An Alternative to Delhi HC’s Approach on Confidentiality Clubs in InterDigital-Xiaomi SEP Dispute
In this guest post, Abhilasha analyses the recent Delhi High Court decision on confidentiality clubs in InterDigital v. Xiaomi. She first lays down the background in which confidentiality clubs have originated in the Indian IP litigation. She particularly emphasises on the balancing of interests carried out by Delhi High Court in the Vestergaard judgment while creating a confidentiality club. She then analyses the decision in the InterDigital dispute and the balancing dilemma that was posed before the court. She argues that in disregarding the patentee’s interests, the court failed to give due weightage to public interest. Specifically, she highlights that granting Xiaomi access to confidential information will provide it an unfair competitive advantage and might even encourage patent hold outs by unwilling licensees. Finally, she provides alternatives through which a more even balance of parties’ interests could have been by the court. She argues that purpose and use limitations on Xiaomi’s representatives could have been placed and sufficient deterrence for compliance should have been ensured through the terms of the confidentiality club.
Decisions from Indian Courts
- The Punjab and Haryana High Court in Satpaul Mittal v. State of Punjab, dismissed a writ petition challenging the criminal proceedings instituted against the Petitioner for trademark infringement by illegally using the Respondents’ ‘GOPAL’ mark. [February 5, 2021]
- The Bombay High Court in International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) v. Vishna Foods Pvt. Ltd., vacated its earlier injunction against the defendant due to non-disclosure of the ongoing dispute with ISKCON Bangalore on the ownership of rights over the mark and the defendant’s licensing with them. The court also directed the impleadment of ISKCON Bangalore in the suit. [February 3, 2021]
- The Kerala High Court in the State of Kerala v. Arun S Reddy, dismissed a writ appeal against the judgment of the Single Judge setting aside the assessments of the Taxation Department based on retrospective application of trade mark registration certificate. [February 3, 2021]
- The Madras High Court in Pathanjali Ayurved Limited v. Arudra Engineers Private Limited, allowed an appeal against the order of the Single Judge restraining the Appellants from using the mark ‘Coronil’. [February 2, 2021]
- The Delhi High Court in Beiersdorf AG v. RSH Global Private Limited, restrained the defendants from, inter alia, using, manufacturing, or selling, the “Joy Intense Moisture” moisturizing lotion carrying deceptively similar trade dress to Nivea’s products. [January 28, 2021]
- The Delhi District Court (Tis Hazari) in Adidas AG v. Rajender Kumar, granted a permanent injunction restraining the defendant from infringing copyright and trademark rights by using any marks deceptively similar to Adidas’ registered marls. [January 27, 2021]
- The IPAB in Dow Agrosciences LLC v. Controller of Patents and Designs, allowed an appeal against the Assistant Controller’s order refusing to grant the Appellant’s patent concerning cotton genomes on grounds of novelty and lack of inventive step. [January 25, 2021]
- The IPAB in Willowood Chemicals Private Limited v. Assistant Controller of Patents and Designs, allowed an appeal against the Assistant Controller’s order refusing to grant the Appellant’s patent concerning a synergistic herbicidal composition on grounds, inter alia, of novelty and lack of inventive step. [January 25, 2021]
Other News from around the Country
- In the defamation and intellectual property infringement case filed against Pradeep Poonia, WhiteHatJr has asked for in-camera hearings for discussing confidential documents.
- Several news reports stated that a non-bailable warrant had been issued against the director Shankar by the Egmore Metropolitan Magistrate Court after he failed to appear in a plagiarism case filed by writer Arur Tamilnadan against Shankar’s 2010 movie, Enthiran. These rumours were denied as false by Shankar stating that no such warrant had been issued against him.
- A data science and artificial intelligence start up, Com Olho, has received a patent for an advertisement fraud detection technology.
- Academics from Shivaji University have received patent for anti-breast cancer drug molecules.
News from around the World
- 14 members of the European Parliament have voiced support for the India-South Africa proposal on waiver of intellectual property rights to combat Covid-19.
- In a recent meeting of the WTO, wealthy countries opposed the India-South Africa proposal for IPR waiver.
- The owners of the Utah-based theme park, Evermore, have sued Taylor Swift for trademark infringement for naming her new album as Evermore.
- The Japanese government is planning to enact copyright rules governing cosplay culture requiring, inter alia, professional cosplayers to pay for using characters.
- The China Audio-Video Copyright Association has asked the short video platform Kuaishou Technology to delete the first batch of 10,000 out of over 155 million videos that contain copyrighted music without licensing.
- Valve has been hit with a fine of $4 million for patent infringement in its Steam Controller in a suit filed by Ironburg.
- Agilet Technologies Inc. won a case against the Shanghai-based J&X Technologies in a Texas court for illegal use of their patents and trade secrets for developing gas chromatography equipment.