Interitus Quickies: Instant IP Updates!

R. M. Kulkarni

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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.

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(Non-IP) The Leaked TPP Chapter on Investor State Dispute Settlement: There’s a Storm Coming

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(First Published in the Libertatem Magazine)

Ritvik M. Kulkarni, III BSL LLB, ILS Law College, Pune

A new chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was leaked by WikiLeaks on March 25th 2015[1]. Through this chapter, the US wants to introduce an Investor-State Dispute Settlement mechanism (ISDS). The TPP is a notoriously secretive trading between United States, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Chile, Singapore, Peru, Vietnam, New Zealand and Brunei Darussalam. According to WikiLeaks, the parties to this trading arrangement constitute 40% of the world’s GDP.

The new ISDS Chapter deals with the mechanism, procedure and principles of the settlement of claims of expropriation and other breach of obligations brought by investors of a Contracting Party against another Contracting Party.  Apart from the TPP, free trade agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement[2] (NAFTA), Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) and bilateral free trade agreements require arbitration proceedings to be held in secret through the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). This means that there will be no available precedents for future use.

The ISDS Chapter provides that an investor shall have a cause of action in case of “denial of justice”, i.e. if the investor is aggrieved by domestic courts’ decision(s). While clarifying on its stand on the adoption of ISDS, the Office of the US Trade Representative has stated that a “neutral” ISDS arbitration will be more just as “the potential for bias can be high in situations where a foreign investor is seeking to redress injury in a domestic court”. There are two problems with this statement.

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