SpicyIP Weekly Review (June 18-24)

This week, we had a post by Prashant, which forms the latest update on the ongoing debate about the Bedaquiline issue. (Previous SpicyIP posts on this issue by Prashant and Balaji can be accessed here.). In his latest post, Prashant responded to Anand Grover’s take on his views and disagreed with him on multiple aspects. He countered Grover’s argument on increasing access to bedaquiline by questioning the decision of Indian authorities to approve this drug when Phase III trials are yet to be complete. Further, in response to Grover’s contention that Rule 122A of the Drugs and Cosmetic Rules, 1945 does not require clinical trials, Prashant analysed the provision and its proviso to argue that such clinical trials cannot be waived off.

Next, I had written a post on patenting blockchain services in USA and India. Noting that software patents and blockchain patents are to be treated alike, I delved into the post-Alice v. CLS Bank interpretation of software patents by US Federal Courts. I then provided a brief history of the ‘per se’ debate in India and the revised CRI guidelines. Lastly, I analyzed the implications of granting blockchain patents. I also highlighted how claims for such patents must be analysed by the Patent Offices of USA and India.

Events and Announcements

Pankhuri had sent out a call for papers for the First IP & Innovation Researchers of Asia Conference, which will be held on January 31 and February 1, 2019 at the Ahmad Ibrahim Kulliyyah of Laws, International Islamic University Malaysia, in Kuala Lumpur. The deadline for submitting abstracts is October 15, 2018.

Other Developments



Krishnamachari Ramu v. Srinivasa Raja – Madras High Court [June 14, 2018]

The court set aside IPAB’s order revoking the process and product patents granted to the petitioners in respect of low glycemic sweets and remanded the matter to it for fresh consideration on basis of scientific or technical evidence. IPAB had revoked the patents on the ground that the invention was not new and lacked an inventive step. The court held that IPAB ought to have sought aid of experts or scientific proof before deciding whether the said invention is new and non-obvious or not and thus directed it to seek such evidence and decide the matter on the basis of it.

Shambhu Nath & Bros & Ors v. Imran Khan — Calcutta High Court [June 13, 2018]

The Court compared both the registered marks of the plaintiff, namely ‘tooFAN’ and ‘SNB’ with the impugned marks used by the defendant, namely ‘TOOFAN’ and ‘SNJ’, and concluded that the latter marks are deceptively similar to ones registered by the plaintiff, given the field of activity and the nature of the products, i.e., sale of electrical fans and coolers. The Court noted that the conduct of the defendant clearly shows the dishonest intention of the said respondent to free ride on the reputation of the petitioners, and establishes a prima facie case of passing off and infringement. Hence, the Court granted an ex parte interim order in favour of the plaintiffs, as it was of the opinion that refusal to pass such an order would be a matter of greater injustice to the plaintiff.




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