SpicyIP Weekly Review (July 2-9)

Thematic Highlights:

Post Title: Real Ice cream, Real Disparagement: Bombay HC Shuts Down Amul’s Advertisements (Part I and Part II).

Author: Sreyoshi Guha

Categorization: Comparative Advertising, Trademark

 Discussion Points:

Attempting to decode a Bombay HC Order, restraining Amul from airing its advertisement (of the real ice cream/vanaspati fame), Sreyoshi discusses the following concepts:

i. Whether relief exists against generic disparagement.

ii. “Ice Cream“, “Frozen Dessert“, “Vegetable Oils” & “Vanaspati Tel” and the Advertisement running afoul in content, despite being semantically accurate.

iii. The standard of “alert and aware” consumer in comparative advertising

iv. Puffering up own product versus disparaging others’ products.

Post Title: Matal v. Tam and the Question of Free Speech and Trade Marks (Part II).

Author: Divij Joshi.

Categorization: Trade Mark.


Having already analysed the US Supreme Court ruling (Matal v. Tam), on whether trade marks qualified for protection under the First Amendment, in Part I last week, Divij shifts his attention to the relationship between trade marks and free speech in the Indian context (S. 9(2) of TM Act; Art. 19(1)(a) of the Constitution). His discussion points are as follows:

i. Introduction to history of obscenity as a ground for refusal of registration. .

ii. Distinction in treatment of “commercial” and “political” speech.

iii. Doctrine of “viewpoint neutrality”‘s (in)applicability in India.

Topical Highlight:

Post Title: Patent Office Reboots CRI Guidelines Yet Again: Removes “Novel Hardware” Requirement

Author: Balaji Subramanian

Categorization: Patent


Promising further posts on the matter, Balaji, apart from bringing to your notice the removal of the “Novel Hardware” requirement for granting patents under S. 3 (k), succinctly discusses the IPO’s constant “flipflopping” on whether patents can be granted upon computer programmes without an affiliated hardware component.

Other Posts:

Post Title: Cultivating The Commons

Author: Maitreyee Dixit

Categorization: Copyright, Publication.

Discussion Points:

Using Justice Prabha Sridevan’s Op-Ed on commons as a starting point, Maitreyee discusses the following:

i. Significance of the commons in the creative process.

ii. Examples of works released under the Creative Commons License.

iii. Access to education as common property.

Bulletin Board:

SpicyIP New Position: “Scholar in Practice” (details here).


An opportunity for “exemplary lawyers and thought leaders who are actively engaged in the practice of IP law” to write for SpicyIP on a regular basis.

Harshavardhan Ganesan has been selected as the first to grace the position. You can read more about him here.

International News:

  1. Waymo Drops Many Self Driving Car Patent Claims.
  2. Warner Bros. Settles Copyright Suit over LOTR Online Video and Casino Games.
  3. Canada SC Rules on Promise Doctrine in Favour of Pharmas.

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