SpicyIP Weekly Review (December 18-24)

Our topical highlight of the week has to be Pankhuri’s comprehensive analysis of the Delhi High Court’s Division Bench judgment in the DU Photocopy case.
After briefly delineating the factual history of the case, she succinctly analyzes the 9 principal facets of the judgment.
Thereafter, she outlines the reasons underpinning the Court’s central holding that preparation of course packs is permissible so long as the same is done for the purpose of educational instruction and discusses the ramifications of this holding on the interpretation of the other fair dealing exceptions statutorily engrafted in Section 52 of the Copyright Act.

The thematic highlight of this week is Professor Basheer’s post on the interaction between artificial intelligence and intellectual property law.
After sharing the details of a highly entertaining script that he wrote for a journal called SCRIPTed capturing the knotty legal issues that the application of IP law to machine inventions would give rise to with unparalleled lucidity, he succinctly explains the central ideas underpinning the other pieces published in the latest volume of the journal.
He discusses 3 such submissions in particular: the impact of digital rights management technology on game developers; the complex legal challenges that have to be confronted when computers become inventors; and a piece that analyzes how the legal issues associated with AI call into question our traditional understanding of some of the central tenets that undergird IP law.

This week’s first post comes from Professor Basheer, applauding the Delhi High Court for adopting a purposive interpretation of Section 52(1)(i) of the Copyright Act in the DU Photocopy judgment.
After delineating the key differences in the approach and reasoning deployed by the single judge and the division bench in arriving at the selfsame conclusions, he discusses the Court’s conclusion that the phrase ‘course of instruction’ must be given a capacious interpretation.
Finally, he analyzes the Court’s recognition of the proposition that Section 52 of the Indian Copyright Act must be construed in a manner consonant with its sui generis features and notes that the judgment is likely to play a transformative role in expanding access to education.

Next, Pankhuri informed us that the European IP Institutes Network will soon be launching the EIPIN Innovation Society Project. The Project aims to provide 15 PhD candidates an opportunity to conduct doctoral research on the interaction between intellectual property and innovation.

Thereafter, Pankhuri shared with us the answers to paper-I of the Patent Agent Examination that was held on the 27th of November. The answers can be found here.

Finally, I analyzed the Delhi High Court’s Division Bench judgment striking down Section 24(5) of the Plant Varieties Act.
I commenced my analysis by outlining the main arguments advanced by the petitioners, followed by the arguments advanced by the respondents. Thereafter, I discussed the reasons undergirding the Court’s conclusion that the provision is unconstitutional because it gives arbitrary power to an authority lacking legal expertise.
Finally, noting that a number of crucial legal determinations in the area of IP law are currently made by individuals/institutions lacking legal expertise, I expressed the hope that the judgment will play a meaningful role in reversing this trend.

International Developments:

1.Nokia Files Multiple Lawsuits Against Apple, Accusing the Latter of Patent Infringement
2. Amazon Secures Patent over Anti-Hacking Measures Used in Delivery Drone
3. Shanghai Court Holds Local Firms Liable for Infringing BMW’s Trademark
4.Rick Ross Wins Trademark Lawsuit Concerning his Album ‘Mastermind’
5. China Shut Down 290 Websites for Copyright Infringement between July and November


Rahul Bajaj

Rahul Bajaj is a fourth year law student at the University of Nagpur. His interest in intellectual property law began taking a concrete shape when he pursued Professor William Fisher's online course on copyright law in the second year of law school. Since then, Rahul has worked on a diverse array of IP matters during his internships. He is particularly interested in studying the role of intellectual property law in facilitating access to education.

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