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Nintendo beats patent troll in 3DS technology case

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Nintendo has defeated another patent troll in a case related to the Nintendo 3DS and other handheld systems.

The Japanese video game giant said it won a patent case in federal court in Oakland, Calif., as it defended itself against a lawsuit by Quintal Research Group.

Federal court judge Saundra Armstrong found that eight of Nintendo’s popular hand-held systems, including the Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo DSi, Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance systems, do not infringe a patent asserted against those products by Quintal Research Group. Armstrong dismissed the case from Quintal, a “patent assertion” company that many would view as a patent troll.

“We are very pleased to have this case dismissed,” said Devon Pritchard, Nintendo of America’s general counsel and senior vice president of business affairs, in a statement. “The result in this case continues to prove that Nintendo will vigorously defend its innovations against patent lawsuits and will not pay to settle cases simply to avoid litigation. Nintendo continues to support patent reform efforts that reduce the unnecessary and inefficient burden cases like this one place on technology companies in the United States.”

Source: http://venturebeat.com/2015/07/21/nintendo-wins-patent-case-for-3ds-technology/

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Meet on IPR in bio sciences begins

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Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, July 21 - A three-day national conference on ‘Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in Bio Sciences for Scientists from North East Indian States’ got under way at the University of Science and Technology Meghalaya (USTM) on the outskirts of Guwahati on Tuesday.

Organised by Amity University, Noida, Uttar Pradesh in collaboration with USTM, the conference is sponsored by the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). About 100 scientists, research scholars, teachers and students are taking part in the conference.

Delivering the inaugural address, Dr Abha Agnihotri, head of the Centre for Agricultural Biotechnology, said that while taking part in national seminars and meetings on matters relating to IPR, it was noticed that the participation of scientists and stakeholders from Northeast India in all such events was very minimal. To address this issue, this national conference has been organised in the Northeast itself so that a large number of participants can benefit from it.

In his welcome address, Dr PG Rao, Vice Chancellor of USTM, dwelt upon the need for creating more awareness about IPR among students and faculty members of Indian universities and institutions of higher and technical education.

Eminent scholars who addressed the plenary sessions on the first day of the conference were Prof NC Talukdar, Director, IASST, Guwahati; Dr Sadhna Srivastava, scientist, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India; and Dr Pronobesh Chattopadhyay, Scientist, Defence Research Laboratory, DRDO, Tezpur, said a statement.

Many more eminent scientists and experts in the field of research and IPR will address the conference during the coming two days touching upon issues such as plant diversity conservation and IPR, GI and potentials in the Northeast, and relevance of PPV and FR Act under agricultural scenario of NE States, etc.

Source: http://www.assamtribune.com/scripts/detailsnew.asp?id=jul2215/city056

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Wearable tech: Insights into the intellectual property rights

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21/07/2015
By Emily Nuttall and Nick Allan


HARDWARE FEATURES
The Apple Watch was only released in April this year, yet Apple has already announced the Apple Watch 2. It seems, then, that Smartwatches, are leading the way in wearable tech, and this is likely to continue in 2016, with the digital watch titan, Casio, also set to launch its own smartwatch.
Enormous growth is predicted for the wearable technology sector generally over the next few years and CCS Insight predicts sales to increase globally to 135 million by 2018.

However, wearable technology is not limited to smartwatches. Google Glass was withdrawn as a consumer product, but it may be re-launched soon with more of a business focus.  Glass’s Sony rival, SmartEyeglass, is already gaining traction as a business tool, including a recent Virgin Atlantic trial.
Pure fitness and health devices like Fitbit and Jawbone are also increasing in popularity, and Google may even be releasing a prescription-only medical wristband for patients. High-tech clothing products are also available, such as the Ralph Lauren smart polo shirt that monitors heartbeat, respiration and stress levels or Sensoria’s smart socks.
Wearable tech businesses, as with other technology businesses, have a heavy reliance on their intellectual property (“IP”). The difference between a successful wearable tech business and a failing one, may well be its approach to harnessing, protecting and enforcing its IP. In that regard, there is a bundle of overlapping IP rights to consider, including copyright, database rights, trade marks, patents, design rights and confidential information.

