Monday, 30 December 2013

Bayer Challenges India, Again, Over A Compulsory License

File this under ‘If at first you don’t succeed…’ Seven months after India's Intellectual Property Appellate Board rejected an appeal from Bayer, which was fighting a compulsory license that permitted the sale of a generic version of its Nexavar cancer drug, the drugmaker has now filed a challenge with the Bombay High Court.
The license was issued last year after Indian authorities determined that Nexavar pricing was deemed too expensive for most people in India. The license was issued to Natco, a large Indian generic drugmaker, which must pay Bayer 7 percent royalties on its sales. The challenge is not a surprise, though. At the time the IPAB upheld the license, Bayer quickly announced that an appeal would be filed (back story).
The fight is going to be closely watched, however, because of the ongoing tussle over intellectual property rights in India. Drugmakers have complained bitterly that the Indian government has failed to respect these rights and enlisted politicians in Washington DC to argue their case. Various US officials from Congress and the US Patent & Trademark Office derided the Bayer decision, for example (more here).
The battle intensified last April when the Indian Supreme Court rejected a patent sought by Novartis for its Gleevec cancer medication, a move that allowed lower-cost generic versions to continue to be sold. The case focused attention on the contentious interplay between intellectual property and the ability of the economically disadvantaged to afford needed drugs (back story).
In response to the Indian government, drugmakers have taken different tactics. Novartis (NVS) issued vague threats that industry investment in the country would drop over concerns that intellectual property was not honored. Roche, meanwhile, lowered the price on a cancer med and struck a local manufacturing deal, but then relinquished patent rights in hopes of forestalling a compulsory license (back story).
In announcing its decision, IPAB chair Prabha Sridevan said that "the court does not decide for, or against, a company. It takes a decision based solely on public interest,” according to The Economic Times . “The price of a drug should be seen from the point of view of the public affordability and not on the based on R&D expenses."
"We strongly disagree with the conclusions of IPAB," a Bayer spokesperson tells us. "The order of the Intellectual Property Appellate Board weakens the international patent system and endangers pharmaceutical research. The challenges faced by the Indian healthcare system have little or nothing to do with patents on pharmaceutical products as all products on India’s essential drug list are not patented.
"One of the main barriers to access to medicines in developing countries such as India is the lack of adequate healthcare services and infrastructure ensuring that drugs will effectively bring treatment to those who most need it," he continues and adds that Bayer began a patient access program for Nexavar in 2008, when the drug was launched in India, and last year, and 73 percent of all Nexavar patients were enrolled.

As  Posted  on Mon, 10/14/2013 - 6:58am by 

Sunday, 29 December 2013

TK And TCE can be Patented

Traditional Knowledge (TK) and Traditional Cultural Expression (TCE) reflecting a community's cultural and social identity, handed down generations, may soon be recognized as a form of intellectual property. TK and TCEs are innovations and creative expressions of local communities and products of creative intellectual activity, which need to be protected and safeguarded to prevent their misuse.
The move has a special relevance for India in its pursuit of protecting and safeguarding its traditional healthcare and rich cultural heritage, given the fact that it has faced such disputes in the past. Several patents based on Indian TK have been unduly granted to third parties throughout the world. Calls for the protection of traditional medical knowledge are often based on a number of cases involving misappropriation by unauthorized third parties, who have patented compounds derived from traditional medicines without the prior consent of traditional medical knowledge holders, and without fair compensation. Examples of patents based on traditional Indian medicine have included the use of turmeric for healing wounds, the anti-fungal properties of neem, and a diabetes medicine made from extract of jamun. All three patents were subsequently revoked.
Other cases globally include that involving Maasai people of Kenya and Tuareg (also Touareg), a tribe which inhabit parts of North Africa. The word "Maasai" is used in connection with a range of goods (from Land Rover cars, to running shoes, to Louis Vuitton towels, hats, scarves and bags) as also in tourism and hospitality services, while Volkswagen manufactures the SUV Touareg.
Johannes Christian Wichard, deputy DG, World Intellectual Property Organisation, told TOI: "TK and TCEs may soon be protected as IP rights, just like patents or copyright, provided the negotiations in the IGC (Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources) reach a consensus. We have observed cases of alleged traditional knowledge misappropriation all around the world. South Africa, Brazil, Peru, Kenya (involving the Maasai people), Australia and Indonesia are just some of the countries where the more famous cases come from. These cases involve a wide range of traditional resources, such as biodiversity-related knowledge, herbal remedies, folk music and indigenous names and designs," he added.
The IGC is involved in negotiations to develop an international legal mechanism that would give traditional knowledge, genetic resources and traditional cultural expressions (folklore) effective protection.
Traditional art, crafts, music, medicine, designs, architecture and motifs, which may be in tangible or intangible forms, will be considered a form of intellectual property. Simply put, these are forms in which traditional knowledge and culture are expressed, communicated and manifested, and may include know-how, skill, innovation, practices and learning.
As such, it is not easily protected by the existing intellectual property system, which typically grants protection for a limited period to inventions and original works by named individuals or companies.
"India is recognized as a world leader in the fight against misappropriation of TK. India's Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) has set an example for other countries to follow", Wichard said. To combat misappropriation of its TK, and in particular the rich heritage of traditional healthcare systems, the Indian government set up TKDL.
TKDL is a digitized record of previously published traditional medicinal knowledge, which has been made available to patent offices through non-disclosure access agreements in an effort to prevent the granting of erroneous patents. As such, it provides "defensive" protection (avoidance of IP rights granted to third parties) for TK that is already publicly available.
"While India has put in place an efficient system for combating misappropriation of TK in place, and a number of countries have adopted legislation to protect TK, there is an absence of a framework for the protection of TK at an international level. The text being negotiated at the IGC would provide for the sui generis protection of TK, through the granting of rights to TK holders," he added.
As posted in Times of India
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Saturday, 21 December 2013

