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SpicyIP Weekly Review ( 5th – 11th October)


spicyip weekly review

Our SpicyIP Highlight of the Week is definitely Shamnad sir’s post on Merck’s victory in the Delhi HC’s recent ruling barring Glenmark from selling a generic version of Merck’s patent-protected anti diabetic drug, Sitagliptin. He holds this up as the perfect counter to the unfair patent bias that the US has been known to associate with India. He then goes on to chronicle the significant aspects of the judgement – the Court’s reversal of an incorrect proposition on patent infringement earlier advanced in the Roche v. Cipla judgement, the unreliability of Glenmark’s witnesses, the dismissal of public interest as a legitimate ground for refusal to grant an injunction in Merck’s favour and the expeditiousness with which the entire trial was concluded, thanks to an SC order mandating the same.

First up, we had a post by Kartik, where he briefly comments on the potentially (very) deleterious Trans-Pacific Partnership –recently signed by the US and eleven other nations after years of very hush-hush negotiations. He notes that on account of the secrecy associated with the deal, the document is still classified and it’ll be atleast a month-long wait before it is released into public domain. He hopes that the final version of the document is less compromising on human rights.

Kartik then put together an interesting tidbit, looking into the petition made by Least Developed Countries to the WTO – largely left out of coverage by mainstream media – seeking exemptions from patents and intellectual property standards for medicine in an effort to thwart attempts to monopolize medication. He particularly notes the US’ stand on the issue, and writes that its aggressive (albeit evidently successful) attempts at getting the TPP signed, and the agreement’s very “anti-access-to-medicine” nature is more than indicative of its position on the subject.

Next, I covered a recent matter before the Bombay HC – Pidilite Industries Ltd. And Anr vs Vilas Nemichand Jain And Anr – where the Court looked into whether the mere establishment of prior user, and the mark’s reputation and goodwill, is sufficient to grant an injunction in favour of the  plaintiff in action for passing off with regard to a descriptive mark. I briefly discuss the various issues analysed by the Court,  before it ultimately dismisses the notice of motion for a temporary injunction, on account of the plaintiff’s failure to make a prima facie case for passing off.

This was followed by Balaji’s comprehensive summary on the Merk v. Glenmark judgement, following closely on the heels of Shamnad’s article on the matter. He examines in detail the two issues necessitating consideration in the instant case – firstly, whether Glenmark’s manufacture and sale of the Merck’s Sitagliptin amounted to patent infringement, and secondly, whether Glenmark’s counterclaim seeking revocation of the suit was legitimate. He concludes by stating that the judgement, being an entirely well-reasoned one, is unlikely of being overturned on any ground whatsoever.

Balaji then put out a quick tidbit informing readers of the alarming announcement made by DIPP secretary Amitabh Kant on the Indian government’s intention to announce a new IPR policy in two months, that is, well, bigger, better and “one of the finest”, in response to a German industry representative’s comment, and wonders about its worrisome implications.

Finally, Aparajita traced the NSE v. Moneywise Media Pvt. Ltd matter decided by the Bombay HC,that upheld the freedom of the press to engage in fearless reportage in the face of power-yielding corporations, as long as the due process of verification is followed. Aparajita notes that the instant case is one of the few where the courts go on to explicitly comment in SLAPP (Strategic lawsuits against public participation)suits and set new standards that determine the boundaries of fair reportage as far as public figures/bodies are concerned.

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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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