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India gives a much awaited nod to the Madrid Protocol


The Indian Cabinet has approved a plan for the country to accede to the Madrid Protocol. If the proposal gets the backing of the Parliament, international trade mark owners will be able to extend their rights to the world’s second most populous country using the Madrid system, and Indian applicants will be able to extend their trade marks overseas. (See the detailed report in MIP) What does this mean for trademark owners in the light of the Trade Marks Act,…


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TOWARDS A CONSTRUCTIVE ENGAGEMENT WITH THE MASHELKAR REPORT CONTROVERSY: PART II


I’ve deliberately changed the title of this “series” to enable a more constructive engagement with the debates around this theme. I’ve received a number of emails that continue to query me on why I argue that section 3(d) is incompatible with TRIPS and why my report stated so. I do no such thing. Let me use this post to briefly dispose of this issue. I’ve argued in an earlier post that section 3(d), according to my reading, is perfectly compatible…


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Kondapalli toys get GI protection


Kondapalli toys are the most recent category of handicrafts to obtain Geographical Indications (GI) protection in India, being only the second handicraft from the state of Andhra Pradesh to receive such protection. Made in the village of Kondapalli on National Highway No. 9, 25 km from Vijaywada, this art form can be traced back to the times of Sri Krishna Deva Raya. Toy making in Kondapalli is an intricate process which even to this day is done only by hand…


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DECONSTRUCTING THE MASHELKAR COMMITTEE REPORT CONTROVERSY :PART 1


Coming as I do from the relatively apolitical world of research and academia, the events of the last two weeks have taken me by surprise and left me wondering as to how easy it is for the substantive issues in any debate to get sidelined. I thought I’d reflect on the “real” issues surrounding this controversy once the “name” calling and personal/ad hominem attacks had died down. But it only seems to be getting worse. Friends keep asking me as…


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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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