SpicyIP Weekly Review (January 28 – February 3)

This week’s thematic highlight was Sreyoshi’s post on the controversy brewing between Indian textile artists and label ‘People Tree’ and the high fashion brand Dior, on what appears to be the copying of the former’s block print and artwork by the latter. The post examines the controversy in light of potential copyright claims that the designers may have and further uses the example to discuss the protection of Traditional Cultural Expressions in the context of cultural appropriation, and why we need to start a conversation about how best to approach cultural expressions and appropriation, particularly from the reference point of intellectual property.

The topical highlight of the week is the guest post by Mr. Arun Mohan, a practicing advocate, who wrote about the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Patel Field Marshall v. P.M. Diesel, a decision previously covered on the blog here. The decision relates to the right of a party to seek rectification proceedings after the initiation of a civil suit where the validity of the trademark is raised as an issue. The post notes that the Supreme Court’s order correctly interprets the legislative intent under Section 124 of the Trademark Act. However, the post also notes certain ambiguities in the SC’s order – firstly, the order is silent on the situation where there are simultaneous rectification proceedings and a civil suit pending, without a prima facie finding of invalidity by the trial court. Secondly, the court does not consider the effect of a situation where a civil suit is pending and the IPAB’s orders are challenged by way of a writ petition.

 There were also a few important announcements posted by Pankhuri –

  1. There is an upcoming guest lecture organized by the Centre for Innovation, Intellectual Property and Competition (CIIPC), National Law University, Delhi, where Prof. Josef Drexl (Director, Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, Munich) will speak on ‘Sense of Shame as a Virtue’ – Why is it that the invisible hand of the ‘attention’ economy promotes post-truth politics and how to solve the problem’. This public lecture will be held on February 10, 2018, 3:00 PM, at the Justice Y. K. Sabharwal Moot Court Hall, National Law University, Delhi.
  2. SpicyIP announced its annual call for fellows, for the year 2018-19. The sixth series of the wonderful fellowship programme is looking for interested persons to write on breaking developments in IP, as well as two Research Fellows to contribute to various initiatives undertaken by SpicyIP.
  3. In another feather in our cap, SpicyIP was cited in the annual Economic Survey of India 2017-18. Chapter 9 of the survey, on the ease of doing business, cited Prashant’s post on judicial pendency and disposal rates in the context of patent infringement actions.


Other Developments


  1. Dabur takes Marico to court for ‘trademark infringement’
  2. Manpower shortage: About two lakh patents pending examination, says Economic Survey
  3. CBI books senior patent official, predecessor for demanding bribe
  4. Dior’s Dirty Laundry: How a Billion-Dollar Company Failed to #givecredit, Yet Again


  1. BMG v Cox – when does an ISP lose its safe harbour protection?
  2. Can Blockchain Technology Solve Copyright Attribution Challenges of Digital Work?
  3. Spotify Sued by Music Publishing Company for Unauthorized Use of Thousands of Songs




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