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SpicyIP Weekly Review (9th August – 15th August, 2015)


spicyip weekly review

Our SpicyIP Highlight of the Week was Rupali’s post, where she critically discusses the implications of the European Commission’s decision directing all member states to suspend the marketing authorizations of nearly 700 generic drugs tested and approved by GVK BioSciences lab in India – an act that was duly reciprocated by the Indian government in its deferral of scheduled talks with the EU on the EU-India Free Trade Agreement, following a recommendation by Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHPM) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) based on the EMA’s report. She writes that while it is essential to protect the Indian pharmaceutical industry in the face of a magnanimous amount of international pressure, justifiable concerns against lapses made by individual companies must certainly be addressed. She goes on to say, that as the EU insists this is merely a case of technical irregularities in the testing, then the entire matter can be resolved by re-conducting the tests under appropriate supervision.

In our first post for the week, I considered the letter written by civil society organisations to the CCI, requesting the CCI’s Chairman to refrain from attending the ASSOCHAM organised IP conference on ‘Interface between Intellectual Property & Competition Law’ – Invention, Growth and New Challenges’ which, besides Ericsson, was also to be attended by Qualcomm and Intel(parties that filed complaints against Ericsson for charging discriminatory royalty for issue of licenses to use its SEPs). I conclude that in the light of the conference’s theme being directly in conflict with the subject matter of the CCI’s investigation in the Ericsson matters, the Chair’s presence at an event attended by the same parties to discuss the same subject could affect the Chair’s impartiality in the matter.

In our next post for the week, we had a guest post by Ritvik Kulkarni, where he summarised the recent order passed by the Delhi HC, dismissing the appeals of the proprietors of marks “Officer’s Special” and “Collector’s Choice” – Sentini Bio Products Pvt Ltd. and Shree Nath Heritage Liquor Ltd. Respectively – against an injunction passed in July last year in a trademark infringement case filed by the proprietors of the famous whiskey brand, “Officer’s Choice”. While the Court found a prima facie case for passing off and trademark infringement by both the marks on account of likelihood of confusion, it held that there was no copyright infringement by Sentini’s “Officers Choice”.

Next, we had a sponsored post on Geographical Indications by the International Trademark Association(INTA), in conversation with Latha Nair of K&S Partners, who also served as Vice Chair for INTA’s Legal Practice Resources Committee and is co-editing INTA’s new online searchable publication on Geographical Indications, Certification Marks and Collective Marks. Here, she discusses the Indian Government’s efforts to enable GI owners to protect their GI, the need for GI-applicants to have a pre and post registration GI strategy, and finally, on the complex relationship between GIs and trademarks and how INTA believes these complexities should be addressed.

We then had a guest post by Arun C. Mohan of Mohan Associates, putting forth his take on Symed’s Linezolid patent case, quite different from what Rupali had to say here. He briefly discusses the interim arrangement set by the July 17 order governing the two parties that allows Glenmark’s only to  adopt an ‘upjohn’ process that does  not infringe upon any of Symed’s patents. Further, he writes that the fallout of this order is essentially that Glenmark, for the moment, has to concede to the validity of Symed’s patents, making it a victory for Symed.

We then had an event post by Kartik, where he writes on Khurana and Khurana and IIPRD’s Symposium on Strategies for Managing Pharma, Biotech & Chemical Patent Portfolios in US, Europe and China to be held in Ahmedabad at Hotel Hyatt between the 5th and 7th October 2015, and in Mumbai at Hotel Hilton (Andheri East) between 7th and 9th October 2015. 15% off for SpicyIP readers!

I then put up an event post on the National Patent Drafting Competition to be conducted by IIPRD, in support of Khurana and Khurana, Sughrue Mion, and other Supporting Partners from 1-20 September, 2015. 50% off for SpicyIP readers!

Next, we had Madhulika writing on the veracity of TKDLs in the light of several controversial and sensational claims made by the CSIR-TKDL. She goes on to analyse whether the time and effort invested in TKDLs is truly worthwhile of the taxpayers’ money.

Finally, Rajiv, continuing from his previous posts where discussed the drawbacks of individual portfolio licensing and recommended an individual analysis of portfolio elements, highlights further why an individual patent analysis is necessary. He writes that one of the reasons why Ericsson chooses to litigate SEPs as well as implementation patents is not to get litigation to end, but in order to get negotiations going.

INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENTS

  1. In Germany, taking photos of food infringes on the chef’s copyright – this, going back to a 2013 ruling that extended copyright to ‘applied arts’.
  2. Australian Court bans “surreal” copyright demands from Dallas Buyers Club, effectively taking baby steps towards protecting internet users from abusive copyright trolling
  3. Novartis AG recently applied for a Danish trademark registration in Class 5 for a patch used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. – this was rejected on account of lack of distinctiveness
  4. USPTO finds one of Apple’s iPhone design patents invalid on a number of grounds, bringing its $548 million damages against Samsung, into question

Kiran George

Kiran Mary George is a Third Year student at ILS Law College, Pune. Her first stint in the world of Intellectual Property law was an internship with a registered copyright society that granted her an insight into the world of copyright in music. Since then, her interest in IPR has taken strong hold, and she enjoys keeping close tabs on developments in the field. She is still discovering her interests, but so far takes a special liking to open access, copyright and trademarks.

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