Swaraj Paul Barooah


COVID-19 Patent

Compulsory License for Covid Drugs on the Table, Says Delhi High Court

generic pic of vaccine

Even as the pandemic situation continues to worsen in India, the Delhi High Court yesterday put out an order that hauled up the government on various issues regarding the response to the pandemic so far, oxygen use, ramping up of testing facilities, shortage of drugs and black market selling of them, bed shortages, wastage of 44 lakh vaccines(!), etc. The 11 page order by the Division Bench, consisting of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli, was given in the case…

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Drug Regulation Trademark

The Monopoly Purple – Colours, Shapes and Sizes in the Pharmaceutical World

Picture of Seretide Accuhaler (circular, in a pink and purple colour combination), next to its box

(This post was co-authored with Murali Neelakantan. Murali is currently Principal lawyer at Amicus. He is a dual qualified lawyer (India and UK) and among other positions, he was formerly a partner at an international law firm in London, Cipla’s first global general counsel, and Executive Director and Global General Counsel of Glenmark Pharmaceuticals. Murali has also been a long time friend of the blog.)  While the role of patents in extending monopolies over pharmaceutical products is now widely debated,…

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Copyright Geographical Indication Patent Plant Variety Protection Trademark

The Compilation of the Decade of SpicyIP Posts on IPAB

[Co-authored/compiled with Praharsh Gour]  Earlier this week, Praharsh blogged about the IPAB finally being scrapped through an ordinance, with its powers / duties transferred to High Courts and Commercial courts (for copyright matters). Long time readers may recall that Prof Shamnad Basheer, after pointing out various issues with it, had first started asking for the IPAB to be shut down 11 years ago, in this post titled “Pondering the legal competence of the IPAB”. Note the following lines – more…

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Innovation Others

Delhi HC Looks Into Access And Innovation Questions On Rare Diseases

Through a series of directions issued in an order on 23rd March, Justice Prathiba M. Singh of the Delhi High Court may have finally pushed into action what the Central Government has been sitting on for years with regards to patients suffering from ‘rare diseases’. The current order related to a batch of petitions that involved 12 children with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), 2 children with Hunter Syndrome, and 1 adult with Hippel-Linau Syndrome, and the declared inability of the…

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Geographical Indication Innovation Others Publication

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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