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SpicyIP Weekly Review(28th February to 5th March)


spicyip weekly review
SPICYIP Highlight of the Week!

Our SpicyIP Highlight of the Week was definitely Shamnad’s sir’s post, where he expressed his disappointment at the patent office’s reprehensible efforts at deterring members of the public from accessing the patent opposition hearings in the Sovaldi case, and more so in the light of the national as well as  international attention that the case has garnered. Further, he writes that the act is in direct contravention of Rule 139, that mandates that hearings in certain cases are to be public unless the Controller otherwise directs, in consultation with parties to the dispute. He then goes on to briefly encapsulate the events that led up to the hearings.
Shamnad sir then followed up this post with another that reproduced one of our reader’s comments on his earlier post which questioned the patent office’s keenness to throw transparency out the window in the Sovaldi hearings – he does this in the hope of throwing the spotlight on the unfortunate tendency to, as he puts it, “paint the innovation landscape into a rigid ‘black vs white’ box”, and further advocates the need to treat IP not as an end in itself, but only as one of the multiple mediums available to incentivize innovation.

Up next, Shan put up a post from our SpicyIP Fellowship Series, where Rahul Bajaj, one of our Fellowship applicants, examines a recent decision by the Division Bench of the Delhi HC in MAC Personal Care Private Limited & Anr. v Laverana GmbH and Co. Kg & Anr. concerning trans-border reputation in a passing off action. He notes that this decision saw the Court setting forth key factors necessary for courts to take into account before deciding similar matters.

Our next post for the week saw Mathews recapitulate the essence of the Madras HC’s 17th February orders in Madhya Pradesh v. IPAB & Ors. (previously looked into here. For orders, see here and here). For our reader’s convenience, he first summarily looks into the orders passed by the AR and the IPAB (drawing from here) and effectively sets the background to the case before looking into the orders themselves.

We then had Mathews put up a tidbit notifying our readers of the Delhi HC’s order directing Secretary, Department of Higher Education, MoHRD to appoint a new chairman to the Copyright Board within twelve weeks, else be personally present in Court on the next date of hearing

Shan then put up the second post in our SpicyIP Fellowship series, where Divya Mirlay examines the parameters that dictate the application of the fair use defence to GIFs. She draws from both Indian and American jurisprudence as she takes us through the fundamentals of the fair use doctrine, and analyses whether GIFs may be transformative in nature. She ultimately concludes that the complexity of the subject would demand a case-by-case analysis to ascertain whether the concerned GIF amounted to infringement.

Next, Rajiv put up a post announcing the release of the DIPP’s paper on “Standard Essential Patents, and their availability on FRAND terms”. The DIPP has invited suggestions from the public at large, specifically with regard to Section XI of the paper that deals with Issues for Resolution, to be sent to kapoor[DOT]sumit[@]gov[DOT]in by 31st March, 2016

Shamnad sir then put up another post on the Sovaldi Hearings transparency matter, where he updates our readers on the Patent office’s peculiar insistence not only on the secrecy of the hearings, but its separateness too ! He writes that separate proceedings were conducted for each of the oppositions to the same Sovaldi patent application, such that a counsel appearing for one of the oppositions was not permitted to attend another opponent’s hearing. He aptly called for the once-glorious patent office to lift the purdah off these proceedings and once again the don the robes of its resplendent old self that was once known to stand tall in the face of powerful intimidation.

In our final post for the week, Shan put up a post from our SpicyIP Fellowship Series, where Ritvik Kulkarni, another of our Fellowship applicants, looks into the MAC Personal Care Private Limited & Anr. v Laverana GmbH and Co. Kg & Anr. He notes that although the Court may have rightfully restrained the defendants from dishonestly using the plaintiff’s mark, he questions the legitimacy of the exceptional leniency exercised by Indian courts in protecting international marks not used in India.

 

INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENTS

  1. Hong Kong Copyright Bill shelved indefinitely
  2. Disney asks its employees to help fund copyright lobbying efforts
  3. Google sued for copyright infringement
  4. ‘Empire’ producers Fox sued for $1.5 billion for copyright infringement
  5. ‘House of Cards’ distributors sued for trademark infringement
  6. Groupon sued by IBM for patent infringement
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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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