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SpicyIP Weekly Review (26 June- 2 July)


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This week’s highlight is Kartik’s two part piece on development of artificial intelligence and its intersection with copyright law. Despite the rather complicated topic, I thoroughly enjoyed the read. He lucidly breaks down the fundamental manner in which A.I. works and then moved onto explain how interesting questions on ‘authorship’ and ‘creativity’ arise as a result of the manner in which A.I. ‘creates’.

If it weren’t for Kartik’s fascinating sci-fi like topic, I would have chosen Kiran’s piece as the highlight. If you want to get a comprehensive understanding of how infringement claims in music work, I strongly urge you to read Kiran’s two part piece on the infringement claim made against Bieber for digitally sampling another artist’s music in his hit single ‘Sorry’. By considering, hypothetically, that the infringement claim was filed in India, she deals with the Indian law in an incredibly exhaustive manner, which include the tests used to judge infringement and the oft used defence arguments.

Another fantastic post this week was Prashant’s detailed analysis of the biosimilars judgment. In this case, Genentech sued the drug regulatory body and a set of three companies. The defendant companies had produced a drug similar (a ‘biosimilar’) to that of Genentech. Subsequently, Genentech contended that the regulatory body made a false judgment call in approving the drug. But instead of approaching the regulatory body, Genentech went straight to the Delhi HC. Prashant argues that the Delhi HC wrongly adjudicated upon the matter by deciding that Genentech had a civil right, where it didn’t. Finally, he concludes that the claim of ‘passing off’ is unfounded.

Another piece I enjoyed was Inika’s piece on trade mark overreach. With the help of quite a few examples, Inika shows how entities have abused the law by registering common terms under the guise of ‘secondary meaning’. She briefly discusses the ‘average intelligence’ test and points towards recent cases that have overlooked the test.

Balu has come up with an interesting analysis of the issue of piracy. He discusses how in today’s world of immense information flow, artists run a greater risk of falling to obscurity, rather than piracy. He discusses how even well-known artists, such as Pualo Coelho, have chosen to release their works for free to protect themselves from obscurity.

Ritvik’s piece on the recently released UNDP guidelines on patent examination is a sweet summary of the guidelines and the reasoning behind them. Furthermore, he sadly mulls over the direction in which the Indian patent regime is going in, while the guidelines seem to point towards the opposite direction i.e. giving due attention to public interest by introducing more severe standards for patenting.

Next, we have Shan’s piece on Brexit and its implication on intellectual property, along with adding an Indian angle to it. She argues that one need not be overly concerned and the future is a matter of mere speculation. She concludes that there won’t be many short term repercussions of Brexit, but over the long run we might see trends such as the diversion of E.U. law from U.K. law.

Moving on, we have Prof. Basheer’s piece linking a number of issues. Ranging from the scope of John Doe orders and the need to ensure that plaintiff assertions made to court are always checked and double checked. Since some lawyers and their clients are known to take courts for a ride and breach ethical norms. Using the Udta Punjabi controversy as a central point, he outlines some proposals for tempering the excess of a John Doe order and asks if plaintiff statements should be authenticated by former judges or court commissioners? It all turns on who we trust the most and in India we have a serious trust deficit, he concludes.

Additionally, Rahul attempts to analyze the constitutional validity of providing patent offices with judicial powers through an analysis of a U.S. case. He provides a detailed description of the legal issues at play and concludes by explaining the implications of the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court on the Indian patent regime.

Vasundhara has published two pieces this week.

In the first one, she has covered a copyright infringement claim made by a Nepali filmmaker, who alleged that ‘Kriti’ (The Manoj Bajpayee starrer) is a copy of his short film ‘Bob’. She discusses the issue in considerable detail and summarized the key questions at play: the extent of similarity, access to the original and the relevance of absence of a commercial interest.

In the second one, she has dealt with a recent amendment in the EU trade mark law. Essentially, a particular provision has now been put in place that allows trade mark owners to prevent goods that allegedly infringe upon their marks, even though they are just in transit. After analyzing the legal components, she goes on to describe the Indian response.

International Developments:

  1. China Tea Makers wage Intellectual Property War
  2. Access To Medicines Resolution Adopted By UN Human Rights Council
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Prateek Surisetti

Alias: Suri Net Worth: 0$. NALSAR Batch of 2019. Characteristic Features: 1. Thinks he's funny. 2. Can't shut-up about having topped in Class II. 3. Takes deep personal offence when his cricketing talent is questioned. 4. Will definitely reference his status as World#1 @ Reflex Ball (A sport he invented), within 10 minutes of conversing with him. Notable Endeavours: 1. Founder Access Fitness (Movement at NALSAR that promotes utilization of public spaces for furtherance of sport and fitness) 2. Author "Good Morning Miss Hobby" 3. Travel Photographer (Antarctica, India) Details @ www.facebook.com/prateekss Contact: [email protected]

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