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.

Advertisements

Tracking the IP Journey into School and College Syllabus (Part-II)

By Harish S. Adwant, III BSL LLB, ILS Law College, Pune

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) is working relentlessly in order to introduce “IP teaching” in educational institutions, as recommended by the Draft National IPR Policy.

DIPP is corresponding with National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE) to introduce IPR in the syllabus of Class IX students. The correspondences indicate that IPR may be introduced as a topic in social sciences or economics to familiarize students to patents and trademarks.

Simultaneously, DIPP is also planning on deliberating with the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) on introducing IPR as a separate subject in engineering colleges.

According to DIPP, this initiative is a part of the wider policy, framed by the body, to make the patent application process time-effective and technologically driven, create public awareness about IPR, and encourage more Indian patent filings. “There was a need for India to push for innovation through the IPR policy, which is in the works”, said Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

The government is expected to announce the National IPR policy in the next three months, which will regulate the current IPR law framework and declare the future road-map. A draft has already been circulated for inter-ministerial comments, after which it will be sent to the cabinet for approval.

The proposals, recommended by the Draft IPR policy, will have to be executed only after scrutinizing and anticipating the hurdles faced by the present education system in India. DIPP must make the necessary arrangements in order to ensure quality education and avoid it from being an additional liability over the students.

 

Tracking the IP Journey into School and College Syllabus (Part-I)

By Harish S. Adwant, III BSL LLB, ILS Law College, Pune 

In 2008, LiveMint had reported that the Kerala State Government is going to implement an IP Education Policy to include the teaching of IPR in schools and other academic institutions. An official from the State Education Ministry said in the report, “The state will initially start five or six centres of excellence to provide degree-level classes to students in all five universities, and faculty will be provided in the universities and its affiliated institutions over a period of time”.

Furthermore, the then Kerala law minister M. Vijayakumar said in June 2008 that the IPR policy was the first step towards making the state “IP savvy.” The state had planned to form a body under the law department called “Mission IPR” to oversee patent rights administration. (LiveMint)
However, it may be noted that the Kerala IP policy has not been completely implemented so far.

In 2015, Hindustan Unilever (HUL), Mumbai based consumer goods company has insisted the government to include IPR as a subject in the school syllabus of secondary and higher-secondary students.

Dev Bajpai, Executive Director, Legal and Corporate Affairs, HUL said “We have proposed to the government that intellectual property should be part of the syllabus in schools because we feel we have to catch them young”. HUL made this proposal as a part of its suggestions made to the new National IP Policy of the NDA government, aimed at standardizing the implementation of IPR laws and regulations in India.

HUL, the country’s largest consumer products company voiced its concerns with respect to trademark infringement, loss of sales and brand dilution and decided to include the prospective consumers in the battle against circulation of counterfeit products in the market. It has also decided to engage directly with students and educating them about the importance of brands and how to identify genuine and fake products.

Counterfeit products are fake products, having similar appearance and packaging, which are produced and sold at a giveaway price to take an advantage of the superior value of the imitated product. Counterfeiting remains to be an impending peril to the established brands as it accounts to 3-5% of all the products sold in the 2.4 Lakh crores FMCG market in India. This figure multiplies to an annual loss of 8000-12,000 crores to the branded products in the market.

The initiative, fostered by HUL, allows the students to understand the elements of a commercial market and creates consumer awareness regarding counterfeit goods at a very nascent stage. However, this project should be limited to its objective and should not be formulated into a subject to be evaluated in the academic examinations at the school level.