Wondering what IP developments took place last week? Look no further as we present to you the SpicyIP Weekly Review, highlighting the discussions that took place on the blog along with other IP news.
Highlights of the Week
Earlier this month, Dept of Biotech notified the DBT IP Guidelines for ownership and commercialization of IP arising from DBT funded research outcomes. This comes nearly 10 years after the PUPFIP bill’s withdrawal. Swaraj shares some basic details about the new Guidelines, while we await a more detailed examination of it in the coming weeks.
India ranks 40th in the Global Innovation Index, 2023! Check the report as well as the India specific chapters linked in the SpicyIP tidbit by Niyati Prabhu.
The Delhi High Court’s recent interim injunction concerning Anil Kapoor’s personality rights throws up an important question- should such orders protecting personality rights overlook the established principles and doctrines? Read the post by Prof. Sunanda Bharti Bharti on this.
Can another appeal be filed against the order of a Single Judge that was originally passed in an appeal? The Delhi High Court says yes, as long as the original order was not passed by a civil court. Discussing the key aspects of the order and its implications, here is a post by Tejaswini Kaushal.
Google adwords as trademarks. Taking the discussion around the use of trademarks as keywords further, Nivrati Gupta looks at the implications of the Google v DRS DB order in this post.
Naked Licensing, aka “You Snooze, You Lose.” Conceptually, a lack of quality control mechanism while licensing TMs can result in the license being regarded as a naked license and the mark being deemed abandoned. But does the Indian Trademark Act allow such a treatment? For a more thorough discussion on the concept of naked licensing and its application within the Indian TM law, read this post by Naman Keswani.
Considering Biological E’s launch of FCM in the market, the Delhi High Court denies an interim injunction to Vifor. But clarity on the recognition of Product-by-Process within the Indian patent regime still seems distant writes Tejaswini in her take on the order.
Third World Network organized a webinar on “ Breaking Patent Barriers: Struggle to Access Breast Cancer Medicines in India” on 28th September, Thursday at 1 pm GMT (6:30 pm Indian Standard Time).
PatSeer is organizing its event “PatSeer Connect 2023” in Mumbai (October 6, 2023, Friday), Delhi (October 12, 2023, Thursday) and Chandigarh (October 13, 2023, Friday).
The plaintiff alleged infringement of its suit patents in parts of combined harvester by the defendants. It alleged that the impugned products are imported by defendant no. 1 from China where they are manufactured by defendant no. 2 and 3. Considering the nature of the matter, the Delhi High Court appointed two academicians as experts to inspect the defendant’s machine/ impugned product. Defendant no. 3 also alleged that some of the corresponding suit patents have been invalidated in China, which the court asked them to place on the record in response to the application for an interim injunction.
Aggrieved by the delay in disposing of the opposition, the plaintiff filed a revisional application. Disposing of the application the Calcutta High Court observed that the Controller of Patents has the powers of a civil court in terms of Designs Act 2000 and discharges quasi-judicial functions and directed the respondent to conclude opposition proceedings within 2 months.
Delhi High Court ruled in favor of the plaintiff, finding the defendant guilty of trademark infringement and passing off. The plaintiff argued that the defendant intentionally imitated their trademark “VBM”, causing market confusion. However, the defendant claimed their adoption of “VBM” was bonafide and its adoption was inspired by the holy trinity of “Vishnu Brahma and Mahesh.” Disregarding the defendant’s explanation as too facile to pass the legal muster and being unsupported by any corroborative documentary evidence, the Court concluded that the defendant’s actions were driven by bad faith and issued an injunction in favor of the plaintiff.
The Delhi High Court allowed an appeal against the impugned order rejecting the request for interim injunction and remanded the matter back to the Trial Court for adjudication. The Trial Court had refused to grant an interim injunction citing differences between the competing marks and domain names. However, the Court relied on the Pianotist test and asserted the need to compare the marks visually and phonetically to assess deceptively similarity.
