Swaraj Paul Barooah


Copyright Geographical Indication Innovation Others Patent Publication Trademark

A Draft “Open” IP Syllabus

Image showing various 'Open' related logos, with text "IP Textbooks. It's always Open Access O'Clock. Download and Enjoy"

Despite the plethora of materials online, any student, researcher or professor would know that access to scholarly information is a lot more difficult than what it should be. Most of the time, if you’re serious about research, the ‘research’ journey is more about how many paywalls you can climb (legally or not so legally), as much as it is about how good the material you can find is. To get around this, many folks rely on plug-ins like UnPayWall and…

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Issues in Sci-Hub Case ‘A Matter of Public Importance’

pic representing access to knowledge

In a great start to the Sci-Hub litigation (Elsevier, Wiley, and ACS vs Sci-Hub, LibGen – for background context, see the bottom of this post), Justice Midha at the Delhi High Court repeatedly pointed out that the issues in this case involved ‘a matter of public importance’, while saying he would not want to pass any orders in the law suit without hearing the various parties that wanted to get their views heard in the case, for the interim application…

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Copyright Innovation Others

Draft Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Proposes Major Changes to India’s Open Access Culture

[This post has been co-authored with Praharsh Gour] On 2/01/2021, the Ministry of Science and Technology rolled out the draft version of the proposed Science, Technology and Innovation Policy. The process to have a new policy, subsequent to the 2013 one, was in the works since May 2020 (see here for our coverage of the same). And after a claimed 4 track process of consultations and “nearly 300 rounds of consultations with more than 40,000 stakeholders well distributed in terms…

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Time to More Seriously Question the Spectre of Copyright in the Realm of Education

"The case against IP" on SSRN being charged 8$ for access

Several students and researchers may have noted that social media was recently abuzz with the news that SciHub and LibGen were being taken to court for copyright infringement, by Elsevier Ltd. (UK), Wiley India, Wiley Periodicals (USA), and American Chemical Society (USA). The giant publishers seem to be asking the court to grant a dynamic injunction against these ‘rogue websites’, so as to block them en masse. The case is up for hearing before the Delhi High Court tomorrow (24th…

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Copyright COVID-19 Design Patent Trade Secret

India on TRIPS Waiver: Will WTO Pass the Test of Humanity?

Pic of the game Cards Against Humanity

India, through its Ambassador and Permanent Representative at the WTO, delivered a short but strong statement at the WTO TRIPS General Council Meeting held between 16-18th December, 2020, on the on-going TRIPS waiver proposal. (context here for those unaware of the waiver proposal – in brief, South Africa and India proposed a waiver for the WTO TRIPS provisions that relate to, i.e., restrict, vaccines, treatment options, etc for Covid-19, for the duration of the pandemic). Pointing out that making the…

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RTI on Patent Opposition Details Reveals Concerning (and Possibly Wrong?) Numbers

[This post was co-authored with Praharsh Gour.] Long time readers may remember earlier posts by Prashant (in 2017 and 2012), looking into opposition disposal and pendency rates. In a similar exercise, while trying to collate data on patent oppositions (filing, disposal and pendency rates), we looked through data available in the Annual Reports published by the Office of Controller General of Patents for the last few years. On finding that the Annual Reports for 2018-19, and 2019-20 hadn’t been published…

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COVID-19 Patent

The Public Interest Defence, and the Public Interest Offence – What Is The Way Forward In This Pandemic?

Meme frowning at the statement "Patent Rights devoid of socio-economic context", and smiling at the line "Patent rights part of social-bargain with public"

[This post was co-authored by Varsha Jhavar and myself. Varsha is a 5th year student at Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur. She recently won the second prize for 1st Shamnad Basheer Essay Competition on IP Law that was conducted by us earlier this year. She has also guest blogged for us earlier here.] On December 24th, 2019, the Delhi High Court had granted an ad-interim injunction in favour of Bristol Myers Squibb Holdings Ireland (BMS) for the infringement of patent number 247381 associated with…

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Interim Injunctions: What’s The Damage? – Part II

Meme with a pic of James Bond, and the caption saying "Name's Bond... Security Bond"

[This post was co-authored with Praharsh Gour. This is part II of our two-part post on interim injunctions. You can view Part I here.] In our previous post, we summarized some of the many issues with interim injunctions in high-tech patent matters. We also pointed to an earlier suggestion of doing away with the interim phase altogether. We highlighted that aside from the possible pro-patentee bias in the grant, there is also the issue of public interest perhaps not being…

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Interim Injunctions: What’s the Damage? – A Summary

Oprah meme, with text "You get an interim, you get an interim, everyone gets an interim!"

[This post has been co-authored with Praharsh Gour. His previous posts can be found here.] India’s tryst with interim injunctions in high tech patent disputes is a long, problematic one, as covered several times in this blog.  Despite all the issues pointed out, and despite courts stating that it should be used judiciously, it probably surprises few observers to see it being used too frequently. Over the course of this two part post, we will first try to provide an…

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Solutionism, Social Innovation and IP

book cover of "to save everything click here"

Back in 1970, Justice Stephen Breyer, (now of the US Supreme Court, then a professor at Harvard Law School), in contemplating the proposals to extend copyright terms, wrote an interesting article where he pointed out that the Copyright regime seemed to be based more on fear, than on fact (paywalled link). His conclusion regarding the copyright system, ended up echoing what the economist Fritz Machlup had famously said even earlier, in 1958, about the patent system – that if we…

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