India in Madrid

      Further to the accession to the Madrid  Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks , which dates from 1891, and the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement ,Indian Trademark office has now issued guidelines as to functioning of Trademark under the Protocol .

Getting protection in  many jurisdictions by filing an application  for international registration by submitting to the International Bureau of the World  Intellectual Property Organization at Geneva, through the office of origin i.e. the trademark office of the  applicant is supposed to help the Trademark owners in getting into an international platform effortlessly , efficiently. 
 An existing Applicant  of trademark registration  or a registered trademark mark owner  is to file an application under Madrid thereby he can chose one or more countries where he wants his mark to get protected in  form MM 2(E)  , on line and through the system  by paying -€Rs 2000/ as handling fee for an International Application.A gateway for submitting MM 2(E) has been provided in page   at

        The Version 1 guidelines issued by the Mumbai Trademark Registry gives a glimpse on Trademark registration under the Protocol.  INDIA, AS THE OFFICE OF ORIGIN deals with filing of the applications, verification of international applications, receiving irregularities, if any, from the Wipo and responding to them, communication as to ceasing of effect of basic application or registration referred in the international application.  

         As office of designated  contracting party the trademark registry is supposed to receive  international registrations designating India, examination of international registrations  designating India, publication of international registration in the  trademarks journal, receiving opposition to protection of  international registrations, communicating  provisional refusal on the basis of opposition,  conducting opposition proceedings and notifying the  final decision,Recording renewals and changes and corrections in the international registrations.
         The guidelines provides  various forms in the Annexure 1 to 11 needed in the Trademark registration   under Madrid. 

Find details here in 

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Global Patent Filings grew by a million, fastest growth in 18 years according to WIPO : China leads in the IP rankings

The report shows patent filings grew by 9.2% (2.35 million applications filed) in 2012. Utility model (UM) filings increased by 23.4%, industrial design filings by 17%, and trademark filings by 6.0%.
The 2013 edition of the World Intellectual Property Indicators also shows that for the first time, China tops the ranking for both the source (filings by China) and the destination (filed in China) for the four types of IP (patents, utility models, trademarks and industrial designs). Of the top five IP offices worldwide, the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China (SIPO) was alone in recording double-digit growth for each of the four types of IP.  Continued rapid filing growth in China is the main driver of global IP growth.
“Following the 2009 financial crisis, global intellectual property (IP) filings and global economic output have followed diverging paths,” said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry.  He added “while economic recovery since the 2009 crisis has been uneven and has failed to bring down unacceptably high levels of unemployment, IP filings have increased at a faster rate than before the crisis.”