Here are some useful practical tips on how businesses entering this space can protect their IP assets, categorised as (i) invention rights, (ii) data rights and (iii) product rights.\


Invention rights
Wearable tech products, from the hardware’s monitoring sensors, to the software that manipulates the resulting data and provides an end-user experience, are undeniably smart.
Developers should consider whether anything they are doing amounts to a new invention that could be made the subject of a registered patent in target countries.  A registered patent, while expensive to obtain, can be an extremely powerful and valuable IP right, providing a legal monopoly for up to 20 years.
But not everything “clever” can be patented. A patentable invention must be:
•    New: not previously disclosed, anywhere in the world
•    Inventive: an unimaginative but skilled person in the relevant art would not come up with it
•    Capable of industrial application
Bear in mind also that software is generally not considered patentable in the UK and EU.
However, source code will be protected by copyright laws instead, provided the code is original. It will only protect the code itself, but not entitle its owner to prevent the replication of functionality, if the new program is coded from scratch.
Wearable tech businesses should take every care to ensure that their source code is kept private. They should also ensure that they actually own the copyright in the code since, by default, sub-contracted or commissioned developers (who are not employees) will own the source code they create, unless the contract states otherwise.


Data rights
Much has been written about data protection from the perspective of the customers of wearable technology, but wearable tech businesses should think about that data as an asset in its own right. The biometric data collected by an Apple Watch or smart polo shirt could be aggregated, anonymised and sold to medical or actuarial businesses, or it could be used for targeting future products and apps.
A database can be protected either indirectly by copyright law or directly by ’database right’, an independent right introduced European legislation. Both rights prevent third parties from copying or extracting a substantial part of a database without permission.


For copyright, it is the creative arrangement of the data that is protected; for database rights, it is the investment in obtaining and collating the data. Usefully, the definition of what counts as a database is wide, and things that are not traditionally considered ‘databases’ may be covered, e.g. intranets or document management systems.
But what about protecting the data itself? The only right that can be said to protect the data itself is the right to ‘confidence’. Information not already known or disclosed to the public must be kept confidential if it is made clear, when passed on, that (i) it is confidential information, and (ii) it is being imparted in confidential circumstances. Anyone seeking to disclose or publicise such information or data, without permission, would be in breach of confidence and could be stopped by a court injunction, or may have to pay damages to compensate the owner.


Product rights
A wearable technology product’s branding and design can be more important to its success than its technical specifications. Whether you wear a smartwatch with watchOS or Android Wear probably depends on you being a fan of Apple or Google, which just happen to be the two most valuable brands in the world.
A brand is usually best protected by registering a trade mark, which gives the owner a territorial monopoly for that mark, for specified goods and services. For example, a wearable technology business might want to register its brand for:
•    Medical instruments (class 10)
•    Clothing, footwear and headgear (class 25)
•    Sporting activities (class 41)
Once granted, protection can last forever, provided that use is continuous and renewal fees are paid. In order for a trade mark to be registrable, however, it must be: capable of graphical representation; distinctive; and not purely descriptive. There must also be no other identical or similar marks existing in the relevant territories, for similar goods or services; which could include unregistered marks with sufficient reputation. A global wearable technology business should have a worldwide strategy for trade marks, filing in all jurisdictions that matter.
What the product actually looks like is clearly key for wearable technology; from the consumer and legal perspective. This is the market where fashion and technology combine: as Alan Dye, Apple’s head of User Interface Design put it, “if you’re going to put something on your body and wear it and it’s going to be on your wrist, we can’t not pay attention to that.” The relevant IP right is design right, which comes in both registered and unregistered forms in the UK and EU. Design right protects the aesthetics of a product.  The design must be new, and not purely functional.  It can last up to 25 years if registered or 15 years if unregistered.
As with the creation of copyright works, ensuring ownership of designs is crucial. External contracted designers should provide IP assignments and a product’s design process should be carefully documented so the date of design creation can be authenticated. Where possible, designs should be registered to enhance protection. Given the potential importance of the design of a wearable technology item, in staving off competition, such practical steps can be of real, tangible value down the line.
There is a suite of IP rights involved in a wearable technology offering which, properly harnessed and understood, often constitute the real value of the business. IP rights can be monetised in a number of different ways, depending on the business model adopted:
•    Licensing to third parties for certain purposes
•    Assigning rights that are no longer useful to the business
•    Using rights, and keeping them protected (registration or confidentiality)
•    Enforcing rights against third parties, in cases of infringement
It is usually through a combination of these that a business carves out its niche and thrives, but it can only do so if it first understands what IP rights it owns, and how to protect them in its dealings with third parties.

