SpicyIP Weekly Review (August 20-26)

Topical Highlight:

Prashant discussed the effect of the recent landmark SC Judgment, that clarified privacy being a fundamental right, on personality rights of celebrities. His discussion points were:

i. Brief overview of celebrity rights and passing off.
ii. The introduction of celebrity rights and Article 21 privacy claims. (Auto-Shankar case)
iii. Distinction between horizontal and vertical enforcement of privacy rights.
iv. Potential for censorship in light of broad understanding of the ‘private‘.

Thematic Highlight: 

Sreyoshi came up with a two part post dealing with a BHC Interim Order, that dealt with a TM infringement issue regarding the marks “Fevikwik” and “Kwikheal“.

In Part I, she covered the following issues:

i.  Similarity between the two marks.
ii. Application of disclaimers to associated TMs.
iii. The validity of the “Kwikheal” TM and nuances of considering validity at the interim stage.

In Part II, she dealt with:

i. Similarity in packaging (as opposed to similarity in marks).
ii. Conflation of the analysis concerning the marks and packaging.
iii. How the “interim order” deals rather comprehensively with the issue and brings us back to the conundrum of accurately adjudicating upon IP suits, without perpetuating the injustices of a long trial.

Other Posts: 

First up, Prof. Basheer brought to you his Op-Ed write-up for the Hindu, which discussed the regulatory and ethical issues concerning “designer babies” (via gene editing). HIs discussion points were as follows:

i. Basic overview of gene editing technology.
ii. Distinction between “cure” and “cosmetics“.
iii. Key questions concerning safety regulations.
iv. Significance of keeping research data in the public domain.  

Next, discussing a recent order disallowing relief for alleged infringement of the mark “LAXMI” by the mark “MAHALAXMI“, Sreyoshi covered the following areas:

i. Distinction between “word” and “label” mark.
ii. Validity of Gods’ names as TMs.
iii. Jurisprudence concerning adjudication upon validity at interim stage.

Following which, Pankhuri, apart from bringing to your attention the various reports circulating regarding J. Manmohan Singh’s rumoured appointment as the IPAB’s Chairman, briefly discussed the issue of IPAB’s hitherto impaired functioning on account of lacking a Chairman.

Moving on, Sreyoshi, discussing a recent J. Endlaw Order that issued various directions to the Registrar of Trade Marks for facilitating procurement of evidentiary documents for purposes of litigation. Furthermore, Sreyoshi also briefly covered past instances wherein courts have issued directions to the IPTO.

Next, Prashant scrutinized J. Manmohan Singh’s apparent appointment as the IPAB Chairman in the context of  the Tribunal, Appellate and other Authorities Rules, 2017 and the guidelines regarding appointments from the case of Shamnad Basheer v. UOI. His discussion points were as follows:

i. The inconsistency between the afore mentioned rules and the guidelines.
ii. Issue with the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet approving the appointment.
iii. The ambiguity in the length of J. Manmohan’s term.

Finally, Mathews brought you a brief overview of a SC Order that dismissed Roche’s SLP, against a Delhi HC judgment that allowed for marketing of new biosimilars on account of additional indications, as withdrawn. He covered the following areas:

i. Brief overview of the Delhi HC judgment between Roche and Biocon-Mylan.
ii. Contents of the SLP.
iii. An CCI Order excerpt that observed Roche’s legal action to be vexatious.

Job Opportunity:

Organization: Remfry & Sagar
Position: ASsociate/Senior Associate (Patent)
Place: Chennai or Gurgaon
(Details here)

International News: 

  1. General Mills loses bids to trade mark yellow colour on Cheerios box.
  2. Showtime files copyright suit against Mayweather-McGregor livestreaming sites.
  3. Trump nominates Andrei Iancu to be USPTO Director


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