SpicyIP Weekly Review (30th November – 12th December)

weekly review keep calm

SpicyIP Highlight of the Week(s)!

Our SpicyIP Highlight was definitely Shamnad sir’s article where he applauded Justice Nadrajog and Justice Gupta of the Delhi High Court for having issued a suo moto order accepting the allegations of plagiarism against them in the Roche v. Cipla judgement. In the order, they went on to apologize to the authors of the 2013 note published in the Queen Mary Journal of Intellectual Property – Shwetasree Majumdar and Eashan Ghosh – from where the plagiarized paras were lifted (allegedly by their intern), and took corrective action.

In our first post, Aparajita issued a clarification with regard to an earlier post that notified our readers about the filing of a writ petition against the Draft Trade Mark Rules (Amendment) 2015 before the Delhi HC in WP 11043/2015. She clarifies that the stated writ petition was filed not against the draft TM Rules but a notification dated 24.11.2015 issued by the Delhi HC directing the transfer of all pending cases of up to Rs 1 crore to subordinate courts.

This was followed by Balaji’s post which announced the launch of the Fair Standards Alliance aimed at promoting transparency in SEP licensing in a collective effort by industry bigwigs to tackle the issues that infest the telecom industry.

Next, Gopika announced the appointment of Indian scientist Dr. Yusuf Khwaja Hamied to a top UN 16-member panel on health technology, innovation and access, established in an effort to raise investments in R&D for diseases that do not promise monetary returns.

Next, I put up a tidbit on an interesting trademark infringement issue, where the IRCTC had issued a legal notice to train e-caterer Travelkhana for having copied in its own app, the name, colour scheme and design of the IRCTC’s mobile app. I conclude by noting the improbability of the parties taking this matter to Court.

Rupali then put up Part I of a two part post on Roche’s victory in the patent infringement matter filed against Cipla, where the Division Bench of the Delhi HC held that Cipla’s cancer drug ‘Erlocip’ does in fact infringe Roche’s patent IN ‘774, contrary to the Single Judge’s holding on the issue. In this post, she discusses the background to the case, and goes on to compare and contrast the Division Bench’s opinion as regards the tests for obviousness and infringement, vis-à-vis that of the Single Judge’s.

In Part II of the two part post, Rupali looks into the question of whether a patent on a substance covers the variations of that substance as well. She goes on to discuss the Division Bench’s holding on the scope and implications of Section 3(d) of the Patents Act in the Roche v. Cipla case.

Swaraj then looked into the copyright issues that also seem to have cropped up from the Roche v. Cipla judgement, noting that para 4 to 37 of the judgement appeared to have been picked up (verbatim!) from the 2013 article mentioned earlier. He however, notes that on the face of it, the portion lifted seems to comprise only a summary of the facts, and not the analysis itself.

We then had an announcement put up by Shruthi that the International Trademark Association’s 2016 Ladas Memorial Award Competition sponsored by Ladas & Perry LLP has been opened to students, professors and practitioners. The award is presented to the best student and professional paper, and the winning papers will be considered for possible publication in The Trademark Reporter (TMR), INTA’s legal journal.

In our next post, I put up a tidbit updating our readers about the appointment of Dr. Y.P.C. Dangey as Inquiry Officer to undertake investigation into IPRS’ (Indian Performing Right Society) crooked affairs.

Kartik then put up the first series in a number of blog posts SpicyIP will be putting up in the days leading up to, and during the 4th Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest 2015. This series has Job Michael Mathew speak to some of the keynote speakers on their areas of work and the leading developments in their field. These posts first appeared on the Global Congress 2015 Blog

  • The first post saw Job approach Mr. Zakir Thomas, an expert in the field of intellectual property rights, open source innovation, neglected diseases and innovation ecosystem in science and technology in India.
  • Next, he approached Dr. Michael Geist, a law professor at the University of Ottawa, where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law.
  • He then interacted with Prof. Susan K. Sell, a Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University where her teaching focuses on theories of international politics, international political economy and relations between the North and South.

Finally, Aparajita analyzed the recent Supreme Court judgement where the issue before the Bench was whether the registration of the word Ramayan as a trade mark, in the light of it being the name of a Holy Book of Hindus, is prohibited under Section 9(2) of the Trade Marks Act, 1999. The Court’s answer to this question was in the positive, holding that had there been a prefix or suffix to the word, it may have been registrable as trademark. Aparajita, however, notes that it is unsettled as to what led the bench to this conclusion. She opines that while the Trade Mark Act prohibits the registration of marks that are “likely to hurt religious susceptibilities”, what does/does not fall within the ambit of his phrase is, again, disputable.


1.Twitter applies for ‘subtweet’ as trademark

2.EU’s General Court rejects case for registration of Barcelona FC Badge as trademark ; not distinctive enough

3.Disney re-submits retracted copyright takedown notices against pictures of legally purchased Star Wars action figures : DMCA violation?

4.Settlement reached in Happy Birthday copyright lawsuit ; publisher Warren Chappell surrenders claim , song to enter public domain soon

5.Photographs of images in the public domain not copyrightable, announces UK Intellectual Property Office

  1. The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 to kick in soon ; extends copyright term for designer objects to 70 years after the creator’s death



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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