Source: http://www.itproportal.com/2015/07/21/wearable-tech-insights-into-intellectual-property-rights/

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India blocks Colgate patents for spices

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New Delhi, July 19, 2015, DHNS:


India has successfully blocked two patent claims of US consumer goods major Colgate-Palmolive, which wanted intellectual property right (IPR) cover on two oral compositions made from Indian spices and other herbs.

One patent battle took almost seven years, after the New York-based company filed a claim at the European Patent Register on September 29, 2008, for a composition containing botanical extracts from three herbs, including cinnamon, a common kitchen spice across India, known here as “dalchini”.

India opposed the claim using the traditional knowledge digital library (TKDL) database, created in the last decade to fight biopiracy.

The database, maintained by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), submitted its plea in May 2011, and the European patent office ruled in India’s favour last month.

Two years after filing the first patent claim, Colgate-Palmolive moved another application in 2010 before the European patent office, seeking protection for another oral composition containing nutmeg, ginger, “Bakul” tree, camphor, cinnamon, turmeric, Indian banyan, black pepper, long pepper, Neem and clove. The solution is for treating oral cavity diseases.

This, too, was challenged in June 2014 by TKDL, which showed to the patent examiner there was no novelty in the Colgate claims as ancient Indian texts mention use of extracts from these plants for the same disorders. The claim was rejected this March.

“We identified about 1,500 cases of biopiracy, out of which about 200 have been checked by patent examiners. We won about 180 out of these 200 cases. There are another 1,300-odd cases to be fought,” V K Gupta, former director of the TKDL group in CSIR, told Deccan Herald.

The first case against Colgate was initiated during his tenure.

The digital database, containing Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha formulations, and known medicinal properties of Indian herbs, was created following India’s successful IPR battles on haldi (turmeric), neem and Basmati rice.

The Union Commerce Ministry spent Rs 7.61 crore in 2000 as legal fee to reverse a patent examiner’s decision on basmati rice. “Going by that standard, the TKDL has saved upwards of Rs 500 crore so far, and more to come. In the next step, the government should not only add many more ancient books to the TKDL database but also incorporate knowledge from manuscripts,” said Gupta, who retired in 2013.

Besides Colgate, the other big players who bit the TKDL bullets are Nestle, L’Oreal, Avasthagen, Ranbaxy and Unilever.

Source: http://www.deccanherald.com/content/490282/india-blocks-colgate-patents-spices.html

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Google strengthens its patent search

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By Mario Trujillo - 07/16/15 10:09 AM EDT

Google announced Thursday it was strengthening its “Google Patents” search to help in determining whether a new patent application is valid.

The search giant announced it will now allow people to search in one place for both previously patented material and other "prior art" that may be relevant to a new patent application.

Prior art is the entirety of public information that helps examiners determine whether a patent application is new and original. That can be a search of previous patents as well “non-patent prior art” like books, articles or manuals. All such information will be in one place.

“Good patents support innovation while bad patents hinder it,” the company said in a blog post. “Bad patents drive up costs for innovative companies that must choose between paying undeserved license fees or staggering litigation costs.”

The new search will be able to comb Google Scholar using a standardized patent language used in the United States and Europe. It will also be able to search through foreign patents using Google Translate.

As the number of patent applications increases, Google said it is important to weed out bad ones.

It cited the rise in the rate of patent litigation in 2015. It attributed the majority of that to patent trolls, who can sometimes use a vague or overbroad patent to sue multiple companies over infringement.

Congress is working on legislation aimed at reforming some court procedures that can be exploited by trolls, and Google is part of a coalition of backers. The U.S. Patents and Trademark Office (PTO) has also tried to put a renewed focus on patent quality.

In comments to the PTO earlier this year, Google said its new search function could help examiners conduct pre-examination searches, which could cut down on a more time consuming review.

