Last week started with an interesting post by Anubha about the role of National Innovation foundation (NIF) in boosting frugal technology. She then went on to discuss how NIF helped a farmer, patent and commercialize a frugal technology developed by him. She concluded by noting that NIF launched in 2000, headed by Prof. Anil Gupta of IIM-A had assisted inventors in filing an impressive number of 555 patents.
This was followed by an analytical post by Prashant who discussed a recent lawsuit filed by Veerappan’s widow – Muthu Lakshmi before the Court of the Asst. City Civil Judge, Madras on the grounds that the movie “Vana Udham” which is based on the life, exploits and death of Veerappan, would violate the privacy rights of her family. In a well-reasoned judgment, Justice Ramanathan ruled in favour of the movie director and allowed for the release of the movie and opined that right of privacy of the plaintiff is in no way affected, as the Film is taken on the basis of the Police records. This judgement was subsequently appealed, and the Supreme Court asked the parties to compromise. Prashant concluded by stating that judgment of the Madras High Court is an important precedent for the producers of unauthorized biopics.
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Then I wrote a post about least developed countries lobbying for extension of transition period in order to become TRIPS compliant. I detailed the brief history and outlined the proposal extended by Haiti on behalf of other LDC’s. It is extremely important that LDCs have the flexibility to independently manufacture affordable essential medicines or are able to import medicines without requiring to apply for a compulsory license every time. Extending the transition period will make the LDCs particularly attractive to generic drug makers from India and this will facilitate adequate supply of affordable medicare.
Sai Vinod then came up with a penetrating analysis of the Budget 2013-2014 and its implications on IP and innovation in India. Some interesting aspects of the budget like financial Boost for Business Incubators, proposals to attract investment in electronics, boost for alternative healing methods, increase in budget allocation for the HRD Ministry were discussed in detail.
Sai Vinod also informed us about the “Call for Papers from the Journal of Telecommunication and Broadcasting Law (JTBL, an international peer-reviewed journal of NUJS.” The journal accepts submissions on a rolling basis and last day to submit for consideration for Vol. II is March 18, 2013.For more details on submission guidelines click here.
Moving on further, Aparajita highlighted the Bombay High court’s recent decision on Trademark infringement of SABMiller India Ltd. v/s Som. Distilleries and Breweries Ltd. case. In February, 2009, the plaintiff applied for registration of its series trade mark "SABMiller India - SABMILLER INDIA" - and also obtained design registration to be applied on its beer bottles. Subsequently, the plaintiff introduced its beer bottles in India (bearing the registered design and also bearing SABMILLER INDIA). Prior to trademark registration, the plaintiff found that the defendant was manufacturing, selling and distributing beer in bottles having the plaintiff’s registered design as well as bearing the name SABMILLER INDIA. This lead the plaintiff to sue the defendant for design infringement and passing off. Upon obtaining registration of its trademark the plaintiff filed a suit before the Bombay High Court for infringement of registered trademark “SABMiller India - SABMILLER INDIA”. On December 2012 this court granted urgent ex parte ad-interim reliefs. In a systematic manner Aparajita presented the case facts and decision and concluded by noting that the court ultimately held the defendant guilty of infringing the plaintiff’s trademark and confirmed the ad-interim order passed on December 2012.
We then had, Shouvik writing about the efforts undertaken by Kerala Central library in digitizing rare books and thus increasing their accessibility. He also stated that such initiatives for digitization should be increased in order to ensure public accessibility of resources.
Shamnad then brought to our notice an important development in the law suit filed by leading publishers against Delhi University (DU) and its photocopier. In a momentous development, the Delhi High Court permitted an association of students to be admitted as a full-fledged party to the law suit and intervene in the suit. He outlined the brief trajectory of the law suit and also lauded the efforts of many students especially Jawahar Raja and Rajat Kumar (who took up the matter probono) and our very own bloggers Amlan Mohanty and Sai Vinod who played a leading role in this struggle to ensure equitable access to education.
This was followed by a rather interesting tidbit from Aparajita about the launch of a new collaboration between Medicines Patent pool (MPP) and ViiV healthcare (majority owned by GSK). This collaboration would enable greater availability of essential medicines for HIV positive children.
Subsequently, I wrote about the draft policy proposal issued by Department of Pharmaceuticals (DOP) on price negotiation of patented drugs. If the Govt. goes in for price regulation of patented medicines and fixes a price, then it is no longer possible to issue Compulsory License on the ground of reasonableness of the price. Comments on the recommendations of the committee are invited before the end of this month.
Recently (Feb 26) published Dilbert cartoon strip is a satirical take on the involvement of juries in patent infringement litigation. The Dilbert comic strip can be accessed here.Read more about it in IPKat over here.
As reported here Apple Inc. suffered a major setback in its ongoing mobile patents battle with Samsung Electronics on Friday, as a federal judge reduced a $1.05 billion jury award by more than 40 percent and set a new trial to determine damages.
South Africa may spearhead the establishment of a Pan-African Intelllectual Property office(PAIPO) despite the presence despite the presence of two regional bodies already, namely the African Regional Intellectual Property Office (ARIPO) and the Organisation Africaine de la Propriete Intellectuelle (OAPI).
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Much like the six degrees of separation theory where everything or everyone is 6 or fewer steps away, patently o describes the problem of finding prior art as a "degrees of separation problem", where you are separated from your art by some number of people or connections. To read more on this interesting concept click here .
HADOPI a french administration agency currently fighting against use of file sharing between individuals, now wants to extend its control over search engines, file hosting services and internet service providers. Yesterday it released a report and advocated establishment of measures very similar to US ACTA and SOPA(stop online piracy act).Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson for citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net. said that “The French government would be foolish to ignore the previous rejection of ACTA and SOPA. Citizens have shown that they are capable of mobilizing when an unfair, dangerous, and disproportionate approach to copyright threatens their freedoms." Details about this can be accessed here
Reports suggest that the Institute of medicine(IOM) a health arm of US national academy of sciences might have worked with US govt to undermine efforts to establish a binding R&D treaty to address health needs of developing countries.To read more about this development click here
The MIP India IP and Innovation Forum 2013 will be held on March 7th at Le Meridien, New Delhi. With several notable speakers and topics which are particularly pertinent to IP matters in India currently, the forum looks to be an exciting one. Free for in-house counsel, R&D professionals and to academics, so don’t miss out on this one! For details on this click here.
That’s all folks , Have a great week ahead!