SpicyIP Fortnightly Review (October 17-31)

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SpicyIP Weekly Review Image

Delhi High Court extends the deadline to submit comments on Delhi High Court Intellectual Property Rights Division Rules, 2021

Praharsh reported that the Delhi High Court Registry announced an extension for submitting suggestions and comments on the proposed Delhi High Court Intellectual Property Rights Division Rules, 2021. The new deadline stands as November 10, 2021. The new Rules are a result of the Tribunal Reforms Act, 2021.

Drug Price Controls in the US: Same, Same but Different?

I wrote about the proposed drug price control measures in the US by the Biden administration. On 9th July 2021 the Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy was passed. This Order aims to devise price control measures for pharmaceutical products and promote competition from generic alternatives. The Order notes that Americans pay higher drug prices than other similarly situated countries. The post covers the measures proposed under the Order and the Comprehensive Plan for Addressing High Drug Prices formulated by the Health and Human Services Secretary. Lastly, it notes the US’ previous adverse reactions to India’s moves to bring about drug price regulation and how this move goes against the US’ own stance on the issue.

Other Developments

Decisions from Indian Courts

  • The Himachal Pradesh High Court granted an injunction in favour of Boehringer Ingelheim against MSN Laboratories and Dr. Reddy Laboratories, restraining the defendants from launching and selling the product Empagliflozin. [October 20, 2021]
  • The Bombay High Court in Sanotize Research & Development Corp v. Lupin Limited refused to provide relief in the form of continuing an ad-interim injunction granted earlier to the petitioner, in a case concerning breach of confidentiality and for infringement of copyright of the product Noxguard, a nasal spray. The Court noted that the plaintiff’s claim concerning the originality of the product had been recanted in a subsequent affidavit filed and thus could not prove that the defendant’s product was a copy of the plaintiff’s product.  [October 21, 2021]
  • The Delhi High Court in Himalaya Wellness Company v. Abony Healthcare Limited granted an ex-parte interim injunction in favour of the plaintiff in a trademark infringement case involving the mark ‘Liv52’. The Court noted that prima facie the defendant indulged in infringement of the plaintiff’s registered trademark and sought to pass off their products as associated with the plaintiff’s by using the marks ‘Liv55’ and ‘Liv999’. The Court noted that the defendant’s use of the mark sought to capitalize on the plaintiff’s goodwill. [October 21, 2021]
  • The Delhi High Court in M/S Blue Heaven Cosmetics Pvt Ltd v. M/S TRN Corporation granted an ex-parte injunction in favour of the plaintiff in a trademark infringement case. The plaintiff had sought a permanent injunction to restraint the defendant from infringing upon the trademark “Blue Heaven”. The Court noted that the defendant had adopted a similar mark and the same trade-dress as that of the plaintiff to pass-off its inferior goods as that of the plaintiff’s product. The Court noted that the plaintiff had established a prima facie case, that the balance of convenience lies in their favour and irreparable loss would be caused to the plaintiff if an injunction were not granted. [October 22, 2021]
  • The Bombay High Court in Galpha Laboratories Limited v. Shivansh Shrivastava granted an ad-interim injunction in a trademark infringement case involving the mark ‘B-COLEN’. The Court noted that the defendant’s mark too closely resembled that of the plaintiff, who was the earlier registered proprietor. The defendant’s mark was held to be confusingly and deceptively similar to that of the plaintiff’s mark and that the same increased the likelihood that the defendant’s product will be mistaken for that of the plaintiff’s product. [October 25, 2021]

Other News from the Country

  • TV Today Group filed a copyright infringement and defamation lawsuit against Newslaundry. The Group claimed that Newslaundry uploaded infringing, defamatory, commercially disparaging material on their website. The Group has sought Rs. 2 crores in damages and the removal of 34 articles and 65 videos published by Newslaundry. You can read our coverage of the issue here.
  • BharatPe has filed for the cancellation of registrations held by PhonePe for the use of the ‘Pe’ mark in the Devanagari script in light of the launch of BharatPe’s product PostPe. BharatPe has claimed that PhonePe’s claim over ‘Pe’ goes against public interest as it monopolizes a term commonly used in Hindi. The tussle between BharatPe and PhonePe has been previously covered on the blog here and here.
  • It has been reported that a contempt plea has been filed against Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Limited (ABFRL) in the Karnataka High Court for disregarding an injunction order concerning a patented product created by Yashram Lifestyle. The petitioner had been granted an injunction restraining ABFRL from manufacturing and selling certain patented garments.
  • An article on the Mint discusses the impact of granting patents to artificial intelligence (AI) programs for AI created inventions following the decision by the South African patent office granting a patent to an AI program called DABUS.

News from around the World

  • The Chinese National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) has released a draft comment on regulations to enable foreign patent agencies to open representative offices in China.
  • WIPO has launched the “Young Experts Program” initiative, designed to expose young people to technical and policy aspects of IP.
  • The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) has instituted an investigation into wireless devices manufactured by Lenovo and Motorola. The investigation has been launched under Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 for reason of infringement of certain patent claims.
  • Facebook has signed a preliminary copyright agreement with a group representing news publishers in France. The agreement makes way for Facebook to pay for news content on its platform in France.
  • The Moscow Arbitration Court has listed 61 Samsung phone models as being barred from sale in a lawsuit filed by SQWIN SA against Samsung Pay for infringement of its electronic payment system whose patents have been registered in Russia.
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