Tag Archives: public health

Trademark

Surrogate Advertisements: The dark side of Trade marks? [Part II]


In Part I, I looked at the definition of surrogate advertising and relevant laws pertaining to it. In this Part, I explore the role of the judiciary and the question of trademark rights vis-à-vis surrogate advertisements. Role of the Judiciary In 1999, the Voluntary Health Association of India filed a PIL in the Delhi High Court to seek a ban on the sponsorship of the Indian cricket team by the Wills brand of cigarettes manufactured by ITC. According to the PIL, the…


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Trademark

Surrogate Advertisements: The dark side of Trade marks? [Part I]


Advertisements are made for one simple reason: to portray the product in question in a good light and make it appealing and irresistible for prospective customers. Where profit is the only motive, there is no place for cold hard facts or objective truths. Whether we believe that soup powders have “the goodness of real vegetables” or that a certain telecom brand can unilaterally solve our country’s problems, we can only point fingers at advertisements for our mistaken beliefs. Advertisements have…


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Others Trademark

Brosnan’s ‘Pan’demonium – The Right of Publicity and a Possible Contractual Breach


Pan Bahar’s new advertisement featuring Pierce Brosnan was met with much incredulity, leading to his ridicule on social media. Brosnan reacted to the advertisement only about a week after it aired, to which Pan Bahar has now responded – leading to the present controversy. Brosnan told People that he was “deeply shocked and saddened” about his alleged endorsement of pan masala. He apologised, explaining that he has the “greatest love and affection for India and its people”; and clarified that…


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Drug Regulation Patent

UN High Level Panel Releases a Hard Hitting Report on Access to Medicines and Health Technologies


The UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines (“Panel”) released its final report (“Report”) last month on the issue of promoting innovation and access to health technologies. It comes close on the heels of the UN Human Rights Council Resolution on Access to Medicines (see our post on it here) and echoes most of the sentiments expressed in the Resolution. The Report itself states that it builds on the “previous and existing work in the field of health technology…


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Patent

Gilead Releases Statement on EPO’s Sovaldi Decision


Continuing our coverage on the recent Sovaldi patent decision by the European Patent Office (EPO), Gilead sent us a statement clarifying certain details. I reproduce it below: “On October 5, 2016, the EPO’s Opposition Division upheld the European patent (EP 2203462) covering sofosbuvir in amended form. The opposition division reached this considered decision following two days of hearings where the opponents to the granting of this patent were given an opportunity to present all of their arguments contesting its validity….


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Patent

European Patent Office Amends Gilead’s Patent Claims on Sovaldi


In a major victory for public health, the European Patent Office (EPO) has amended Gilead’s patent claims on Sofosbuvir (branded as Sovaldi), used for the treatment of Hepatitis C. Ruling in an opposition proceeding filed by Medecins du Monde (MdM), the EPO held that Gilead’s patent claims “extended beyond the content of the patent application as filed”. A spokesperson for the EPO told Statnews that some of the patent claims were no longer admissible, and had been changed in scope. The…


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Patent

DIPP Drags the Dasatinib Compulsory License Drama: A situation of “extreme urgency”?


As our readers may recall, in January 2013, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoH) had recommended that DIPP declare that a compulsory license (CL) should be granted, under section 92 of the Patents Act, 1970, for three exorbitantly priced anti-cancer drugs – Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Dasatinib (or Sprycel) and Ixabepilone (or Ixempra) and Roche’s Trastuzumab (or Herceptin). Two of these three cases were dropped as Roche allowed its patent on Herceptin to lapse (presumably to avoid the license) and…


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Patent

Cipla Withdraws Revocation Plea for Novartis’ Onbrez Patents, Informs DIPP in an RTI Reply


Many of our readers may have been wondering about the status of the application that Cipla made to DIPP in October 2014 for revocation of Novartis’ patents for the drug Onbrez. DIPP’s recent reply to an RTI application (RTI) has put an end to this wondering. Mr. Pradeep Kumar, who filed about 27 RTIs between October 2014 and June 2016 seeking the status of this application, was informed by the DIPP on June 13 that the application had been withdrawn…


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Patent

UNDP Releases Guidelines for Pharma Patent Examination from a Public Health Perspective


The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has published a new set of guidelines for patent examination with a primary view to sieve poor and weak pharmaceutical applications out of the patent pool.  In writing the foreword, Director of HIV, Health and Development, UNDP Mandeep Dhaliwal rightly observes that an appropriate balance should be maintained between protecting the rights of inventors and incentivizing innovation, on the one hand, and promoting accessibility and affordability of treatments, on the other. These guidelines have…


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Patent

Patent Pledge: Caving in on Compulsory Licensing?


Caving in on compulsory licensing? And pledging away public health safeguards? If the Indian governments’ alleged under-the-table assurance to USIBC (and other US industry groups) that it will not invoke compulsory licenses (CL’s) anymore (save for public non-commercial use) is truly true, then we have a lot to worry about! Particularly since a compulsory licensing determination vests largely in the control of the Controller (of Patents), a functionary fully beholden to the government…..those that struck a different chord such as…


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