Source: http://thehill.com/policy/technology/248159-google-strengthens-its-patent-search

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China’s Xiaomi Building Patent ‘War Chest’ in Preparation for U.S. Launch

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By Ina Fried

Xiaomi international head Hugo Barra said on Thursday that the Chinese electronics company is looking to file more patents and strike more deals ahead of a launch into the U.S. market.

The move is essential if Xiaomi really wants to play in the U.S. and Europe, where intellectual property issues are taken seriously.

Barra said at the Code conference that Xiaomi was laying the groundwork for an eventual entry into the U.S. market, but gave no time frame. Industry watchers have said that it would need a far stronger patent position to do so.

The company has thus far stuck to markets like China and India where patents tend to be less strictly enforced. Even so, Xiaomi is already being sued by Ericsson, and it is expected the company would face legal action from others were it to enter more developed markets.

Xiaomi has already filed for 2,000 patents, Barra said in an interview with Bloomberg TV.

“Think of it as, like, a war chest of sorts,” Barra said, adding that the company is also systematically taking patent licenses, especially for standards-essential patents.

“Basically, there’s two things that we’re doing — and which take time,” he said. “One is systematically taking patent licenses — around the world. You know, if it’s a patent and it’s an essential patent then, of course, it needs to be licensed. Secondly, we’re building our own portfolio of patents, you know, for defensive purposes because you kind of have to have that.”

There are two types of patents that are important: Those held by companies like Nokia, Ericsson, Qualcomm and others related to wireless standards, and those covering design and features on modern smartphones. In the Apple-Samsung case, for example, Apple sued over the latter type of patents, alleging Samsung’s designs and features too closely resembled the iPhone.

Even if Xiaomi takes licenses for standards-essential patents from Ericsson and others, it still could face the type of legal action that Samsung faced from Apple.

In the interview, Barra also downplayed the notion that Xiaomi is simply an Apple copycat.

“So this whole copycat melodrama all boils down to one chamfered edge on one particular phone model, which was Mi 4, which people said looked like the iPhone 5,” Barra said. “And I’ve been the first one to admit it. Yes, it does look like the iPhone 5. And that chamfered edge, by the way, is present in so many other devices.”

Not everyone agrees that the similarities end there, a debate that could spill over into the courts if Xiaomi follows through on its promise to launch here.

Source: http://recode.net/2015/07/16/chinas-xiaomi-building-patent-war-chest-in-preparation-for-u-s-launch/

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Oracle Abandons Its Largest Copyright Damages Theory Against Rimini Street

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Oracle drops its $210 million Fair Market Value copyright damages theory

Rimini Street asserts Oracle’s primary remaining copyright damages theory of Lost Profits is without merit

Rimini Street experts calculate Oracle damages, if any, less than $9 million

July 16, 2015 06:36 PM Eastern Daylight Time

LAS VEGAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Rimini Street, Inc., the leading independent provider of enterprise software support for SAP AG’s (NYSE:SAP) Business Suite and BusinessObjects software and Oracle Corporation’s (NYSE:ORCL) Siebel, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, E-Business Suite, Oracle Database, Hyperion and Oracle Retail software, today issued a statement regarding damages claims made by Oracle in Oracle USA, Inc., et al. v. Rimini Street, Inc. et al., Civil No. 2:10-cv-00106-LRH-PAL (U.S. District Court of Nevada).

Statement:

Oracle has suffered yet another significant setback in its decade long fight against competition and in the company’s nearly six year litigation against leading global independent software support provider Rimini Street.

In a recent Court filing, in response to challenges raised by Rimini Street, Oracle abandoned its biggest damages theory of copyright infringement for its PeopleSoft, JD Edwards and Siebel-branded software products based on fair market value, measured by hypothetical license or income approach, to “streamline” the issues for trial.

Accordingly, Oracle has withdrawn the $210 million damages associated with its fair market value theory. Oracle’s primary remaining copyright damages theory in the case is for lost profits, where Rimini Street asserts Oracle’s theory is without merit due to a complete lack of proof of causation.

At trial, Rimini Street will introduce expert testimony that Oracle copyright damages — if Oracle can prove any damages at all — are less than $9 million.

If the Court, following any appeals, determines that Rimini Street did indeed infringe Oracle’s intellectual property rights with any of its support processes, Rimini Street stands ready and willing to take full responsibility and fairly compensate Oracle for any proven damages, and is committed to correcting any related processes in accordance with Court guidance.

