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01 September 2015
Intellectual property (IP)

The central government has been called by the Delhi high court to show how it is ensuring that patentees commercially work their patents, on the public interest litigation (PIL) of the Infosys Foundation’s intellectual property rights prize awardee Prof Shamnad Basheer, reported Spicy IP.

Axon Partners founder Abhimanyu Bhandari, and advocate Sai Vinod acted for Basheer before a bench of chief justice G Rohini and justice Jayant Nath.

The Patent Act and Rules require that anyone who has been granted a patent must annually disclose as to how far and to what extent they have commercially worked their patent, so as to help demonstrate how the public is benefitting from their patents. These are India’s “patent working norms”.

According to Basheer’s PIL, “35 per cent of the patentees [failed] to disclose their patent working status during 2009 to 2012” and the government “never initiated action against any of the errant patentees”.

Basheer adds: “What makes this government inaction even more egregious is the fact that the blatant non-compliance was already brought to the notice of the government four years ago through a similar investigation conducted by the Petitioner in a public report titled ‘The ‘Non-Working’ of the Patent Office ‘Working’ Requirement!’.”

The PIL will be heard next on 17 November. Basheer’s other PIL, the Supreme Court challenge to the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT), will be heard on Friday.

12 August 2015
Intellectual property (IP)

German auto maker Audi was restrained, ex parte, by the Delhi high court from using the trademark “TT” on its leather goods, after Delhi-based garment maker TT Textiles sued it for using its “multi-product global brand” trademark, reported Indian Express.

TT Textiles, of the TT vests fame, filed a trademark infringement suit for damages of Rs 25 lakh against Audi for “selling car and the related accessories with the mark ‘TT’ clandestinely in Delhi.” Advocate Shilpa Jain was acting for TT in the high court.

TT Textiles has used the trademark TT since 1968 and now has 87 registrations in 65 countries, while its turnover in the financial year 2013 to 2014 was Rs 754 crore, according to the order.

Justice Najmi Waziri ordered:

“This Court is of the view that the plaintiffs have made out a prima facie case for an ex parte ad interim injunction and in case such an order is not passed at this stage, irreparable prejudice would be caused to them. The balance of convenience too lies in favour of the plaintiffs.”

The case will be heard next on 2 November.

11 March 2015
Intellectual property (IP)

The Madras high court ruled that the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) is unconstitutional, reported SpicyIP.

The high court held that the provisions creating the tribunal are unconstitutional where they allow bureaucrats to be elected as judicial members to it even to the extent of becoming its chairman or vice chairman.

The court also ruled that any committee electing members to IPAB must also be constituted of members with judicial qualifications.

The ruling was made on a writ petition by Spicy IP founder Shamnad Basheer.

23 June 2014
Intellectual property (IP)

2168597204_ab50bdef8b_oTMT Law Practice advised pro bono and won for spiritual guru Osho’s Pune-based organisations. The organisations - Osho Friends International and Osho World Foundation – succeeded in dissolving all existing and pending Osho trademarks of their Swiss copycat Osho International Foundation (OIF) and in getting OIF’s entire board of directors recalled.

21 May 2013
Intellectual property (IP)

Spicy IP blogger and NUJS Kolkata student Aparajita Lath was sent a letter threatening a defamation suit by the Times Publishing House, for her post that summarised the 19-year-old dispute between the Times Group and the UK’s Financial Times newspaper. [SpicyIP]

The notice threatening civil and criminal proceedings states: “Pursuant to the publication of the impugned article our Client has been contacted by several persons, inquiring about the same. Our client has been questioned and subjected to contempt and ridicule and has suffered immense prejudice and loss of goodwill, reputation, standing and goodwill in the industry.”

Spicy IP founder Shamnad Basheer responded to the notice, which was published on the Spicy IP blog:

“Aparajita’s post was based almost entirely on news stories published in Mint, a leading business paper, as you yourself admit in your notice. We’ve queried the folks at Mint, and apparently you’ve not sent them any legal notice as yet. We can only guess that you’re averse to picking people your own size.

“You also object to Aparajita’s statement that ‘this trademark saga throws light on the problems and obstacles foreign companies have to face when trying to enter the Indian market.’ Again, we assume that as a qualified lawyer, you are well aware of the distinction between an opinion and a fact. This is a fair comment/opinion expressed by Aparajita.”

In August 2012, pharma company Natco had sued Basheer for Rs 25 lakh claiming defamation.

27 August 2012
Intellectual property (IP)

Shoot the patent lawyer? SpicyIP analyses the California jury’s “confusing” Apple v Samsung smartphone verdict that awarded Apple more than $1bn in damages. Conclusion: “The only clear winners here seem to be the patent lawyers and it is certainly a good time to be one.” Click here to read Spicy’s analysis of the verdict and what it means.

A week ago Google said it was fed up of the patent war, while one of the architects of the internet, Vint Cerf, quipped last year: “Shoot the patent lawyers”, when asked about the Next Big Thing. Any thoughts?

27 July 2011
Intellectual property (IP)

image The Bombay High Court has ruled against the Indian Performing Right Society (IPRS) and held that FM radio channels, hotels and discotheques which play recorded music are not liable to pay royalty to the music composers and lyricists.

09 February 2011
Intellectual property (IP)

image IP firm Lall, Lahiri and Salhotra partners Anuradha Salhotra and Rahul Chaudhry critique the proposed amendments to the Copyrights Act shortly before the upcoming parliamentary sessions.

28 January 2011
Intellectual property (IP)

NUJS Kolkata professor Shamnad Basheer and a music company filed two public interest litigations (PILs) in the Madras High Court to mend gross “infirmities” and arbitrary “tribunalisation” in the constitution and functionality of the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) and the Copyright Board.

20 April 2010
Intellectual property (IP)

cinema_seats-by_Looking-GlassIntellectual property lawyers have criticised provisions of the Copyright Amendment Bill 2010, which proposes to modernise the Copyright Act 1957 and was introduced in the Upper House by the Union Government yesterday.