SpicyIP Weekly Review (2-8 May 2016)

spicyip weekly reviewHighlight of the Week

This week’s highlight was Swati Muthukumar’s two-part post on the Delhi High Court’s judgement in Ericsson v. Competition Commission of India. Apart from her exhaustive summary of the contentions raised before the court on each point, she also emphasises the significance of the ruling, which clearly traces out the contours that form the boundary between patent law and competition law when it comes to SEP/FRAND litigation. She also notes that the ruling puts to bed the argument that a prospective licensee cannot simultaneously maintain an abuse of dominance claim under competition law and an invalidity claim on the patents themselves.

Next, Rahul brought us a post on another recent Delhi HC judgement, in Roche v. DCGI & Ors. In his post, he summarises the contentions of the petitioners and the respondents in the dispute concerning the grant of marketing approval for a follow-on biologic developed by Biocon and Mylan against Roche’s Herceptin breast cancer treatment. While the second part of Rahul’s post will deal with the decision of the court in the matter, readers must note that Biocon has appealed the judgement, and a Division Bench has ordered that the situation as it was before the Single Judge’s ruling be maintained while it hears the matter.

Rounding off this week’s posts was Prof. Basheer’s analysis of the institutional malaise that plagues the patent office, with its staff (supported by the Department of Science and Technology and the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion) demanding that the Flexible Complementing Scheme of incentives be extended to the Patent Office, with the Department of Expenditure playing hardball. Prof. Basheer goes on to interrogate other aspects of the Patent Office, such as the need to stem attrition and the quasi-judicial nature of the function it discharges.

International Developments

  • Apple has lost a trademark case in China, allowing wallets and handbags to be manufactured bearing the ‘iPhone’ name.
  • Following a massive PR messup, Gucci apologised for sending out cease and desist letters to manufacturers in Hong Kong who made paper offerings, to be used as part of a funeral tradition, bearing a close resemblance to Gucci products.
  • Google and Honeywell have settled a patent dispute over Google-owned Nest’s thermostat. The bonhomie between the two heavyweights extended further to enter into a “long-term” patent cross-licensing agreement, details of which are strictly hush-hush.
  • Elsewhere, Nvidia and Samsung have settled another patent dispute, this one involving Nvidia’s GPU technology. Unlike Google and Honeywell, these two have elected to only license to each other the specific patents alleged to have been infringed, rather than a broad cross-licensing arrangement.

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