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INDIA LAGS IN NUMBER OF IT PATENTS


An interesting piece (titled “India lags in number of IT patents”) on the low levels of software patents in India, despite India’s global excellence “India may be the world leader in information technology but it trails in a big way when it comes to patents in the IT sector.While the top 10 patents holders across the world are IT companies, in India, no IT firm has patents. The list of top 10 patents holders in India comprises only pharmaceutical and…


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Government Babu Claiming Copyright??


A very Happy New Year to all of you. Thought I would start 2006 with a news item that may bring a few laughs. The Economic Times asks: Should a government servant be awarded a copyright for drafting a document in the regular course of work and can he then charge a fee every time that document is used? Apparently, “the new Model Concession Agreement (MCA) for public-private partnership projects in the road sector has created history as well as…


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A BUREAUCRATIC BABU AS IP CHIEF!!


A good friend of mine, Syed Saif Mahmood (senior partner at Amicus Juris, New Delhi) wrote to inform me of a PIL (public interest litigation) that he filed to ensure that the scary prospect in the title (A bureaucratic babu as IP chief!!) does not translate to reality. This reminds me of another instance where the government wanted to appoint a bureacurat to head the competition commission. The Supreme Court came down heavily on the governments proposal and suggested that…


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Database Protection in India


Yet another case provides an excellent opportunity for the outsourcing sceptics to continue with their “I told you so” attitude.. “According to media reports, the spectre of data theft returned to haunt the Indian BPO industry today with the arrest of four ex-employees of the Indian subsidiary of a US-based company on charges of siphoning off classified information causing loss of over Rs. three crore to the firm. Parsec Technologies Inc, involved in business deals with mortgage originators, which provided…


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BIO-FUELS: CONTINUING THE DISCUSSION ON INCENTIVISING BIO-RESOURCE BASED INNOVATIONS


Came across this wonderful news item today in the Hindu Business Line (the ‘Hindu’ is one of the most reputed newspapers in the country and their editorials generally reflect good scholarship) on how the government is now encouraging what are termed as “bio-diesels”. Coming close on the heels of the earlier post on incentivising bio-resource based innovation, this seems timely. I extract from the news: “THE Minister for Petroleum and Panchayati Raj, Mr Mani Shankar Aiyar, today announced that a…


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NEW AGE “INDIAN(A) JONES"?: REGULATING BIOPROSPECTING AND INCENTIVISING INNOVATION


It is interesting to see how traditional knowledge and bio-resources are becoming increasingly prominent in international intellectual property and trade negotiations. A recent note in MIP (Managing Intellectual Property) states: “The Indian ambassador to the WTO, Ujal Singh Bhatia, has proposed to the WTO Council that the TRIPs Agreement be amended to force patent applicants to disclose the source of biological material used in their inventions. The Indian delegation wants any declaration issued at the WTO ministerial meeting in Hong…


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ON A DIFFERENT NOTE–DR PHIL’S PERSONALITY TEST


After all that hardcore IP, I thought this would be a welcome change. Try Dr Phil’s test below (as forwarded in an email from one of my friends, Anil Mani, the “voice over guy“–we went to the same school and though some generations apart, he is much younger at heart than I am). I’m not sure whether I scored a 38 or a 41–as sometimes I’m on my back before I go to sleep and sometimes I’m curled up on…


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ONE “FLU” OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST: OF AN UNRELENTING ROCHE AND AN INDIAN ROBIN-HOOD


Once again, the relationship between patent rights and public health has made mainstream media –and this time, in the context of the notorious AVIAN FLU, which is spreading rapidly. A recent news item states that Roche, which holds the patent over Tamiflu is unwilling to license it, despite the fact that it cannot produce enough quantities to cater to an outbreak, should one occur. It notes: “Tamiflu, a pricey antiviral pill invented in a Bay Area lab and made in…


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RANBAXY LOSES TO PFIZER IN THE UK


Certainly breaking news!! For those coming in late on this (in true Phantom style), Ranbaxy challenged Pfizer’s 10 billion anti-cholestrol dollar drug (Lipitor) patent, arguing that it was invalid. It was succesful in Austria but lost just yesterday in the UK. A decision is awaited in the US, which incidentally is the main market and where experts expect Pfizer to win (not too surprising, since the US is more pro-patent than is the UK). The UK loss is therefore a…


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