Corporate debtors required to have initiated litigation/arbitration against creditor before receiving insolvency notice under S. 8(1) of IBC  

Earlier this month, the Mumbai Bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) decided an important issue arising under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (the Code). This development was first reported here by Varun Marwah, an alumnus of ILS Law College, Pune. This matter was also extensively worked upon and argued before the NCLT by Vividh Tandon, associate, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, Mumbai. He is also an alumnus of ILS Law College, Pune. Continue reading

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This Just In: Start-ups to Enjoy Exemption from Rigorous Application of Labour Laws for Initial Three Years

Harish Adwant

The Government proposed a wide range of reforms for start-ups at the ‘Start-up India, Stand-up India’ Conference which was held on January 16, 2016.  India Today has reported it here and the Start-up India Action Plan of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) is available here. Pursuant to this Plan, the Ministry of Labour and Employment has now officially exempted start-ups from the compliance with nine labour laws for an initial period of three years. This move is intended to promote and incentivise the start-up industry.

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This Just In: The King of Good Times Drowning under Spirits of Debt, may face asset freeze and arrest

Deepakar Livingston, Advocate, Bombay High Court
 and Ritvik M. Kukarni, IV BSL LLB, ILS Law College, Pune

Image Source

Bad times have ensued for Mr. Vijay Mallya, widely known as the king of good times. A huge consortium of 17 banks, led by State Bank of India (SBI), has moved the Debt recovery Tribunal at Bangalore seeking Vijay Mallya’s arrest. The Kingfisher owes to the SBI Consortium a whopping INR 7,800 crore in debt.  He was declared a ‘willful defaulter’ in law by SBI in November 2015. SBI has additionally sought for an order to obtain a full disclosure of Mallya’s assets and to further freeze all his assets.

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Pretentious Report Reviews: GIPC Index ranks India Second-to-Worst in IP Protection

Ritvik M. Kulkarni

The United States Chamber of Commerce (USCC) has yet again awarded a dismal rank to the Indian IP Regime in the 4th Global IP Index released on February 10, 2016. The Global Index, which is prepared annually by the Global IP Chamber of the USCC (GIPC), has set out a total of 30 indicators for assessing the effectiveness and strength of IP law and enforcement in 38 countries. The GIPC also released on February 5, 2016 its Special 301 Report as an evaluative precursor to its Global Index. The Special Report and the Global Index are available here and here respectively.

The Special Report purports to serve as a comprehensive guide to all the factors that make up a robust intellectual property and enforcement system. At the very outset it expresses the American apprehension towards a concerted effort across the world to change the public perception and debate on IP, often based on distorted and inaccurate claims and in contradiction to the careful balance already integrated into the system. It further observes that:

“Globally, there are increasing calls to limit how innovators are able to protect the property rights in their inventions and creations and even calls to limit the scope of what can be protected[1].”

Graphical representations of the Overall Economy Scores, as awarded in the Global Index, are reproduced herein below[2]:

Figure 1
All rights with the US Government

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ILS Intellectual Property Week 2.0 and National IPR Seminar 2016

We are pleased and honored to announce that ILS Law College is all set to organize the Second Edition of the ILS Intellectual Property Week. The First Edition of IP Week saw great participation among students mainly because last year’s panel consisted of speakers such as Dr. Mohan Dewan (Managing Partner – R. K. Dewan and Co.), Ashutosh Kane (W.S. Kane and Co.), Mr. Dominic D’Souza (Vice- President Zee Legal), CA Ameya Kunte (Taxsutra) and Adv. Anushree Rauta (Senior Associate – Naik, Naik and Company).The IP Week, which will be held between February 1 and 6, 2016, will consist of activities such as:

  1. IP Parliamentary Debate Competition, 1st February 2016
  2. Quiz Competition, 2nd February 2016
  3. Workshop on Patent Drafting (in collaboration with  URDIP, Pune) 3rd February 2016
  4. IP Extempore Moot Court Competition, 4th February 2016
  5. National Seminar on Intellectual Property Rights, 5th-6th February, 2016