The Delhi High Court adjudicated on a contractual dispute involving franchise agreements, with the plaintiff claiming rights to use intellectual property and the defendant disputing it as a non-trademark matter. The Court determined that the matter fell under the Delhi High Court IP Division’s jurisdiction as per the Intellectual Property Rights Division Rules, 2022, and suggested exploring an amicable resolution in the next hearing scheduled for October 11, 2023.
In this case, the plaintiff alleged that defendant no. 1 violated an earlier interim injunction whereby it was allowed to use the mark “Haldiram Bhujiawala” as per the settlement agreement between the plaintiff and defendant no. 2. Assessing the previous order, the Delhi High Court clarified that the permission to sell pre-packaged products bearing the mark after procuring them from defendant no. 2 (as agreed in the settlement agreement) does not enable it to manufacture and sell products bearing the impugned marks. For the above reasons, the Court appointed a local commissioner to undertake an execution.
Calcutta High Court confirmed the earlier ad interim injunction order in the “Fox and Mandal” trademark dispute between the firm and its former partner. The Court restrained the defendant from using the firm’s trademarks, claiming to be associated with the firm, or claiming a legacy in the year of establishment of the firm.
Delhi High Court issued an ad-interim injunction to restrain rogue websites from illegally streaming ICC World Cup Cricket matches, recognizing the plaintiff’s exclusive rights. Defendant websites were directed to be locked and suspended by domain registrars, and ISPs were ordered to block them. The Court emphasized the need for real-time blocking to prevent irreparable harm to the plaintiff’s broadcast reproduction rights. The plaintiffs were permitted to communicate new infringing websites to relevant authorities for immediate action.
Delhi High Court granted an injunction in a copyright infringement case filed by the plaintiff, M/s Jainemo Private Limited, against defendants who were disseminating their educational course materials illegally. The plaintiff argued their material was being shared without permission, leading to financial loss. The Court held the defendants responsible for copyright infringement, issuing an order to prevent further dissemination of the plaintiff’s copyrighted content, and also ordered platforms like Telegram and YouTube to block infringing channels and suspend the involved parties.
In an appeal against the single judge’s order, a division bench of the Bombay High Court reaffirmed that statutory licenses under Section 31D of the Copyright Act are restricted to the non-internet-based radio and TV broadcasting alone and will not apply to internet-based offerings.
The Delhi High Court granted an interim injunction to the plaintiff against the defendant’s reproduction or communication of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada’s (A religious leader) works. The subject works in the present case were his writings, teachings, and interpretations of religious scriptures and the court passed the present order against the defendant’s reproduction of the same. For this, the Court relied on the Bombay High Court’s order in Bhaktivedanta Book Trust v. Thomson Press (India) Ltd to reaffirm that though there cannot be any copyright on religious scriptures any derivative works therefrom will be protected under the Copyright Act.
Other IP Developments
- Union Health Minister launches National Policy on Research and Development and Innovation in Pharma-MedTech Sector in India and Scheme for promotion of Research and Innovation in Pharma MedTech Sector (PRIP)
- Prasar Bharati sends copyright strikes to Youtubers for using clips of Parliament and PM speeches.
- Delhi High Court refuses to restrain use of Satinder Pal Singh Sartaaj’s song ‘Jalsa’ in ‘Mission Raniganj.’
- Bengaluru Civil Court ordered to suspend X Account of ‘The Liver Doctor’ In Defamation Suit Filed By Himalaya Wellness Corporation.
- Ending the Theos v. Theobroma trademark dispute, Delhi High Court clarifies that Theobroma is free to expand its outlets across India, while Theo’s can only use the mark in Delhi NCR.
- India will be able to issue 1 lakh patents in a year in the next 18 months’ time: Sanjeev Sanyal.
- Passing an order in the special leave petition against the Kerala High Court order in “Chandrika” soap trademark case, the Supreme Court restrained Mariyas Soaps and Chemicals from using “Chandra” trademark till the next date of hearing.