Rahul Bajaj

Rahul Bajaj is a fourth year law student at the University of Nagpur. His interest in intellectual property law began taking a concrete shape when he pursued Professor William Fisher's online course on copyright law in the second year of law school. Since then, Rahul has worked on a diverse array of IP matters during his internships. He is particularly interested in studying the role of intellectual property law in facilitating access to education.

Trademark

In a Welcome Development, Delhi High Court Rejects Prayer for Grant of Punitive Damages in Trademark Infringement Suit


On this Blog, we have previously covered judgments dealing with claims of passing off and trademark infringement in the domain of pharmaceutical products [see here, here and here]. One common thread that runs through all these judgments is the heightened sensitivity of courts to the negative public health ramifications that are likely to result from a failure to promptly and decisively injunct the sale of deceptively similar medicines of a substantially inferior quality. Indeed, after the Supreme Court articulated the…


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Copyright

In a Blow to User Rights, YouTube Takes Down Entertainment Channel


In a troubling development, YouTube has taken down SRbrosEntertainment, a channel with over 1,00,000 subscribers, on a mere allegation of copyright infringement. The channel, launched in 2012 by two YouTubers named Shukran and Roshan, has amassed considerable popularity in the last four years and boasts of a fan base of over 90,000 subscribers. This development would not be so worrying if it were an aberration. Indeed, as this article notes, channels such as Eli the Computer Guy, Alternate History Hub…


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Patent

CSIR Admonishes Laboratories for Promiscuous Patenting; Urges Them to Follow More Circumspect Approach


In a welcome development, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has asked the 38 laboratories affiliated to it to desist from seeking patent protection for their inventions without carefully evaluating the pros and cons of doing so. Accusing laboratories of filing applications for patent registration without conducting any techno-commercial or legal evaluation, Girish Sahni, the Director-General of the CSIR, has admonished the labs for following an ad hoc and unprincipled approach in this matter. Noting the increasing (mis)use…


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Copyright

Using International Intellectual Property Law as a Tool to Break Down Barriers: Key Takeaways from the Marrakesh Experience


I. Introduction That persons with disabilities, despite constituting the world’s largest minority, have hitherto lacked access to the tools, resources and institutions that can help them thrive on an equal footing with their able-bodied counterparts is a platitude. While their marginalization is attributable in large part to the stereotypes about the disabled that dominate public discourse, systemic and structural barriers to access are equally responsible for this sorry state of affairs. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons…


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Others

SpicyIP Fortnightly Review (September 25-October 8)


Our topical highlight of the fortnight doubtless has to be Prashant’s post, pertaining to the Delhi High Court’s recent verdict directing WhatsApp to delete users’ data in the manner outlined by the Court. He points out the inconsistency in the Court’s holding, inasmuch as, after unequivocally recognizing that it did not have the jurisdiction to adjudicate upon the PIL, the Court went on to issue 3 substantive directions to WhatsApp. Finally, he observes that the hype that this judgment has…


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Trademark

Bombay High Court Reaffirms the Need to Compare the Overall Impression Conveyed by Trademarks in Infringement Inquiry


As we’ve noted on this blog before (see here, here and here), it is a well settled legal principle that, in a suit in which the plaintiff claims relief for trademark infringement/passing off, the Court is not to compare the two marks side by side in order to determine if they are similar, but the overall impression conveyed by the marks is dispositive. It would be instructive to examine a recent judgment of the Bombay High Court, (Rahul Uttamsuryavanshi versus Sunil…


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Copyright

Hyperlinking Can Amount to Copyright Infringement, Rules CJEU


In a development that could have several far-reaching ramifications for the free flow of information in cyberspace in Europe and beyond, the Court of Justice for the European Union (“CJEU”) ruled earlier this month that linking to infringing material could amount to copyright infringement in some cases. While the concept of contributory copyright infringement, in accordance with which a platform facilitating the infringement of copyrighted material or the dissemination of infringing material can be held liable, is a central feature…


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Copyright

Statutory Licensing Scheme under Copyright Act Made Applicable to Online Broadcasting


In a significant development, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) issued an office memorandum (OM) earlier this week, bringing online broadcasting within the purview of the Copyright Act. To understand the full import of this development, it would be instructive to examine how broadcasting organizations are legally permitted to communicate a work to the public. Section 31D, added to the Copyright Act by the 2012 Amendment, allows any broadcasting organization that is desirous of communicating a work to…


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Trademark

Farmers’ Collective Reportedly Obtains Trademark Protection for Organic Spices


Even as the Indian Government has taken a number of substantive steps over the last two decades to put in place a robust legal framework to enable communities to protect their intellectual property rights through trademark and geographical indication protection, these measures haven’t translated into meaningful results on the ground. More specifically, even though Indian IP law envisages the protection of this sui generis form of IP by communities, a fundamental lack of awareness, coupled with excessive governmental interference, have…


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Others

Ending Monsanto’s Monopoly in the Development of Pest-Resistant Cotton: is Desi Cotton the Answer?


As our readers would recall, the Government has been taking a number of robust (and some would say heavy-handed) measures to control the price of Monsanto’s Bt cotton, which, until recently, was widely recognized as the only pest-resistant variety of cotton available in India. As I noted in my most recent piece on this issue, the fact that the Government has been compelled to take a large number of measures against a single company in order to make pest-resistant seeds…


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