affect innovation in India, by collecting data from Indian entities who have found themselves on the wrong side of a software patent infringement claim.

In the next post for the week, I analysed the rather unfortunate copyright mess that MTV Coke Studio’s Rangabati (a hit Sambalpuri song) remix landed itself in. In the post, I look into whether the original song’s lyricist Mitrabhanu Gauntia and music director Prabhudutta Pradhan(the alleged copyright holders of the song)  have any legitimate claims as to moral rights over the song, and thereafter explore the need to clarify the position on remix versions of songs in India.

Rajiv then put up a post, wherein he begins by noting that SEP holders with massive portfolios might now find it rather hard to take action for patent infringement against parties, in Europe, in the light of the recent ECJ decision in the Huawei v. ZTE matter that puts the onus to propose fair licensing agreements on them. Considering the many contrary rulings passed by the Indian courts on SEP and FRAND issues, he voices his doubt as to whether this decision will have any significant ramifications in India. He goes on to investigate into the most important elements of the ruling, and comment on their implications.

In our week’s final post, we had Kartik looking into the agenda of the  30th session of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights of the WIPO which took place in Geneva, from June 29th to July 3rd. He considers the various subjects that were up for discussion and deliberation, and looks into their possible implications.


International Developments

  1. Apple sued over iWatch by Irish Company that owns the trademark in Europe
  2. Amazon’s consumer-generated product search function may create trademark infringement liability 
  3. Kim Dotcom’s file-sharing website mega.co.nz threatens legal action against MegaSearch.co.nz for copyright infringement
  4. Florida passes anti-patent troll legislation
  5. Photographer suing those who retweeted and liked his photo in copyright infringement case
  6. Ford accused of stealing trade secrets by software company
  7. Apple’s online banking methodology infringes on patent troll-acquired Paradyne Corp Patent?
  8. UK Government to consider punishing copyright-pirates with tougher sentences



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