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.

Copyright

Bombay HC Effectively Transforms John Does from Swords to Shields – Delineates Most Robust Safeguards to Date


Last week, Professor Basheer discussed the Bombay High Court’s refusal to grant a John Doe order for the movie Dishoom, which is slated for release on the 29th of July. Noting that Justice Patel’s refusal to grant a John Doe order merely on the basis of the ipse dixit of the plaintiff marks a paradigmatic shift in the John Doe jurisprudence of Indian courts, Professor Basheer had expressed the hope that Justice Patel would lay down a “nuanced, comprehensive and…


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Copyright

Bombay HC’s Latest Ruling on John Doe Creates a Jurisprudence of Doubt


As our readers would recall, we had covered the issuance of two John Doe Orders by Justice Patel of the Bombay High Court that were circumscribed by robust safeguards a couple of weeks ago. Justice Patel unequivocally recognized the proposition that John Doe orders must be based on concrete and precise information and must be narrowly tailored to block specific URLs in contradistinction to entire websites. After a round of cautionary views on this blog (here and here), he also…


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Trademark

Award of Punitive Damages by the Delhi High Court: No Method to the Madness


In the realm of trademark law, Indian courts, especially the Delhi High Court, have failed to articulate a set of coherent, uniform, intellectually defensible and legally tenable parameters for computing the amount of damages to be awarded to successful plaintiffs. To be sure, the problem is not one which is exclusively confined to trademark law. As Prashant has noted, the Delhi High Court’s jurisprudence on punitive damages in IP cases in general is founded upon a fallacious understanding of applicable…


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Copyright Patent

SpicyIP Weekly Review: July 4th – 10th


SpicyIP Highlights of the Week: Our highlights of the week were two posts relating to the issuance of John Doe orders that tell very different stories. The first post was my coverage of the Bombay High Court’s issuance of John Doe orders in two cases that were circumscribed by robust safeguards, in light of the criticism articulated on this Blog about broad-based John Doe orders. The orders can be accessed here, here and here. As I note in the article,…


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Copyright

Plagiarism by Government Bodies on the Rise; 3 More Instances Come to Light


A few months ago, we had blogged about the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) copying large portions of its article on the application of FRAND terms to the licensing of Standard Essential Patents from an article published by Jones Day in 2013 on the same subject. Taking cognizance of Dr. Arul Scaria’s plagiarism allegations, the DIPP subsequently revised the article and cited the sources on which the article was based. This incident would not be a huge cause…


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Copyright

Breaking News: SpicyIP Gets Cited in Latest John Doe Orders


In the realm of copyright law, one of the most widely used remedies, whose laudable object of preventing wholesale infringement has been significantly offset by the chilling effect that it has had on free speech, are the now ubiquitous “John Doe” orders. As Kartik has noted on this blog before, the regime of John Doe orders is “like an expanding castle of tumour, set within the intricate machine of the legal system, fed by existing infirmities such as the very…


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Copyright

Imposition of Costs in IP Disputes: US Supreme Court Provides Valuable Guidance


One of the most significant American decisions in the sphere of copyright law in recent times was delivered by Justice Breyer in 2013 in the case of Kirtsaeng versus John Wiley and Sons. As Shamnad Sir noted on this blog, the American Supreme Court held that the first sale doctrine, which states that the purchaser of a copyrighted work is free to sell/distribute the work in any way he deems fit, applies internationally and has no geographical limitations. On this…


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Patent

Constitutional Validity of US Patent Opposition Proceedings Assailed before the Supreme Court


One of the most vexed issues in the adjudication of patent disputes in India has consistently been the legal competence and professional training of the officers in the Patent Office who are tasked with the responsibility of such adjudication. As Prashant has noted on this blog before, the entrustment of intrinsic judicial functions to the Patent Office, relating to the adjudication of opposition proceedings and compulsory licensing applications, may violate the doctrine of separation of powers by providing a legal…


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Semi Conductor Chip Protection Trademark

Ultratech Cement versus Dalmia Cement: Bombay High Court on Protection of Components of Registered Marks


In a fairly straightforward case of trademark infringement and passing off, Justice S.C. Gupte of the Bombay High Court dismissed the plaintiff’s application for interim relief on the ground that there was no concrete likelihood of deception or confusion. While the case is otherwise quite unexceptional, the judgment makes for interesting reading because of the court’s lucid enunciation of the difference between a descriptive mark and a prominent/essential mark and the discussion on the rights of owners of registered trademarks…


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Innovation Patent Plant Variety Protection

Government Withdraws Guidelines Fixing FRAND Terms on the Licensing of Bt Cotton


As our readers would recall, the Ministry of Agriculture had issued a set of guidelines with far-reaching implications on May 18th, requiring patentees such as Monsanto to provide access to their GM technology to seed companies on a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) basis. Prashant had analyzed the guidelines here. In case you were thinking that the face-off between the government/ Indian seed companies on the one hand and Monsanto on the other could not get any messier, you are…


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