Patents and Utility Models

Patent filings worldwide grew by 9.2% in 2012, representing the fastest growth recorded in the past 18 years. Following a 3.9% decrease in 2009, patent filings worldwide have now rebounded strongly, with accelerating growth rates – 7.6% in 2010, 8.1% in 2011 and 9.2% in 2012. This was mainly due to strong growth in filings at SIPO. The estimated 2.35 million patent filings worldwide in 2012 consisted of 1.51 million filed by residents and 830,000 by non-residents.
Among the top 20 IP offices, SIPO (+24%) saw the fastest growth in filings in 2012, followed by the offices of New Zealand (+14.3%), Mexico (+9%), the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO, +7.8%), and the Russian Federation (+6.8%). Several offices of middle-income countries, such as Brazil (+5.1%), India (+3.9%) and South Africa (+2.7%), also reported growth in filings.
Filing behavior in Europe showed mixed trends. For example, the European Patent Office (EPO, +4%), the offices of Germany (+3.2%) and the United Kingdom (UK, +4.4%) witnessed growth. In contrast, the offices of France (-0.7%) and Italy (-4.2%) received fewer applications in 2012 than in 2011.
In 2012, for the first time, residents of China (560,681) accounted for the largest number of patents filed throughout the world. In addition, SIPO (652,777) accounted for the largest number of applications received by any single IP office – a position it first assumed in 2011.
Patent filings by field of technology differ across origins. Residents of Israel and the US filed a high share of their applications in the computer and medical technologies fields. Applications filed by residents of Belgium, India and Switzerland were more concentrated in the organic fine chemistry field. Resident of Brazil filed a high share of applications in basic materials chemistry, while China and the Russian Federation focused their filings on material metallurgy technologies.  In contrast, a higher share of applications filed by residents of Japan, Singapore and the Republic of Korea fell within the field of semiconductors. Residents of European countries such as France, Germany and Sweden focused their filings on transport-related technologies.
Patent filings for energy-related technologies grew by 5.3% in 2012. Applications filed by residents of China Hong Kong (SAR), Israel and Switzerland were highly concentrated in solar energy, while those of Finland, Japan and the UK had higher shares dedicated to fuel cell technology.
In 2012, for the first time, the total number of patent grants worldwide exceeded the one million mark, with 694,200 issued to residents and 439,600 to non-residents. The 13.7% growth in 2012 – the highest rate since 2006 – was mainly due to growth in grants issued by the JPO, SIPO and the USPTO.

As posted WIPO report article 2013.
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Osho ashram to produce original will of spiritual mentor

PUNE: The Koregaon Park police station has issued a notice to the Osho International Meditation Resort/Osho Ashram administrators and trustees asking them to produce the will of their spiritual mentor after a set of followers filed an FIR against them alleging that the will is forged. The followers have alleged the administrators created a forged will to use the rights and income from Osho's intellectual property.
City-based Osho Friends Foundation lodged an FIR earlier this week against six administrators of Osho Ashram, alleging that they produced a forged will, dated 'October 15, 1989, Poona', of the spiritual mentor Osho, bearing his fake signature. Koregaon Park police officials said they have issued a notice to the ashram authorities to produce the original copy of the will.
The police have booked the case under sections 465, 467 and 471 of the IPC that pertain to 'punishment for forgery', 'forgery of valuable security, will' and 'using as genuine a forged document'.
Ramakant Shinde, assistant police inspector, Koregaon Park police station, confirmed that an FIR had been lodged in this regard. "We issued a notice three days ago to the ashram management asking them to produce the will that the complainants have mentioned in the FIR. We are still investigating and will also ask government-approved handwriting experts to analyse the signature on the will for verification," said Shinde, adding that the police is still waiting for a response from the Osho International Meditation Resort's management.
In the police complaint, Yogesh Thakkar alias Swami Prem Geet on behalf of Osho Friends Foundation, Pune, has alleged that three signature experts in Italy, Aurangabad and Delhi had found Osho's signature on the will fake. He has further alleged that the will was created to use the rights and income from Osho's intellectual property worth millions.
Thakkar told TOI that the will was presented by the administrators in a Europe court in June 2013. "The will was prepared in Pune and was presented by the trustees before the court 23 years after Osho's demise. As per the will they produced, all six administrators are authorized to use the rights and income from Osho's intellectual property. If indeed it was Osho's will, why was it not produced in the 2009 US court case, where their claim over Osho's trademarks was dismissed," said Thakkar.

