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BIG PATENTS ARRIVE IN INDIA!! FIRST USEFUL PATENT DATABASE


As many of us know, the Indian Patent Office does not do a great job of making information publicly accessible/available. Currently, it publishes patent applications through its weekly journal, (in both print and electronic formats) containing only bare essentials such as the abstract, title of the invention, convention priority date and applicant details. A copy of the complete specification has to be requested in writing from the Patent Office. Apart from this, the Patent Facilitating Centre (PFC) of TIFAC provides…


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CONSTRUCTIVELY ENGAGING WITH THE MASHELKAR COMMITTEE REPORT: A RESPONSE TO DWIJEN RANGNEKAR


Dwijen Rangnekar, a prolific writer in the area of geographical indications (amongst other things), emailed me a copy of his recent article in the EPW (Economic and Political Weekly) dealing with the Mashelkar Committee Report, asking what I thought about it. Reluctant as I am in wasting any more time addressing the personal attacks generated by this report, Dwijen’s article is an exception, since it helpfully engages with the substance of the TRIPS arguments. I’ve been making a call for…


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Yahoo! In Hot Pickle


Yahoo! has been in the midst of a spicy controversy since it launched its Malayalam portal last month. A number of bloggers from Kerala, lead by Ms. Surya Gayathri attacked Yahoo for allegedly plagiarizing content from their blogs. Ms. Surya Gayathri, who had posted her recipe for Erunellika (Gooseberry pickle) on her blog (Kariveppilla – see image) was shocked to find her recipes copied verbatim on the Yahoo portal (For a translation of recipes on the Yahoo site and on…


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THE MASHELKAR COMMITTEE REPORT AND “INDUSTRY” CAPTURE ALLEGATIONS


I was greeted this morning by a TOI editorial written by a colleague of mine from Oxford, Sudhir Krishnaswamy, who now teaches at the National Law School, Bangalore. I’ve always respected Sudhir as someone who exuded academic rigour—and was therefore surprised at reading an editorial that rested on superficial analysis and touted fancy terms. Even more surprising was the fact that this came after we had exchanged some communications on this theme in the past. Sudhir had emailed asking for…


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The eBay-Rowling imbroglio – PART I


When Shamnad drew my attention to a report on the purported injunction against eBay as granted by an Indian court, I was quite surprised (to put it very mildly)! In India the courts have traditionally taken a stand against ISP liability and if such an injunction had indeed been granted it would diametrically change this position. Yet, despite the news.com report (hyperlinked above) having used fairly cautious language, other media reports on the issue such as times online contain unequivocal…


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New Antimalarial Pill: Encouraging R&D for Neglected Diseases


The International Herald Tribune carries this interesting story of a PPP (Public Private Partnership) between Sanofi Aventis and DNdI (Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative) that resulted in a new and useful malaria pill. The news item states: “A new, cheap pill to treat malaria was introduced Thursday, the first product of an innovative partnership between an international drug company and a medical charity. The medicine, called ASAQ, is a pill combining artemisinin, invented in China using sweet wormwood and hailed…


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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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