SpicyIP Weekly Review (July 31-August 6)


This week, our topical highlight is Prashant’s excellent post in our series on John Doe orders. He notes that in stark contrast to the Bombay High Court’s streamlining of internet blocking orders, a division bench of the Delhi High Court passed an order on the 29th of July, 2016 that allows for the entire blocking of websites, rather than blocking specific URLs that have been proved to infringe. He summarises the orders that led to this one, and concludes that such practice is an inaccurate and incorrect articulation of the law. Not only did the Court not lay down any safeguards for such blocking, they ordered the Government agency CERT-IND to get involved – without providing any legal justification for such enforcement.

Our thematic highlight is Anubha’s analysis of EFF’s lawsuit to strike down the provisions on Digital Rights Management (DRM) in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. In her post, Anubha discusses the constitutional challenge to DRM provisions, on the grounds of violation of free speech and fair use of copyrighted material, and concludes with a comprehensive comparison of Indian and American provisions for DRM protection.

Starting off the week, Aparajita brought to us the Bombay High Court’s dismissal of four contempt applications filed by CTR Manufacturing Industries Limited against Sergi Transformer Explosion Prevention Technologies Pvt. Ltd. in relation to its patent infringement suit. She examines the decision of the Court, highlighting the fact that any alleged disobedience of an order must be shown beyond any doubt, which is a standard that CTR’s applications had failed to meet.

Ritvik then announced the 11th Prof. S. P. Sathe National Moot Court Competition hosted by ILS Law College from the 23rd to the 25th of September this year, and this year’s moot problem is based on intellectual property law. Ritvik has mentioned all the important dates to be kept in mind; and importantly – registration closes on the 20th of this month.

Prashant then followed this up with two posts: First, a report on the suit that Financial Technologies India Limited (FTIL) faces against Modulus in the Bombay High Court, and second – a piece that highlights the current regulation of Ayurvedic medicine. In his first post, he delves into the suit filed by Modulus for the alleged infringement of their trading software by FTIL, and $480 million dollars or Rs. 3,190 crores, in damages. The essence of the claim is that FTIL misused their end use license to redistribute Modulus’ software products, or source code along with its own software, resulting in a breach of license terms. In conclusion. Prashant examines the decision taken by Modulus to sue in India, as well as the surprising lack of an arbitration clause in the license agreement between the two parties.

In his second post, Prashant examines the news surrounding BGR-34, an Ayurvedic drug that allegedly treats diabetes. He then reproduces an excerpt from his piece on the Wire, which centered around the lack of a regulatory framework for the sale of Ayurvedic drugs, and the commercialisation of BGR-34. The post concludes questioning the need for regulations for CSIR, and highlights the troubling use of unlabeled allopathic ingredients in these drugs.

Next we had Rahul bring us an interesting post on TOI’s recent warning to guerrilla advertisers, and how their illegal inserts into newspapers could have legal ramifications. TOI views this problem as one of IP infringement, and of the advertisers gaining undue advantage under the TOI masthead. Rahul explains that guerrilla advertisers consciously attempt to deceive readers into believing that they have commercial relationships with the newspapers, and ride on the reputation and goodwill of the newspapers. On the flip side, he notes that this practice has been fueled, at least in part by the unaffordable advertising costs of newspapers, and highlights the need for a balance to be found between the two interests.

To conclude the week, Prateek brought us a post on an infringement claim filed in the Bombay High Court that pleaded for an injunction preventing the release of ‘Mohenjo Daro’, Ashutosh Gowariker’s new movie. The claim was rejected, on the grounds of insufficient evidence of infringement, and the Plaintiff’s – Akashaditya Lama’s suspicious behaviour, that invoked the principle of clean hands. The movie is scheduled to release this Friday, the 12th of August, 2016.

International developments

  1. Blackberry sues technology company Avaya for patent infringement
  2. U.S Copyright Office’s takes up issues with FCC’s set-top box plan
  3. Apple and OpenTV settle their patent dispute
  4. The possibility of Pokemon Go obtaining a patent questioned

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