SpicyIP Highlight of the Week !
Our Highlight of the week was definitely Balaji’s post, where he delved into the recent controversy surrounding the Government’s alleged ‘private reassurances’ to the US-India Business Council that it would not invoke commercial licensing for commercial purposes. He notes that while the government’s long over-due press release, where it explicitly denounces the reports making the said allegations as being factually incorrect, is certainly welcome, he ponders over whether there is more than what meets the eye. He goes on to explore the possible motives behind the USIBC’s intention to make public the government’s alleged assurances, and concludes by commenting that while the government attempts to make reassurances as regards its stand on the matter, the public isn’t entirely convinced.
In our first post for the week, Aparajita looked into two decisions by the same High Court that conflict on the question of whether mere delay in taking action amounts to ‘acquiescence’ on the part of the plaintiff. She writes that while in Hindustan Pencils v Indian Stationery, the Bombay HC held that acquiescence implies something more than mere silence, the court’s decision in Essel Propack v. Essel Kitchenware contradictorily highlighted that acquiescence essentially means silent assent through inaction.
In our next post for the week, Rahul Bajaj, one of our SpicyIP Fellows for 2016-17, summarises the Delhi HC’s judgement in Piccadily Agro Industries Ltd. v. Ashok Narwal and Anr., where the Court rather lucidly elucidated the essence of Section 20 of the Civil Procedure Code, and the principles that ought to dictate the interpretation of the explanation to the section.
Up next, one of our Fellowship applicants, Parth Singh, critically analyses the issues associated with bio-piracy in India, and their deleterious impact on the local communities responsible for the creation and sustenance of TK, in the backdrop of a recent matter before the Supreme Court. The plaintiff (Research Foundation for Science Technology and Ecology) had filed a writ petition in 2004 praying that the court direct the Centre to challenge the European Patent Office’s grant of a patent for a variety of wheat in 2003 that relied on the Indian Nap hal variety. Observing that all the patents concerned had either been revoked or had expired, the Court dismissed the matter in 2016, whilst acknowledging the government’s efforts in battling biopiracy. Finally, Parth examines India’s ability to effect patent revocations in foreign jurisdictions in this regard.
This was followed by another interesting post by Rahul, where he discusses a matter before the Karnataka HC, wherein the Court stayed the Central Government’s order that slashed the royalty fee chargeable by agricultural biotechnology companies for the genetic modification of cotton seeds by a gargantuan 74%. The Court held that the trait value cannot be determined by the Centre as they are based on mutual agreements entered into by companies amongst themselves. Rahul then briefly considers the immediate implications of the order.
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