Rimini Street looks forward to its day in court as it strives to reach conclusion with Oracle. In the meantime, Rimini Street continues to deliver the highest value support and ultra-responsive service to its clients, expand its capabilities around the globe and continues leading the independent enterprise software maintenance market with its new, innovative class of enterprise support services.

About Rimini Street, Inc.

Rimini Street is the global leader in providing independent enterprise software support services. The company has redefined enterprise support services since 2005 with an innovative, award-winning program that enables Oracle and SAP licensees to save up to 90 percent on total support costs. Clients can remain on their current software release without any required upgrades for at least 15 years. Over 1000 global, Fortune 500, midmarket, and public sector organizations from a broad range of industries have selected Rimini Street as their trusted, independent support provider. To learn more, please visit www.riministreet.com

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release may contain forward-looking statements. The words “believe,” “may,” “will,” “estimate,” “continue,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “expect,” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, and are based on various assumptions. If the risks materialize or our assumptions prove incorrect, actual results could differ materially from the results implied by these forward-looking statements. Rimini Street assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements or information, which speak only as of the date of this press release.

Rimini Street and the Rimini Street logo are trademarks of Rimini Street, Inc. All other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners. Copyright © 2015. All rights reserved.

Source: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20150716006624/en/Oracle-Abandons-Largest-Copyright-Damages-Theory-Rimini#.Vah4Lk8w8dU

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CSIR cites ancient texts to foil MNC’s patent plea

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Vishwa MohanVishwa Mohan

NEW DELHI: India has cited ancient texts in foiling an attempt by US-based consumer goods giant Colgate-Palmolive to patent a mouthwash formula containing herb extracts. The texts cited show that the ingredients were traditionally used in ancient medicinal practices.

The company had filed the patent at the European patent office (EPO) for "oral compositions containing extracts of 'Myristica fragrans' and related methods". The application was, however, deemed to be withdrawn in June after India's premier research body, the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), raised objections.

"The Innovation Protection Unit (IPU) of the CSIR had raised the objection and submitted proof in the form of references from ancient books, which said the herb and its extracts were used for oral diseases in Indian systems of medicine", said Anjana Baruah, head of the unit.

She told TOI that the IPU detected the claim of the consumer goods giant at the website of the EPO and immediately objected to it by citing references that are there in the 'Traditional Knowledge Digital Library' (TKDL) of CSIR.

The IPU constantly looks for such claims by searching applications filed at different patent offices across the world. If it finds any evidence of bio-piracy against such claims, it immediately raises objections and submits proof.

In the Colgate-Palmolive case, it cited existence of the particular herb extracts in the TKDL database. It informed the EPO about references of the extracts in 'Charaka Samhita' - the ancient text of the traditional medicinal practices. It also cited how the extracts are used in different traditional medicines like 'Raughan', 'Dantaprabha Churna Manjan' and 'Sahakaravati'.

India has, so far, identified 1,155 patent applications at different international patent offices with respect to Indian systems of medicine and raised objections in more than 1,120 cases till August last year.

Success has, however, been achieved in 206 cases where the patent applications have either been withdrawn/cancelled/declared dead/terminated or have the claims amended by applicants or rejected by the examiners on the basis of the TKDL submissions. This number may increase as proofs are being examined in many cases.

The IPU not only counter claims of patents filed by scientists\companies\institutions in India and abroad but also files patent application for the inventions on behalf of all research labs of the CSIR. The unit also looks after the protection of intellectual property rights at national and international level for the results of important R&D carried out in the various CSIR laboratories.

In cases of traditional system of medicines or possible instances of bio-piracy, the IPU takes help of the TKDL for verification and submitting evidences.

The TKDL technology integrates diverse disciplines like ayurveda, unani, siddha and yoga. It is based on 359 books of Indian systems of medicine. It acts as a bridge between these books and international patent examiners.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/CSIR-cites-ancient-texts-to-foil-MNCs-patent-plea/articleshow/48106715.cms NEW DELHI: India has cited ancient texts in foiling an attempt by US-based consumer goods giant Colgate-Palmolive to patent a mouthwash formula containing herb extracts. The texts cited show that the ingredients were traditionally used in ancient medicinal practices.