This time on, the much coveted event also includes a National IPR Seminar which will be discussing the current issues and developments in the field of intellectual property law and practice in India. What makes this Seminar truly invaluable is the fact that each of the resource persons are among the few most influential persons in the field of intellectual property across the country. They are as follows

  1. Honourable Justice Prabha Sridevan, Retd. Chairperson, Intellectual Property Appellate  Board 
  2. Honourable Justice Gautam S. Patel, Bombay High Court
  3. Mr Praveen Anand, Managing Partner, Anand and Anand
  4. Dr Pradeep Apte, Professor of Economics, Fergusson College, Pune
  5. Dr Shamnaad Basheer, Founder Spicy IP

In fact, Justice Prabha Sridevan, Justice Gautam S. Patel and Dr. Shamnaad Basheer are the only three Indians who have been listed by Manangning Intellectual Property (MIP) as among the most influential persons in the filed of Intellectual Property across the world! You can access the report here.

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Retrospectively Yours, Law Minister: Section 29A of the amended Arbitration Act Shall Apply Prospectively

Ritvik M. Kulkarni

Image source: http://www.stuts.com

Immediately after the Arbitration Ordinance was promulgated on October 23, 2015, the legal fraternity stood divided on whether provisions of the Act, Section 29A in particular, would apply retroactively, retrospectively or prospectively. Section 29A requires inter alia that the arbitration be concluded within a period of 12 months; extendable by a maximum 6 months by mutual consent of the parties. The question of its applicability to pending / on-going arbitrations was first raised before the Madras High Court in Delphi TVS Diesel Systems Ltd. v. Union of India[1], wherein the Court directed the Central Government to clarify this anomaly forthwith. The Court correctly noted that,

There would be huge litigations unnecessarily generated in respect of the pending arbitrations and the provision being procedural in nature fixing the time limit, it can be clarified that it would be either not applicable to the pending arbitrations or if it is applicable to the pending arbitrations, the time period specified therein would commence from the date of the Ordinance, to obviate such unnecessary litigations”.

The Lok Sabha on December 17, 2015 passed the Arbitration (Amendment) Bill, 2015 in all its revolutionary glory. One of the most important developments in this Act is that the Law Minister has finally clarified and settled the waters over the temporal applicability of the Act. After due deliberation in Parliament, the Union Law Minister Dr. Sadananda Gowda added the following clause to the amending act:

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Key Features of the Two New Ordinances in Commercial Dispute Resolution

Ritvik M. Kulkarni

President Pranab Mukherjee gave his assent on Friday (23rd October 2015) for the promulgation of an ordinance for the setting up Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division in High Courts and another for amending the Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996. While members of the business community and the corporate sector still await the complete revamp of the Indian arbitration regime, these ordinances come as an early Diwali treat right from the Prime Minister’s Office.

The Arbitration Ordinance strictly requires arbitrators to settle disputes within a maximum period of 18 months. After a completion of 12 months certain restrictions will kick in. This ought to deter arbitrators from unnecessarily stretching the case too long. If effective, this requirement will drastically reduce the cost of arbitration in a time when retired judges have been charging exorbitant fees for their services. With the implementation of Commercial Courts, all appeals and applications from arbitral proceedings will hopefully be disposed faster and in a more efficient manner as well.

