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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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INDIAN PATENT ACT FACES TRIPS CHALLENGE


In a rather predictable move, Novartis has challenged the contentious Section 3(d) introduced via the 2005 Amendments to India’s Patent Act. This unique section that finds no parallel anywhere else in the world provides in pertinent part that ‘the mere discovery of a new form of a known substance which does not result in the enhancement of the known efficacy of that substance’ is not patentable. It then states (via an explanation to the section) that salts, esters, esthers, polymorphs,…


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From Pashm to Pashmina – The GI way


‘Kashmir Pashmina’ has been designated a Geographical indication pursuant to an application by the Craft Development Institute, established by the Office of Development Commissioner – Handicraft, Ministry of Textiles, Government of India, and the Department of I&C (Directorate of Handicrafts), Government of Jammu & Kashmir. The application filed for ‘Kashmir Pashmina’ was heard in May 2006 at the Intellectual Property Office, Delhi by a committee of experts from diverse sectors of industries, including the Controller General of Patents, Designs and…


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Zippo shape mark protected by Indian court


Zippo Manufacturing Company, the world-famous manufacturer of windproof lighters that shot to popularity in World War II and have been iconised in Hollywood ever since, was awarded a shape mark registration in India for the unique shape of their lighters. This registration, under No. 714368 in Class 34 comes close on the heels of an earlier USPTO registration for the same shape granted in 2002, which is yet to test the waters in a court of law. Within about seven…


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A ‘WIKI’ APPROACH FOR PATENT EXAMINATION


A “wiki” kind of approach is being borrowed for other spheres, including patent examinations. A simple idea, yet a brilliant one (as most inventions in patent law are). The August 21, 2006 issue of fortune reports: The problem: an epidemic of shoddy patents.The solution: Wikipedia?That’s the basic concept behind a pilot program sponsored by IBM(Charts) and other companies, which the U.S. Patent and TrademarkOffice appears poised to green-light. The project would apply anadvisory version of the wiki approach to the…


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Goa seeks GI for fenny


The Hindu Reports: In its bid to try for a patent for Goan Cashew Fenni, a unique local brew, the State Government has set up study committees under the nodal agency — Patent Facilitation Centre — to unearth historical information on fenni to establish its Geographical Indicators (GI).Joint Secretary and Director of Department of Science, Technology and Environment (STE) N.P.S. Varde, who heads the nodal agency, told The Hindu that the process of getting the patent is elaborate. Nevertheless, the…


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