The company had filed the patent at the European patent office (EPO) for "oral compositions containing extracts of 'Myristica fragrans' and related methods". The application was, however, deemed to be withdrawn in June after India's premier research body, the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), raised objections.

"The Innovation Protection Unit (IPU) of the CSIR had raised the objection and submitted proof in the form of references from ancient books, which said the herb and its extracts were used for oral diseases in Indian systems of medicine", said Anjana Baruah, head of the unit.

She told TOI that the IPU detected the claim of the consumer goods giant at the website of the EPO and immediately objected to it by citing references that are there in the 'Traditional Knowledge Digital Library' (TKDL) of CSIR.

The IPU constantly looks for such claims by searching applications filed at different patent offices across the world. If it finds any evidence of bio-piracy against such claims, it immediately raises objections and submits proof.

In the Colgate-Palmolive case, it cited existence of the particular herb extracts in the TKDL database. It informed the EPO about references of the extracts in 'Charaka Samhita' - the ancient text of the traditional medicinal practices. It also cited how the extracts are used in different traditional medicines like 'Raughan', 'Dantaprabha Churna Manjan' and 'Sahakaravati'.

India has, so far, identified 1,155 patent applications at different international patent offices with respect to Indian systems of medicine and raised objections in more than 1,120 cases till August last year.

Success has, however, been achieved in 206 cases where the patent applications have either been withdrawn/cancelled/declared dead/terminated or have the claims amended by applicants or rejected by the examiners on the basis of the TKDL submissions. This number may increase as proofs are being examined in many cases.

The IPU not only counter claims of patents filed by scientists\companies\institutions in India and abroad but also files patent application for the inventions on behalf of all research labs of the CSIR. The unit also looks after the protection of intellectual property rights at national and international level for the results of important R&D carried out in the various CSIR laboratories.

In cases of traditional system of medicines or possible instances of bio-piracy, the IPU takes help of the TKDL for verification and submitting evidences.

The TKDL technology integrates diverse disciplines like ayurveda, unani, siddha and yoga. It is based on 359 books of Indian systems of medicine. It acts as a bridge between these books and international patent examiners.

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India’s pharmaceutical patent law may face new hurdle

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The norm calls for applying non-violation complaints to the World Trade Organization’s trade-related intellectual property rights agreement

D. Ravi Kanth

Geneva: The patent law for pharmaceutical products in India and other developing countries, including provisions that define what constitutes inventions, could face a legal challenge because of a controversial new norm being pushed by the US and Switzerland.

The norm, which would adversely affect Indian pharmaceutical companies, calls for applying non-violation complaints (NVCs) to the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) trade-related intellectual property rights (TRIPS) agreement.

NVCs enable a WTO member to raise a dispute against another member’s actions or policies that caused it a loss, even if there is no violation of a WTO agreement.

So far, NVCs are applied only to the WTO’s provisions governing trade in goods and trade in services but not to the TRIPS agreement because of an existing moratorium.

The US and Switzerland, which represent the interests of the largest pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer Inc., Merck and Co. Inc., Eli Lilly and Co., Bristol-Meyers Squibb Co., Roche Holding AG and Novartis AG, among others, want to terminate the moratorium on the application of NVCs to the TRIPS agreement at the WTO’s 10th ministerial conference in Nairobi, Kenya, later this year.

Despite raising numerous concerns on the amended Indian patent Act, particularly the 3(d) provision that prevents pharmaceutical companies from extending their 20-year product patents by making minor changes or improvements, the US and Switzerland chose not to bring a dispute at the WTO.

But NVCs provide a special legal instrument to the US and Switzerland to take Indian pharmaceutical firms to task at the WTO on the ground that the Indian patent provisions are causing a material loss even as they remain consistent with the trade body’s IPR provisions, said IPR analysts familiar with the issue.

The US and Switzerland could also be pushing the NVC issue on systemic considerations and not exclusively for their industry interests, a European TRIPS official said.

But a large majority of countries drawn from Asia, South America, Africa and even industrialized countries such as Norway and Canada have consistently opposed the demand from the US and Switzerland to introduce the application of NVCs to the TRIPS provisions. Notwithstanding a near-isolation on the NVC issue, the US and Switzerland have not relented on their stand and continue to remain inflexible, trade officials argued.

