SpicyIP Weekly Review (4-17 January, 2016)

spicyip weekly reviewHighlight of the Fortnight

The highlight of the past couple of weeks has to be Prof. Basheer’s post on copyfraud and collecting societies. He links the “IP excesses” committed by IPRS and PPL to the concept of “copyfraud”, or the serving of false and frivolous copyright infringement notices indiscriminately. After noting that the long arm of the law has nearly caught up with IPRS and PPL, he goes on to suggest that the way forward would be for a strict adherence to the legislative intent behind Section 33 of the Copyright Act, which mandates that a single registered copyright society be the only body carrying out the business of granting licenses for works in any class.

I took this theme forward in another post on IPRS v. Harsh Vardhan Samor, in which the Bombay High Court eviscerated this very legislative intent, and with it effectively took away the protections afforded to authors by the 2012 Amendment.

We had a guest post from Zakir Thomas, in which he applauds the effect that Martin Shkreli has had on discussions surrounding pharmaceutical research costs and the pricing of drugs. He also examines the increasing prevalence of derivative trading, and how the drug discovery business is beginning to revolve around acquiring companies with profitable R&D, rather than the actual conduct of such research.

We also had a post by Kiran on the right of publicity in India, in which she contrasts the Indian jurisprudence, grounded on common law and on Article 21, against the American position which specifically embodies the right through legislation.

Finally, Mathews informed us of the conviction of ND Kasturi, a former Deputy Registrar of Trade Marks on charges of illegal gratification.


  1. The Ayyangar Reports are now available at SpicyIP, courtesy EBC.
  2. The 2016-17 SpicyIP Fellowship is open.
  3. Research positions under IIT Madras’s MHRD IP Chair
  4. Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship at ARCIALA, SMU School of Law
  5. IUCIPRS Justice Rajagopala Ayyangar Summer Fellowship (deadline extension)

International Developments

  1. The US granted a trademark to the Cuban government for Havana Club Rum, much to the chagrin of Bacardi.
  2. Fears of trademark infringement are raging at Yosemite National Park.
  3. 50 Cent won a major victory in a copyright infringement lawsuit.

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