Category Archives: Competition Law

Competition Law Innovation Others Trademark

Ritter Sport Wins Trademark for Square Chocolates: Bitter Consequences of Trademark Maximalism


In a surprising ruling by the Federal Supreme Court of Germany (BGH) recently, well known German chocolate brand, Ritter Sport (“Ritter”) won exclusive rights to square packaging for its chocolates. The Court rejected the appeal by competitor Milka, a Swiss chocolate company that had been trying for almost a decade to challenge Ritter’s trademark protection for shape. Decision and Reasoning The Judges held that the square shape of the bar was not functional as it did not add any essential…


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Competition Law Patent

Antitrust Scrutiny in Patent Licensing Disputes: An Alternative Approach to Delhi HC’s Decision in Monsanto v. CCI


We’re pleased to bring to you a guest post by Abhilasha Nautiyal, analysing issues related to competition law scrutiny in patent licensing disputes in light of the Delhi High Court’s recent decision in Monsanto v. CCI . Abhilasha is an attorney at Ira Law, a firm that she co-founded with other colleagues. Prior to this, she was a partner at an IP law firm. Abhilasha graduated from the Army Institute of Law and then pursued a master’s in law from…


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Competition Law

Draft Competition (Amendment) Bill Proposes Extension of Protection to IPR Holders in Abuse of Dominance Cases


We’re pleased to bring to you an insightful guest post by Dr. Vikas Kathuria on the new section 4A proposed by the Draft Competition (Amendment) Bill, 2020, which would extend the IP related exception to abuse of dominance cases also. Dr. Kathuria is a Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, Munich and was formerly a faculty member at School of Law, Benett University. He has many publications to his credit and he is a…


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Competition Law Data Exclusivity Overlaps in IP Patent

Shogun Organics: Burden of Proof and Follow On Registrations


Shogun Organics Limited v. Gauri Hari and Others is a curious case concerning burden of proof and an apparent conflict between the Patents Act, 1970 and the Insecticides Act, 1968. Facts Shogun Organics Limited (plaintiff) filed a suit seeking a permanent injunction to restrain the defendants from infringing its process patent. The patent relates to the manufacturing of d-trans Allethrin (an active ingredient in mosquito repellants). Shogun had also obtained an ‘original’ registration for the manufacture of this product under the…


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Competition Law Patent

US Court Grants Federal Trade Commissions Motion: Qualcomm Must License Any Willing Company, Including Rival Chip Makers


This is a monumental development: Judge Lucy H. Koh of the  Northern District of California has held that Qualcomm must license any willing licensee – this includes rival chipmakers, such as MediaTek or Intel or any other player.  This is huge: Qualcomm admittedly had never licensed any of its competitors.   Hence the decision may be read to hold that Qualcomm is in breach of its FRAND commitments. In my view, this judgement is also valuable from another perspective: Whether chipsets can…


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Competition Law Drug Regulation Privacy

All You Need to Know About the New CCI Policy on Healthcare-Part II


I had written a post few days ago covering the main highlights of the CCI’s press release on its Policy Note on healthcare. In my post, I had summarized and explained the main aspects of the Note (covered by the press release) and observed that though the Policy Note doesn’t really bring in many new recommendations, it does pay heed to the current shift from price control mechanisms to rationalisation of trade margins. With the recent release of the Policy…


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Competition Law Drug Regulation

All You Need to Know About the New CCI Policy on Healthcare-Part I


It’s been around a week since the CCI released its press release on its policy note on ‘Making Markets Work for Affordable Healthcare’. In the past, the CCI has recognized the need to address issues in the healthcare industry on several occasions. For instance, it has observed in a past order that the lack of competitive forces in the pharmaceutical market has resulted in “innovative business practices, superior services, consumer choice, lower prices, etc.” taking a back seat. (In fact,…


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Competition Law

An Oxymoron by Definition – The Decision by UK Court of Appeal in Unwired Planet v. Huawei


A Google search throws up some amusing examples when one searches for oxymoron examples.           The recent decision by the UK Court of Appeal in Unwired Planet v. Huawei (click here) is exactly that.  Why, would you ask? Because on one hand there is Brexit and on the other hand this judgement-it seeks to enforce those patents that are not under its own jurisdiction.  Ergo-oxymoron.  Perhaps some part of the judgement seems to be yearning for…


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Competition Law

Star India and Sony in Troubled Waters over CCI Order


[Warning: Long post follows!] The CCI, in a recent order dated 27th July, 2018, passed under Section 26(1) of the Competition Act, 2002 (“the Act”), instructed the Director General to investigate claims of price discrimination made by the Informant, Noida Software Technology Park Limited (“NSTPL”) against Star India Pvt. Ltd. (“Star India”), Sony Pictures Network India Pvt. Ltd. (“Sony”) and Indian Broadcasting Foundation (“IBF”). Factual Overview NSTPL is a distributor of TV content and it uses the new Head-end in…


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Competition Law Patent

Determination of FRAND royalty – TCL v. Ericsson LM


In my first posts in 2017, I had discussed various FRAND / SEP issues that were raised in the Qualcomm matters in Korea, and the US.  I end the year with a similar post on FRAND issues.  Together these decisions bring clarity to what is FRAND and hopefully will help the Indian brands as well in their litigation against SEP owners.  This post arises from the determination of FRAND rates in TCL Mobile Limited, and TCT Mobile v. Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson, Case…


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