SpicyIP Weekly Review (12-18 October 2015)

spicyip weekly reviewHighlight of the Week

This week’s highlight has to be our coverage of the leaked final draft (submitted by the think-tank to the Government) of the National IPR Policy. Swaraj broke the news and shared the draft, after which Prashant Reddy proceeded to tear it apart on multiple grounds. He argues that the policy makes vague, non-committal statements in most areas, and sweeping recommendations without reasons in other places. He observes that the document ignores ground realities, such as the pending legislation on publicly funded IP and the pervasive nature of patent-holdup, when making its recommendations. In an update, Swaraj notes that this policy is subject to change upon governmental recommendation.

Kartik then brought us a post on the Supreme Court’s decision in Neon Laboratories v. Medical Technologies. The bench, while refraining from deciding the suit on merits, held that the right of a prior user of a trademark would continue despite the fact that a subsequent user had obtained prior registration.

He followed this up with a two-part post on the Pregabalin case from the UK. In the first part, he outlines the problem with second medical use patents, He then explains the court’s rationale for holding the patent largely invalid, and also notes that the court condemned Pfizer’s threatening letters sent to pharmacists and doctors. In the second part, he summarises the court’s ruling on patent infringement, and briefly discusses how the second use conundrum has been dealt with in other jurisdictions such as the US.

Finally, we had Gopika’s post on the Supreme Court’s ruling in Krishika Lulla v. Shyam Vithalrao Devkatta. She notes that the court seems to have definitively held that under ordinary circumstances, no copyright protection would subsist over the title of a film, book or other work, since the title itself would generally fall outside the scope of an original literary work.


CUSAT’s Inter University Center for IPR Studies has instituted a Summer Fellowship Program to encourage young IP teachers to undertake research at the Center for 2 months between April and June.

International Developments

  • A Wisconsin university has won a massive $234M patent suit against Apple. However, some worry about the rise of Universities in the patent troll universe.
  • A NY court of appeals has held that Google Books constitutes fair use, rejecting claims of copyright infringement against the service.
  • Donald Trump has trademarked his slogan, “Make America Great Again”.
  • In the latest case involving copyright protection for music sampling, Jay Z will testify in a Los Angeles court dispute concerning his iconic 1999 hit Big Pimpin’.

Balaji Subramanian

Balaji is a third year student at NALSAR, Hyderabad. He is currently an editor of the Indian Journal of Intellectual Property Law. He is fascinated by technology law and IP law, and is an active member of NALSAR's Technology Law Forum. When he isn't doing law school things, he wanders the country looking for quizzes to participate in. He can be emailed at [email protected]

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