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Swaraj Paul Barooah

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An example from our Chinese neighbours


One of the few business method patents that have been granted by the Chinese Patent Office, which is generally very cautious while allowing such patents, was recently invalidated by the Patents Re-examination Board after an invalidation request was filed by a local University. The patent was for ‘Computer system for data management and method for operating said system’ and was held by Citibank. It is interesting to note, that these proceedings were not filed by a rival company, but rather…


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Troubling times for Indian Generic Companies


Seizure at Frankfurt A consignment of about 3 million pills of Amoxicillin, representing about 76,000 courses of treatment for a range of bacterial infections, were stopped at the Frankfurt airport on May 5th, on the suspicion that they might be infringing upon the trademark of a brand-name antibiotic. These drugs were on their way to Vanuata, a small LDC comprised of an archipelago of 83 islands. On May 20th, GSK attested that the seized drugs are not in violation of…


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South Africa’s Bayh Dole Regulations


While India is awaiting parliamentary consideration for its own Bayh Dole Bill, another developing country, South Africa has just come out with Draft Rules (available here) for its own version of this IP legislation. The new Rules as well as the new Act itself, which was initially circulated in some secrecy, is sparking a debate between two sides. One side is claiming that it is unconstitutional, that it may stifle innovation and that it breaches WHO commitments. While the other…


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Generics now face trouble in Africa


Indian generic drugs are facing a lot of trouble world over. Besides the many ‘in-transit’ EU seizures, and the high percentage of generic pharmaceuticals seizures by the US customs (which will be covered in a subsequent post), African countries are now looking towards new ‘anti-counterfeit’ legislation which are believed to have been due to the persuasion of European based multinational pharmaceutical companies. And as can be guessed, suggestions of persuasion by MNCs imply a maximalist IPR enforcement attitude. One of…


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Copyright

Bollywood warned about Button remake


US media giants, Warner Bros, have warned Bollywood against any attempts at remaking one of their latest hits “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” through a public notice in the Times of India newspaper and various Trade Magazines. “Recent press reports have indicated that certain parties are in the process of producing a film in Hindi based upon the aforementioned film,”A lawsuit will be slapped on anyone producing a film “either in English or Hindi or other language, having a…


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A few updates on Global IP


Seizures on Drug Consignments At the recent WTO TRIPS meeting, India and Brazil, along with 9 other developing countries strongly criticised the EU for its attitude towards generic medicines in transit between developing countries. On 26th of March, Indian officials said that they will be ready to drag Brussels to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) if they do not change their stance on allowing Indian drugs transit through EU customs even after their bilateral negotiations. In previous posts, we have…


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Patent

Trade in Generics suffer more Seizures


The latest addition to the rather questionable series of seizures by Dutch officials were a consignment of HIV/AIDS medicines by Aurobindo Pharma Ltd meant for use in Nigeria. The purchase, by the Clinton Foundation through a UN Agency, UNITAID, is the 6th incident of an export by an Indian drug firm being seized in transit in Europe for shipments meant for non-European markets. The grounds on which they were allegedly seized are that they contained counterfeit goods. UNITAID protested sharply…


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Microsoft being FAT headed?


Hot off the heels of Bilski, there’s a new interesting, (though confusing) development in the software patent world. There has been a long-standing tension between the open source community and Microsoft, especially after Microsoft previously claimed the Linux and other open-source programmes violated more than 200 of its software patents. After years of threatening action over allegedly infringing elements of Linux, the open-source operating system, Microsoft has finally decided to approach U.S. District court in this regard. Microsoft claims 8…


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Follow up on ACTA


Readers will remember a secretive ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) – a proposed multi-lateral agreement with the supposed aim of fighting the growing trade of counterfeited and pirated goods world over. (I say ‘supposed’ because details of what’s actually going on in the discussion of an international agreement, which will have a large effect on most countries of the world, haven’t officially been released) The countries involved in the negotiation of its terms and provisions are USA, the EU, Japan, Canada…


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Patent Publication

‘Patent Agent Examination’ book released


Sheetal Chopra and Akash Taneja have released their book “Patent Agent Examination” which aims at providing an overview of the patents system. For one to become a registered patent agent in India, one needs to pass the India patent agent examination and this book aims at providing the required study material for taking this examination. Sheetal Chopra is a registered patent agent who is currently serving as Senior Assistant Director in the IPR Division of FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers…


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