Swaraj Paul Barooah


Innovation Others Patent

Innovation, Progress, Ambition and Censorship

I recently came across two very interesting articles, the ideas of which our policy makers would do well to keep in mind. The first, a broadly focused piece, titled “Between Innovation and Progress“ is a response by Prof Siva Vaidhyanathan (Univ of Virginia) to the interestingly poised question “Has “innovation” supplanted the idea of progress?“. The second piece, more specific to India, is the opening editorial in the “Science in India” special issue of the highly respected “Nature” science journal, titled…

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Drug Regulation Patent

I-MAK takes on Sovaldi patents around the world

The Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge (I-MAK), along with various other local organizations, has launched challenges on Gilead’s patent applications for it’s Hepatitis C drug, Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) in 5 countries – Argentina, Brazil, China, Russia and Ukraine. These 5 countries together account for about 30%-40% of the Hepatitis C patients in the world (about 40 – 60 million out of an estimated 150 million to 185 million patients across the world). However, for reasons best known to Gilead, these 5 countries…

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“King Copyright” has no place in a Democracy

A few weeks ago, the Centre for Internet and Society and the Observer Research Foundation organized a conference focusing on “Freedom of Expression in a Digital Age” in association with the Internet Policy Observatory of the Center for Global Communication Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. For their panel on “Balancing Freedom of Expression and other digital rights”, I was invited to discuss Copyrights in this context. While I wasn’t able to make it to the Conference, I did send in a…

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Innovation Others Overlaps in IP Patent

National IPR Policy – Who Makes it in India?!

[Long post ahead. But it mostly consists of a timeline of events regarding formation of / comments on Indian IP policy over the last 9 months – a timeline that paints a very worrying picture!]. [Editor’s note: Minor additions have been made to the timeline based on comments received – 6/5/2015] Last week, in an email Shamnad sent to our subscribers, as well as in my post “Modi shames India, calls patent laws under-developed“, we noted how Modi’s referral to…

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Innovation Patent

Modi shames India, calls patent laws under-developed

In a stark volte-face from decades of where the Indian government has stood on its patent laws, the Indian Prime Minister recently issued some worrying lines, with very worrisome public-health implications. As per Business Standard, “Though he spoke in Hindi, what he said was to the effect that “India must also work on intellectual property rights guidelines to match global standards.“” LiveMint reports further – that while speaking at the Commerce Ministry’s first Global Exhibition on Services, Modi said,  “If we don’t work towards bringing our…

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Innovation Others Privacy

Faith (in IP) be damned! (But Happy World IP Day!)

Thanks to the social media turn of more and more academics, I recently came across a new essay by Prof Mark Lemley, one of the most prolific IP personalities around today, focusing specifically on an issue we’ve noted as problematic for years on the blog now – the conflict between “Faith” and “Fact” based IP. From World IP Day in 2008 (“Faith based IP to Fact based IP“), to a post just a couple of months ago (“Dodgy IP Dogma“) –…

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Sponsored Trademark

Tidbit: Job Opportunity at International Trademark Association

We’d like to remind our readers of this job opportunity at INTA. Please note, the deadline to apply is Today – April 22nd, 2015. Read on for more: An exciting opportunity has opened up at the International Trademark Association (INTA). The role is for an India Consultant, to be based out of New Delhi.  The Consultant is expected to provide consultancy services to INTA; specifically assist in strengthening INTA’s presence in the country by supporting policy efforts throughout the region; growing…

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SJM, Sangh Parivar’s economic wing, raises concerns with draft IPR Policy

In a very notable development, Swadeshi Jagaran Manch (SJM), an economic wing of the Sangh Parivar, has raised serious concerns with the draft IPR Policy including concerns over its constituent members. Before I mention what the concerns were, I’ll put forward some background to place these comments in context: The Sangh Parivar is a group of Hindu nationalist organizations (which include the ruling party BJP) that have been founded/inspired by members/ideas of the RSS. While these different organizations within the…

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Data Exclusivity Drug Regulation Others

Data exclusivity back on the table for India

D.G. Shah, Secretary General of the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance sends us news that will be of interest to many of our readers. He says, “… Government plans to introduce a Pesticides (Amendment) Bill in the Parliament during the current session. The Bill has a provision that not only makes India’s Intellectual Property (IP) regime TRIPS Plus but would also eliminate competition and create legal monopoly for agro-chemicals and pesticides making them unaffordable to small farmers. The Bill proposes to introduce…

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Drug Regulation Others Patent

New Wikileaks of TPP Investment chapter

Earlier this morning, Wikileaks put out a draft Investment chapter of the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement, dated 20th January, 2015. To quote Julian Assange on this: “The TPP has developed in secret an unaccountable supranational court for multinationals to sue states. This system is a challenge to parliamentary and judicial sovereignty. Similar tribunals have already been shown to chill the adoption of sane environmental protection, public health and public transport policies.” We’ve previously written about the leaked IP chapter…

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