Notes from the WIPO-WTO colloquium for Teachers of Intellectual Property from Developing Countries and Countries in Transition

Last month, I had the opportunity to attend the colloquium for IP teachers from developing countries that is organized jointly by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). The event brings IP teachers from almost 30 different developing countries to Geneva, Switzerland, at the expense of WIPO-WTO for a rigorous and fun, 10 days event. The colloquium is a rare opportunity to meet IP academics from developing countries and hear about their national experiences in the…

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Geographical Indication Trademark

Australia’s Big Win at the WTO: Plain Packaging of Tobacco Likely to Pick Up!

In 2012, Australia was the first country to adopt plain packaging measures for tobacco products. Several countries such as France, Ireland, UK etc. followed suit and other countries such as India have initiated legislative processes for introduction of such measures. Plain packaging laws and measures generally impose requirements of removal of logos, minimal branding and colouring, and warning signs. These laws have attracted a lot of debate in recent times since opponents of these laws (mainly tobacco producers) claim that…

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Huge Win for Copyright Owners: India Signs up to Internet Copyright Treaties!

On July 4, 2018, the Union Cabinet approved the proposal to accede to the WIPO Copyright Treaty, 1996 (‘WCT’) and the WIPO Performance and Phonograms Treaty, 1996 (‘WPPT’). These treaties are part of a series of international instruments created by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (‘WIPO’) to promote the protection of intellectual property throughout the world. They are commonly referred to as the ‘WIPO Internet Treaties’ due to their emphasis on protection of rights in a digital environment. While India…

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Plant Variety Protection

Problems with the Indian Plant Variety Regime: Old Vine in Newly “Enclosed” Bottle?

We are extremely pleased to bring to you a guest post by Prof. (Dr.) N.S. Gopalakrishnan. Prof. Gopalakrishnan is a leading IP academic from India, who has taught and groomed a number of other IP academics and researchers, including our very own founder of SpicyIP, Prof Basheer. He is now a Honorary Professor at the Inter University Centre for IPR Studies, CUSAT, Kochi, a centre that he kickstarted some years ago. This post is the first in the upcoming series…

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Copyright Uncategorized

Guest Post: The Producer’s Dubbing Right– A note on Madras High Court’s decision in Thiagarajan Kumararaja v. M/S Capital Film Works

We are extremely pleased to present before you a guest post written by Sheetal Srikanth. She is an associate at MVS Chambers, Chennai. She is a practising advocate at Madras High Court. She pursued her LLM from University of Toronto, specialising in IPR. She critically analyses the Madras High Court judgment in Thiagarajan Kumararaja v. M/s. Capital Film Works India (Pvt) Ltd. SpicyIP had dealt with this judgment here. This post brings in certain dimensions and perspectives which are quite…

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New Law to Hardcode Public Interest into Injunction Jurisprudence

The upcoming session of Parliament may see the passage of a legislation that will have the effect of hardcoding ‘public interest’ into Indian injunction jurisprudence. The Specific Relief (Amendment) Bill, 2017 which has already been passed in the Lok Sabha is the offspring of a report submitted by a committee of experts which is yet to be released to the public. The Law Ministry never conducted a public consultation on the bill and the Lok Sabha passed the bill with…

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Of Privacy, Accountability and an Atrocity called Aadhaar: Whither Legal Liability?

Privacy continues to remain a contested subject matter. I don’t mean contests over the bounds of privacy (particularly in the digital milieu), but a contest that is rather specific to IP: does privacy really count as a species of IP? IP lawyers (and I count myself as part of this blessed breed) are a covetous lot: seeking to constantly expand our kitty of IP kinds. In fact, so influential is our lot in India that unlike the rest of the world,…

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RTI application regarding CL/VL status for bedaquiline gets transferred 3 times with no information provided

On March 4, 2018 the Hindu published a frontpage news report on bedaquiline, the new drug that has shown promise in treating multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). While we have written extensively on other aspects of bedaquiline, the one issue that we have not commented on so far is the reporting in the Hindu on the compulsory licensing/voluntary licensing for the patents covering bedaquiline. The Hindu’s report made two assertions. The first assertion was that a panel headed by Dr. Soumya…

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Drug Regulation

The Problematic Advocacy that Portrays Bedaquiline as a Wonder Drug

On June 22, 2018 the Wire re-published my last piece, along with a rejoinder by Anand Grover, in our ongoing debate on the manner in which Bedaquiline was approved by the DCGI after waiving Phase III clinical trials. Grover ends his piece with the following dramatic question: “The question is, if the use of bedaqualine is going to cure two out three persons, and in its absence, they would face certain death, would any reasonable medical person withhold that drug…

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Overlaps in IP Patent

India Breaks the Patents-Customs Linkage a Bit!

The IP-customs linkage has always been a contentious one. Particularly so in the case of patents, an area of law which is difficult enough to decipher for trained judges, much less customs officials (more often than not generalist bureaucrats appointed by the Government of India). Given this problematic linkage, it is heartening to note that vide a recent notification dated 22nd June, 2018, issued by the Central Government, the linkage between patents and customs has effectively been broken (a bit)….

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