Trademark

Corona and Trademarks: Opportunistic Marketing or Unhealthy Opportunism?


We’re pleased to bring to you an interesting and pertinent post by our intern, Bhavik Shukla, analysing the trademark related issues thrown up by the COVID-19 pandemic. Bhavik is a 5th year student at NLIU, Bhopal. Corona and Trademarks: Opportunistic Marketing or Unhealthy Opportunism? Bhavik Shukla The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc across the world, with countries constantly battling to prevent new infections and cure the existing ones. Even in such economically and socially constipated times, some people try to…


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Patent

End of the Road for Bt Licensing Royalties in India


Reuters recently reported that the Government of India has “axed” the royalties that over 45 Indian seed companies had to pay Bayer (which acquired Monsanto) under IP licensing agreements which have been the centre of a massive legal dispute between Monsanto (before its acquisition by Bayer) and Nuziveedu (one of India’s biggest seed companies) for the last five years. For years, the Bt licensing agreements have earned Monsanto a fortune. While I don’t have the figures readily at hand, a…


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Data Exclusivity Patent

CoViD-19 Pandemic Spurs Calls for ‘Openness’ in IP


Corona covid 19

The CoViD-19 pandemic may well be humanity’s biggest collective challenge in a post-globalisation era. In the midst of this global emergency, the artificial scarcity produced by international and domestic intellectual property laws and norms is revealing itself to be a scourge to public health systems around the world – from restraining drug research and development to denying access to medical devices. The responses of various stakeholders will certainly have an immediate impact on CoViD-19 related public health responses, but its…


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Copyright

Is Sub-licensing Contemplated under the Indian Copyright Act?


This post analyses whether the Indian Copyright Act, 1957 (“the Act”) permits sub-licensing by a licencee. The inspiration for this post is my frequent involvement with advice on the IP components in corporate deals, where there is a usual clause about the licencee’s ‘right to sub-license’ copyright granted to the licencee. It is not rare for the licencee to insist that the ‘right to sub-license’ exists under the Act and that it is a ‘matter of interpretation’ of the provisions…


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Copyright Trademark

Bombay HC Denies Interim Injunction to Zee Against ‘De Dhakka’ Film Sequel


A Single Judge of the Bombay High Court recently passed an order in the case of Zee Entertainment Enterprises v. Ameya Vinod Khopkar & Ors. The case concerned an allegation of copyright infringement and passing off in respect of the film ‘De Dhakka’. The Plaintiff had sought a permanent as well as an ad-interim injunction restraining the Defendants from producing a sequel of the film under the title ‘De Dhakka 2’. The Court refused to grant an ad-interim injunction, holding…


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Others

SpicyIP Weekly Review (March 23 – 29)


(This post has been authored by Bhavik Shukla, a 5th year student at NLIU, Bhopal) Topical Highlight Namratha covered the first (reported) coronavirus related IP dispute in India, where Hindustan Unilever (‘HUL’) took Reckitt Benckiser (‘RB’) to the Bombay HC over its allegedly disparaging handwash advertisement. She states that HUL claimed first that RB’s advertisement disparaged its soaps, second that RB had copied its earlier published advertisement, and third that RB was creating a false propaganda that washing hands with…


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Trademark

Global Trademark Report Card, 2019 (Special 301 Submission) – II


This is the second and last post covering submissions with respect to trademark (the one first can be viewed here). While making comments, I have relied on inputs provided by various practising lawyers based out of Delhi and other parts of India. Court Proceedings: The Report notes that, ‘it may require at least two-to-three years for court proceedings to be decided, sometimes longer (up to seven years), particularly in courts other than the Delhi High Court. The Commercial Courts Act,…


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Patent

COVID-19: Invoking Fundamental Right to Health to Push Govt to Use Patent Law Levers


We’re pleased to bring to you an incisive guest post by Rahul Bajaj, arguing that it is not only wise for the Government to use the patent law flexibilities to ensure accessibility to medical devices required to combat COVID-19, but also mandated by the fundamental right to health guaranteed under the Constitution of India. It also reflects on the role that the courts can play in this regard. Rahul, a former fellow at SpicyIP, is an MPhil in Law candidate (Rhodes…


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Trademark

Global Trademark Report Card, 2019 (Special 301 Submission) – I


In these posts, from an Indian perspective, I shall discuss the main points of ‘2019 Global Trademark Report Card’ by Trademark Working Group (Special 301 Submission for 2020) [For complete list of documents, click here]. i) Certification standards The submission expresses its disapproval over the procedure for registration of certification marks (especially on 4-month opposition period regarding certification mark standards). It says that, as a result of the procedure, the owner of the mark may lose control over its certification…


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Comparative Advertising Trademark

India’s First Covid-19 IP Dispute? Dettol Handwash Ad Claimed to Disparage Lifebuoy Soap Trademark


In what seems to be India’s first (reported) coronavirus related IP dispute, Hindustan Unilever (HUL) took Reckitt Benckiser (RB) to the Bombay High Court over RB’s most recent Dettol handwash advertisement, alleging that it disparages HUL’s Lifebuoy soap trademark. Background The case came to the court after the HUL (‘Plaintiff’) came across RB’s (Defendant) advertisement promoting its Dettol handwash, which portrayed that bar/solid soaps aren’t as effective as the liquid soap for washing hands, which is particularly important for tackling…


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