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Swaraj Paul Barooah

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Copyright Patent

Exit ACTA, Enter TPP


Image from here “A secretive, multi-national trade agreement that threatens to impose restrictive intellectual property laws all over the globe”- sounds like ACTA, right? And ACTA effectively died a few days ago when the European parliament clearly rejected it, so there should be nothing to worry about.  Unfortunately, that quoted line is not about ACTA but rather describes the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). It’s however more expansive than ACTA and potentially far more destructive. Here’s a brief update about it: …


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Declaration of Internet Freedom!


The recent past has seen a spate of internet legislation across several different countries – sometimes attempted and foiled, sometimes successful – which have raised a number of issues which have unfortunately been discussed very minimally. I believe the SOPA and PIPA bills received the largest amount of publicity when several large websites and internet activists vigourously protested against it. More locally, the multiple website blocking Ashok Kumar (John Doe) orders garnered much attention as well, before it was clarified…


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Patent

Obama admin actively opposes Nexavar compulsory license


While I shouldn’t be surprised at the arrogant nature in which the US treats the Indian IP regime, I was still slightly shocked at how superiorly the US behaved over India in this particular exchange between the USPTO and Congress. Teresa Stanek Rae, the Deputy Director of the USPTO testifies before Rep. Bob Goodlatte, in the House Subcommittee on Intellectual Property that the USPTO continues to actively try to ‘educate’ and persuade Indian officials to not grant any further compulsory…


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Copyright

SpicyIP Tidbit: Madras HC clarifies extent of URL blocking


In an update to the seemingly random mass censoring of video and torrent sites about a month ago, an ISP consortium approached the Madras High Court for a clarification as to the extent of the Ashok Kumar interim injunction. According to MediaNama, who have a copy of the order issued on June 15th, 2012, the Madras HC clarified that only specific URLs containing the allegedly infringing content are to be hit by this injunction and not entire websites. This is…


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Copyright Patent

New patent prevents textbook sharing (in US)


Anti-piracy device from the good old days While silly patents are nothing new, now and then, there are certain patents that seem to cross certain lines. A new patent granted by the USPTO to economist Joseph Vogel, professor at University of Puerto Rico-Ria Piedras, will restrict textbook sharing amongst students in the guise of attempting to cut down on piracy.  The patent is designed to prevent “unauthorized access to copyrighted academic texts is provided in which trademark licenses, discussion boards,…


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Background issues or Issues in the background?


There are completely new issues, perhaps ones that have never risen before, which are coming out as a result of the digital era we’ve entered. These aren’t necessarily IP issues but are at the cross section of law and technology. Given the common overlap of interests between ‘IP-ers’ and ‘Law and Tech-ers’, along with a lack of any specific category I can think of for them, I have taken the liberty to put two of these issues in this blog….


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Copyright

Closer to a censored society


Pic from here Being currently based out of India, I hadn’t noticed it myself, but a lot of my friends were complaining about several file-sharing sites and video sites being blocked or censored. And it appears that even Anonymous’ attention has been drawn to these incidences. More on that shortly.  I’ve looked into what other sources are saying and it appears that at least a portion of the ‘censorship’ seems to be due to an interim injunction order issued by…


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Uncategorized

Kenyan Court holds Anti-Counterfeit Act unconstitutional


UNAIDS Executive Director welcoming the decision A couple of years ago we had blogged about the controversial Kenyan Anti-Counterfeit Act that had been passed in 2008. At that time, I had written that its broad definition of counterfeits would include generics and would be severely problematic: “The problematic part of the legislation is that it recognises intellectual property rights of pharmaceutical products registered in any part of the world and not just in the country of export or import….  The legislation…


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Ranting on the confused concept of ‘IPR’


As one browses through the current affairs of the intellectual property world, definite trends and patterns are easily noticeable. International IP institutions continue to work towards upward harmonization – more stringent standards. More awareness campaigns are being spread to inform people about intellectual property rights and their value. While intellectual property rights are getting more standardized and harmonized, I often wonder something more fundamental. Why should they be – in any sense? I know how it’s happening – a few whispers…


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Innovation

Incentivising Diseases?


Image from here In the recent post on India’s first post TRIPS era compulsory license, a comment by Hersh Sewek brought up a very relevant question of how, if at all, this affects the innovation eco-system in India. Shamnad pointed out that very few papers have been written about the effects of such licenses on incentives to innovate. Indeed, there’s little concrete information on the amount of incentives required to bring about an increase in innovation. Let’s zoom out of…


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