On 9 July, the chair for the WTO’s TRIPS council, Ambassador Abdolazeez S. Al-Otaibi of Saudi Arabia, convened a closed-door meeting of select countries to explore whether he can bring about a compromise between the two sides which remain daggers crossed on the issue at this juncture.

The chair invited officials from the US, Switzerland, the European Union, China, India, Brazil, Peru, Argentina, South Africa and Nigeria on behalf of the African group as well as Russia, Egypt and Taiwan to discuss the way forward on the NVCs at the 10th ministerial meeting.

Trade officials from Peru, India, Brazil, China, Russia, Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa told the chair that the NVCs are inapplicable to the TRIPS agreement on several grounds. Unlike other WTO agreements, the TRIPS agreement is asui generis agreement that is not designed to protect market access but rather to establish minimum standards of intellectual property protection, Peru stated on behalf of the 17 countries that are calling for inapplicability of NVC to the TRIPS agreement.

The 17 countries, including India, Brazil, China, Bolivia, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Pakistan, Peru, Russia, Sri Lanka and Venezuela, had earlier called for a permanent moratorium on NVCs under the TRIPS agreement. “We are going to submit our proposal to ensure the inapplicability of the NVCs next week,” a Peruvian official said on condition of anonymity.

India stated that the overwhelming majority of WTO members called for the “inapplicability” of the NVCs to the TRIPS agreement. The best way to end the controversy on applying NVCs to the TRIPS agreement is to make it permanently “inapplicable” and thereby end the cycle of extensions of moratoriums, the Indian official argued.

The US argued vehemently at the meeting that NVCs be made applicable to the TRIPS agreement. If there is no consensus on the extension of the moratorium at the WTO’s 10th ministerial conference beginning on 15 December, the NVCs will automatically apply to the TRIPS agreement, the US maintained, according to the participant.

Switzerland said it supports the US for applying the NVCs to the TRIPS agreement.

The EU maintained that the US and Switzerland have not been able to convince members why the application of NVC to the TRIPS agreement is required and under what circumstances it is relevant, a EU official said, asking not to be named.

The chair said the NVC issue must be resolved once and for all. Ambassador Al-Otaibi said he will convene another meeting in October to see if a solution could be found to the NVC issue, which remains unresolved since 2001.

Source: http://www.livemint.com/Politics/tBKuZbR5lW9gd73Qy0sU4N/Indias-pharmaceutical-patent-law-may-face-new-hurdle.html

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Gap takes two Indian apparel companies to court for alleged trademark violations

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Gap takes two Indian apparel companies to court for alleged trademark violations Gap, the US apparel company that recently opened its first store in India, is taking legal recourse to defend its trademarks here.

Rasul Bailay  |  16 July 2015, 8:03 AM IST

NEW DELHI: Gap, the US apparel company that recently opened its first store in India, is taking legal recourse to defend its trademarks here. Gap has dragged two Indian apparel manufacturers to the Delhi High Court, alleging trademark violations for using labels such as Gap-In, Gap-2 and Gap Two.

Priya Rao, a lawyer representing Gap, said that the court appointed commissioners in one case each in Delhi and Bengaluru who conducted raids and seized goods that were considered to have infringed the company's trademarks.

Gap became aware of the violations in January and issued legal notices to no effect, according to the court order in May issued in response to Gap's plea for a permanent injunction to restrain the manufacturers.

In January, the court had said that Gap is a wellknown company and it has an established reputation in general public for the trademark. "The act of the defendant in selling apparel under the trademark Gap-In is an infringement upon the rights of the plaintiff," the court said, while giving an injunction in January in one of the cases.

In the court documents, Gap lawyers argued that the Delhibased manufacturer had been using Gap, Gap-2 or Gap-Two logos, which are deceptively similar to that of the San Francisco-based fashion giant.

The court issued an ex parte interim order restraining the defendants from manufacturing, selling or using the trademark and ordered the issue of summons to them returnable on October 12.

Gap sells clothing, accessories and personal care products under the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Athleta and Intermix brands. Its products are available in more than 90 countries.

Source: http://retail.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/apparel-fashion/apparel/gap-takes-two-indian-apparel-companies-to-court-for-alleged-trademark-violations/48093359

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