As posted in Times of India.
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Friday, 13 December 2013

Intellectual Property Appellate Board crippled due to poor infrastructure, PIL says

CHENNAI: Despite being a premier body settling disputes over intellectual property rights and trademark rows, the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) headquartered in Chennai has neither proper infrastructure nor finance to function efficiently, said a PIL in the Madras high court.
A division bench comprising Justice Satish Kumar Agnihotri and Justice K K Sasidharan, before which the PIL filed by the Intellectual Property Association of South India president Perbulavil Radhakrishnan came up for admission on Tuesday, issued notices to the Centre and adjourned the matter to January 3, 2014 for further hearing.
While the IPAB's principal bench here functioned out of a rented premises on Anna Salai, its circuit benches in other places too did not have permanent places of their own, the PIL said. In Ahmedabad the last hearing was held at the conference hall of the old high court centre; in Delhi the November 15 hearing was held at Boudhik Sampada Bhawan in Dhwaraka; in Kolkata it was held at conference hall of the patent office; and in Mumbai it was convened in court room no. 16 of the high court's annexe building.
Radhakrishnan said the private premises at Teynampet where the IPAB's principal bench is functioning at present did not have adequate parking and other facilities, and added that the Centre had abysmally failed and grossly neglected to provide infrastructural and financial support for court halls, record rooms and library as well.
Poor infrastructure would have adverse impact on hearing and settling issues relating to patent, trademarks and geographical indications which would have far-reaching consequences not only in India but at the global level.

As posted in The Times of India

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Thursday, 12 December 2013

No more patents based on INDIAN traditional medicines

Ministry of Health & Family Welfare   has made a press release on  10 th of December regarding the   launch of  Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL), which contains 2,91,008 medicinal formulations that includes concoction of herbs, from traditional texts on Ayurveda, Unani, and Siddha to prevent the misappropriation of India’s Traditional Knowledge on Indian Systems of medicine. This system is expected to identify patents  application containing any of the Indian traditional medicines .

Documentation of Medicinal Herbs 
As informed by the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), no patent application has been filed before the Indian Patent Office by any British firm in India, involving Ginger and Kutki, being used alone or in combination with other ingredients, to treat cough, bronchial asthama and lung diseases.

As far as patent filed outside India is concerned, according to the information received from CSIR-Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL), a British firm namely Nicholas John Larkins, had filed a patent application in year 2006 in United Kingdom (publication No. GB2436063) titled “Pharmaceutical composition for the treatment of excess mucous production” claiming the use of Ginger and Kutki for the treatment of Phlegmatic Cough, Bronchial asthma, Cough/ Bronchitis, Diseases of Phlegm and as Phlegmagogue. TKDL filed a pre-grant opposition on 25 April, 2011. The above patent application terminated before grant on 12 May, 2011.

The Department of AYUSH, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare in collaboration with Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has established Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL), which contains 2,91,008 medicinal formulations that includes concoction of herbs, from traditional texts on Ayurveda, Unani, and Siddha to prevent the misappropriation of India’s Traditional Knowledge on Indian Systems of medicine.

The National Institute of Indian medical heritage (NIIMH), a unit of Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS) under the Department of AYUSH has also launched another web based Research Portal for dissemination of Research outcomes in AYUSH Systems including medicinal plants.

As per the Cabinet approval, access to TKDL at present is limited to International Patent Offices; therefore, it cannot be utilized for any purpose other than contesting frivolous claims. However, the AYUSH Research Portal is open to all to find information about research undertaken on AYUSH Systems including herbs/ medicinal plants.

This was stated by Shri. Ghulam Nabi Azad, Union Minister for Heath and Family Welfare, in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha today

aS PER the site of press information Bureau

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

High Court rejects Ramesh Sippy's plea to stay Sholay's 3D release

The Bombay High Court rejected Bollywood producer Ramesh Sippy's plea seeking a stay on the release of Sholay's 3D version made by his nephew Sasha over a copyright dispute.
In a notice of motion on his suit against Sasha and others, Sippy had recently filed an appeal before a division bench against the judgement of Justice Kathawala who had earlier rejected Sippy's petition on the same issue.
Upholding the single bench's judgement here today, a division bench of Justices S F Vajifdar and G S Patel refused to stay the production and release of the movie's 3D version.
Ramesh Sippy, who had directed the original movie 'Sholay', is in dispute with his nephew Sasha over the rights of the film which was released in 1975.
Sasha, who is the son of Ramesh Sippy's brother Vijay Sippy, had recently announced making a 3D version of the movie which is to be distributed by Jayantilal Gada.
Ramesh Sippy had moved the single bench against this, which rejected his plea in April.

