Swaraj Paul Barooah

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Uncertainty at Bangkok Climate Change meet


The recent UN session on Climate change which ran from 28th September to 9th October in Bangkok, highlighted what has become an all too familiar scenario of a clash of interests between developed and developing countries leading to failed talks. The Bangkok meeting brought together delegates from over 180 countries to deal with the issue of the expiry of the Kyoto Protocol 2012 deadline for reduction of carbon emissions and with the goal of refining a 200 page draft agreement…


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Copyright

Print Impairment and Copyrights


There have recently been discussions by the CIS (The Center for Internet and Society) over some important issues relating to the intercourse of copyright protection and accessibility of content. Bringing up important points about the lack of access that certain categories of people have to printed material, they seek to approach the government for appropriate amendments to the present copyright laws. They have broadly defined ‘print impaired’ people as those who cannot access standard printed material due not only visual…


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Copyright

Proposed Copyright Amendment Bill


In the recent past, there have been a proposed set of amendments to the Copyright Act, which however, seem to be having a little trouble getting beyond the draft bill stage. While not much progress has occurred after this initial draft bill stage, the proposed amendments themselves are quite noteworthy. Indeed, back in 2006, there appears to be a response by ALF and a group of other NGOs to the HRD ministry with regard to certain proposed amendments. The draft…


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PRS to hold a Bill Analysis competition


PRS is holding their annual ANALYSIS competition in which the participants are to take and analyse one of the draft bills that will be coming up for debate in the Parliament. We take a special interest in this years edition since it includes the Draft National Innovation Bill which we have blogged on in earlier posts. “ANALYSIS 2009 is a national-level legislative analysis competitionorganised by PRS Legislative Research, New Delhi. Participants are expected to produce a succinct three-page analysis ofa…


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Microsoft Word at the receiving end of Patent Infringement suit


A ‘landmark’ injunction was granted against Microsoft on Tuesday, Aug 11th, when  the District Court of Eastern Texas granted an injunction against the buying, selling, importing and/or marketing of copies of Microsoft Word, one of Microsoft’s flagship products. Specifically, it bans any version of Word which can open ‘custom XML’ files (these include .DOCX, .DOCM, and .XML files) as these allegedly violate the patent of a Canadian company called i4i. It does however allow the for support and assistance for…


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JIPR joins Open Access Club


SpicyIP is happy to note that since earlier last month, the Journal of Intellectual Property Rights (JIPR), has been freely accessible online. The Journal, which is India’s main IPR Journal started in 1996, is currently available from 2002 to the present date, and can be browsed by Title, Author, Keywords or by Date. Further back issues are being worked on currently and will be uploaded in due time. The National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources (NISCAIR), which is…


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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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