The Mashelkar Committee Report on Patents: Placing it in context OR Reading the lines and not “between” them


Having just completed a hectic 4 day IP conference co-organised by the George Washington University and the CII, the last thing on my mind was “intellectual property”. I just wasn’t going to sit and brood about the very topic that had “exhausted” me in those 4 days (“exhaustion” in the context of intellectual property rights is a joke that only IP aficionados will get). Fortunately or unfortunately, my flight out of Goa, where we incidentally had the last day of…


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Breach of Confidentiality – taking a few steps back?


A few days ago someone in the Delhi High Court drew my attention to the decision of the Single Judge in American Express Bank Ltd. v. Priya Puri (CS(OS) No. 1442/2005). This was a case that essentially involved a breach of confidentiality/ trade secrets action against a former employee of American Express Bank. My first reaction was “Given that the Plaintiff was seeking to enforce several expressly worded confidentiality clauses in the contract of an ex-employee, coupled with actual evidence…


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INCENTIVISING DRUGS IN INDIA: YET ANOTHER IP LEGISLATION


It appears that the government is looking at more ways to incentivise drug discovery and to encourage patenting in this regard. A news item (http://www.indiaenews.com/business/20061125/30030.htm) states: “India will soon have a law to provide incentives to scientists and public enterprises in the biotechnology sector for creating patents, Minister of Science and Technology Kapil Sibal said Saturday. ‘We are bringing in a legislation in the budget session of parliament that will enable scientists to receive one-third of the value of the…


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The ‘regressiveness’ of laptops


I wondered if it would be appropriate to talk about this on a site that is by nomenclature an IP blog…but then…whats life without a little humour? I am copying an article that was published in the November 4th issue of Hindustan Times, New Delhi edition: “The Central government and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) believe a judge using a laptop—instead of paper and a pencil—might not be able to deliver justice. At least, this is what…


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BUSINESS METHOD PATENTS AND PATENT ELIGIBILITY


Business Method patents and the whole issue of “patent eligibility” raises its controversial head yet again, with the UK courts recently endorsing a patent office refusal to grant Australian entrepreneur and solicitor Neal Macrossan a patent for “an automated method of acquiring the documents necessary to incorporate a company. It involves a user sitting at a computer and communicating with a remote server, answering questions”. The court summarised the invention thus: “The essence of the invention is that by means…


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PLANT VARIETY REGISTRY SET UP IN INDIA


The Financial Times Reports that “A National Plant Variety Registry has been set up by the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPV&FR) under the Union ministry of agriculture to register crop varieties.” Folks following this debate may be aware of the fact that although this legislation was enacted in 2001, it came into force only in 2005. It seems routine now for Indian IP legislations to have more than a 3 year gap between the date of…


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AVOIDING RESPONSIBILITY: COURT ROOMS VS THE STARS?


In my capacity as a visiting associate professor at GWU law school, I took a bunch of students to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to see the court in action. Unfortunately, although this is a specialized IP court, we saw only one patent case that morning–the rest were cases concerning procedural matter such as the statute of limitations (in a vaccine injury case). Unfortunately, this IP specialised court has also to contend with these sort of…


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Delhi High Court adjudicates on the “grey” area of parallel importation


Indian courts have always towed the ‘ambiguous’ line on the issue of parallel importation in intellectual property matters – never obviously or directly pronouncing a verdict that grey market goods are “infringing” goods under the Trademarks Act, and instead granting injunctions against their imports on the basis of violations under the Standards of Weights and Measures Act, etc. A 6th September order of the Delhi High Court in Samsung Electronics Company Ltd. And another v. Mr. S. Sahani [CS(OS) 1603…


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PATENTS AND BIO-RESOURCES


The debate on the link between patents and bio-resources/TK continues to rage. The latest is an AIPPI report which is skeptical of any move to link up concerns of bio-resource protection/TK expropriation with patent regimes. An MIP news item states: “The patent system should not be used for controlling whether IP owners follow rules on using genetic resources and traditional knowledge laid down in the Convention on Biological Diversity, according to members of the International Association for the Protection of…


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THE DEVELOPMENT AGENDA AT WIPO


Most of you may be familiar with the efforts of developing countries to introduce a “Development Agenda” at WIPO. For those that came in late (phantom style), here’s the gist from the CPTech website: “On October 4, 2004, the General Assembly of the World Intellectual Property Organization agreed to adopt a proposal offered by Argentina and Brazil, the “Proposal for the Establishment of a Development Agenda for WIPO” (sometimes referred to as “Item 12” because of its placement listing on…


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