This move has also brought into force the Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts Bill, 2015 which was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on 29th April 2015 by Finance Minister (and noted attorney) Mr. Arun Jaitley. The Law Commission had made a proposal to the government in 2003 for setting up “Hi-tech Fast Track Commercial Divisions in High Courts” in its 188th report. Subsequently, it has dealt specifically with the Commercial Courts Bill in its 253rd Report which can be found here. Among other things the Bill provides for:

  1. Enumeration of transactions giving rise to commercial disputes and the specified value which shall not be less than Rs. 1 crore.
  1. Commercial Courts in districts and their constitution. These Courts shall have jurisdiction over a commercial dispute of a specified value which arises within its territorial jurisdiction.
  1. Commercial Division of High Courts which shall specifically deal with such commercial disputes including those which are transferred to High Courts under section 22 of the Designs Act, 2000 and under section 104 of the Patents Act, 1970.
  1. Bar against revision application against interlocutory order passed by a Commercial Court.
  1. Jurisdiction over appeals and applications filed in the HC arising out of International Commercial Arbitrations to the Commercial Appellate Division. For other disputes which fall under the jurisdiction of principal civil courts, the matters shall lie to the Commercial Courts.
  1. Appeals from Commercial Courts and Commercial Divisions of HCs shall lie to the Appellate Division; to be filed within 60 days. Appeals from the IPAB, SAT, TDSAT DRAT and COMPAT arising out of a commercial dispute shall lie to the Appellate Division.
  1. Transfer of all suits valued at and above Rs. 1 crore which are pending in the High Courts to their respective Commercial Divisions.

The Government will have to secure an approval from the Parliament within 42 days after the commencement of the Winter Session on 19th November 2015.

Interitus Quickies: Instant IP Updates!

R. M. Kulkarni

Headlines-Cigar-logo

So here’s presenting our new segment of the Interitus IP blawg! It has essentially been constituted for those who just want to take a quick mental note of what’s happening in the IP world in the last couple of days. You can then take out the time to make a formal and more elaborate enquiry into those bits you stored at the back of your mind. So read on and skim through, because that’s all you need to do here!

General

National IPR Policy to be finalized by the Government within 2 months

Patent 

Arrow Coated Products (ACP), a maker of water-soluble films in India, sees a 3000% rise in its share price in the last 2 years after it strategically monetized 3 of its 30 patents.

Google and Microsoft make truce; settle around 20  Motorola patent infringement litigations.

Queensland based cancer patient Yvonne D’Arcy successfully takes down pharma-giant Myriad Genetics in suit against the latter’s patent in the BRCA1 human gene.

Copyright

Indian musician Rupa Marya successfully gets invalidated Warner Bros’ copyright in the famous “Happy Birthday to You” song before  the California District Court

Producers of the Kapil Sharma-starrer  Kis  Kis Ko Pyaar Karoon sued by makers of 2014 Kannada film Nimbe Huli before the Madras HC on grounds that the former film is a copy of the latter.

New Zealand agrees to extend its copyright term to life plus 70 in accordance with the USA’s requirement under the Trans-Pacific Agreement.

Trademark and GI

Nestle fails before the CJEU to secure trademark protection for its four-finger wafer shape of KitKat because the shape was held to not be distinctive enough.

Bombay High Court finds NTC Industries guilty of infringement of ITC’s trademark in GOLD FLAKE and HONEY DEW in relation to cigarette products.

Pokalli rice, which already received GI protection in 2008, has now been trademarked by the Krishi Vigyan Kendra (Ernakulam) under brand name JAIVA POKKALI.

The Kashmiri Chamber of Commerce and Industry has successfully secured GI protection for Kasmhiri “MEERA” Carpets.

This Just In: You Can Now Thank Rupa Marya for your Truly Happy Birthday! But a Question Still Remains.

R. M. Kulkarni

While intellectual property rights have been created to foster creativity by protecting its creators, some entertainment conglomerates strive to maintain clichéd exceptions. This time around, it’s brought to you by our beloved[1] Warner Brothers.

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This Just In: Another Blow to Pfizer as IPO Rejects Patent for Arthritis Medicine

chronicles_of_pfizer

Harish S. Adwant

Pfizer filed a patent  for the self-engineered rheumatoid arthritis medicine; Tofacitinib which was rejected by the Patent Office on the ground that the drug does not enhance the efficacy of the existing approved drug.

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