As posted in The Indian Express

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'Kohinoor' rice Trademark case

Imposing geographical restrictions on the sale of goods with disputed trade mark would be unjust, the Supreme Court remarked while dismissing the appeal of Satnam Overseas against the Delhi High Court judgment in its dispute with rival Sant Ram & Co. Satnam moved an application before the registrar with regard to the trade mark 'Kohinoor' rice and he allowed the product to be sold in six cities of Uttar Pradesh. The dispute was taken to the Delhi High Court, which allowed Sant Ram to sell its rice in the entire state. Satnam appealed to the Supreme Court, which rejected its argument that the high court was wrong. The judgment said that restricting the trademark to a few cities would create a lot of complications and litigation as to the exact boundary of a particular or district. It would also be impossible for Sant Ram to ensure that its products are not sold to retailers outside the six cities.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

ISKCON takes on Iscon over Trademark

 In a unique row over trademark, a temple has sued a real estate developer for using its name and logo to benefit from the goodwill generated by the religious organization.
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness ( Iskcon) has filed a suit against its neighbor Iscon Mega Mall and its company J P Infrastructure Pvt Ltd for using a similar name and logo. The temple authorities have accused the realty firm of taking undue advantage of their goodwill among people and want the court to restrain them.
The trust had issued a notice to the firm for using 'Iscon' as its name after it set up a mall next door and approached a civil court earlier this year.
"The reputation of the trademark has been misappropriated by the realty firm in such a way that it misrepresents itself as being the owner of the trademark or having some nexus/affiliation with the temple trust," the temple's petition said.
Claiming that it was an infringement of its trademark and "the cause of action is recurring day by day", the temple has sought an interim stay order. The court issued a show-cause notice to the realty firm in May.
As posten in TNN By Saeed Khan
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HTC, Nokia Patent Infrigerment Case

A London judge said HTC Corp. (2498) couldn’t sell its One Mini phone in the U.K. starting Dec. 6 after it was found to have infringed patents owned by Nokia Oyj. (NOK1V)
While Judge Richard Arnold also ruled that HTC’s One phone contained microchips that breached Nokia’s patent, he delayed an injunction against the product so HTC could appeal. Blocking U.K. sales of the One would cause “considerable” damage to HTC, he said in a ruling today.
HTC One, released globally including the U.K. in March, is the Taiwanese company’s flagship handset for 2013 and was lauded by reviewers for its sleek metallic design. HTC One Mini and HTC One Max, smaller and larger variants of the device, were released in the second half of the year.
“Nokia is also claiming financial compensation for the infringement of this patent,” the Espoo, Finland-based company said in a statement. HTC has agreed not to import any more of the products into the U.K. pending the appeal, Nokia said.
As posted in Bloomberg
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Sunday, 1 December 2013

FIFA Objects to Name of Canadian Campaign For Equality in Soccer

Federation Internationale de Football Association, the governing body of professional soccer commonly known as FIFA, told a Vancouver campaign for equality in the sport that it is infringing FIFA trademarks, British Columbia’s Tyee online magazine reported.
FIFA sent a letter Nov. 15 to Why the Women’s World Cup Matters, a campaign to raise money for a First Nations girls’ soccer program and make it possible for more women to earn a living playing soccer, according to Tyee.
Carrie Serwetnyk, who is the first woman in the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame, said she would make some changes, but refused to alter the campaign’s name, Tyee reported.
FIFA complained that the campaign’s name “could generate the impression” that an affiliation existed between it and the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015, according to Tyee.
As posted in Bloomberg.

Fujitsu, Ecosphere, GoldieBlox: Intellectual Property

Fujitsu Ltd. (6702), the Japanese maker of semiconductors, computers and communications equipment, is the top owner of patents related to 3-D printing, according to a study released by the U.K.’s Intellectual Property Office.
The Japanese company owns 92 patents in this category, according to the November report.
Stratasys Ltd. (SSYS) of Eden Prairie, Wisconsin, is in second place, with 92, tied with 3-D Systems Corp. (DDD), of Rock Hill, South Carolina. Also on the list is the University of Texas System, which has 36 published patents, according to the report.
As posted in Bloomberg by Victoria Slind.
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