Posts Tagged: "Delhi High Court"

India’s Prius Judgment and Trans-Border Reputation of Trademarks

A trademark is accorded reputation through its prolonged use and the goodwill it holds in the market where it operates. A trademark is believed to have a reputation when the general public recognizes the product by its mark. The reputation of a well-known trademark knows no bounds, and therefore foreign trademarks with a reputation are accorded protection in India. This concept of trans-border reputation protection follows the principle of universality, which states that once the reputation of a trademark transcends the physical boundaries of the country in which it was registered and gains popularity in other countries as well, it is to be protected in all relevant jurisdictions. Thus, the trademark owner is entitled to protection under the doctrine of passing-off if it can prove that the reputation of its trademark transcended geographical borders by way of promotions, advertisements and media communications. 

India Gives Birth to IP Division in Delhi High Court

In India, a similar administrative adjudicatory body to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), called the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB), was constituted by a Gazette notification of the Central Government in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry on September 15, 2003…. However, the IPAB was eradicated by the Central Government of India by way of the Tribunals Reforms (Rationalization and Conditions of Service) Ordinance, 2021, published in the Gazette of India on April 4, 2021…. To address the backlog and growing number of cases, the Delhi High Court, on the recommendations of a two-member judge committee, recently announced the creation of the Intellectual Property Division (IPD) in a press release titled “Creation Of Intellectual Property Division in the Delhi High Court.”

The Problem of IPR Infringement in India’s Burgeoning Startup Ecosystem

For a country of 1.3 billion people who pride themselves on ingenuity, entrepreneurial spirit, and innovative thinking, a significant percentage of the Indian population is woefully unaware of trademark infringement and intellectual property theft. At the beginning of 2010, the Indian e-commerce scene was still in its nascent stage but within the next five years, the growth was unprecedented. This was a result of the rapid internet access proliferation combined with the telecom boom. The budget phone segment and the affordable data tariff pushed the tier-II and tier-III cities into the fore. Just to put things in perspective, according to recent studies, there are close to 600 million phone users in India with over 300 million smartphone owners, which is just 20 million shy of the population of the United States (as per 2018 records). With a sizeable portion of the population heavily consuming online media and transacting digitally, there is a huge market for service providers and aggregators. Leveraging the demand for such service providers, startups from all over the country have mushroomed in a frenzy. Under the current government, initiatives like “Make In India” and “Startup India” have further bolstered the growth of these SMEs.

Delhi High Court Rules Architect’s Moral Rights Offer No Remedy for Demolition of Building He Designed

Does an architect, as author of an artistic work in the form of a building covered by copyright, have a right to restrain the owner of the land to demolish the building and construct another in its place? The Delhi High Court of India recently answered this firmly in the negative in the case of Raj Rewal v. Union Of India and Ors. The Delhi Court’s judgment gave preference to requirements of urban planning over the moral rights of an architect. It held that the owner of the building has full power to dispose of or destroy it. The judgment is significant in its contribution to the jurisprudence on the scope and limitations of “moral rights” in Indian Copyright Law.

Delhi High Court Ruling Clarifies Requirements for Export Under India’s Bolar Exemption

In 2002, India’s Patent Act 1970 [“the Act”] was amended to include Section 107A. This provision says that any act of making, using, selling or importing a patented invention solely for uses reasonably related to the development and submission of information required under any law in India, or in a country other than India, shall not be considered as infringement of patent rights.  This provision also outlines India’s Bolar exemption. As per the “Bolar doctrine,” which arose out of the U.S. case of Roche Products v. Bolar Pharmaceuticals (1984), it is permissible for third parties to carry out research and development on patented products (especially drugs) for the purposes of submitting information as required by regulatory authorities. The purpose of this provision is to ensure that third parties can conduct research and development and obtain prior regulatory approvals, enabling them to launch the patented products on the market as soon as the patent term expires. This ensures that patent holders do not get a de facto monopoly on their inventions after expiration of their patent term. Further, it ensures that the public has access to cheaper generic versions of the drugs immediately after expiration of the patent term. In India, the scope of this provision has been controversial for some time now, leading to a slew of litigation between major international pharmaceutical companies and Indian generic manufacturers claiming the Bolar exemption. In the recent combined decision in the matters of Bayer Corporation v. Union of India & Ors. LPA No. 359/2017 and Bayer Intellectual Property GMBH & Anr. v. Alembic Pharmaceuticals Ltd. RFA(OS)(COMM) 6/2017 (March 22, 2019), the Division Bench of the Delhi High Court laid these controversies to rest by deciding the question of whether export is permissible under this provision.

Pre-Institution Mediation Under the Indian Commercial Courts Act: A Strategic Advantage

A 2018 amendment to the Indian Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts Act, 2015 (“Commercial Courts Act”) makes it mandatory for a party to exhaust the remedy of mediation before initiating court proceedings under the Commercial Courts Act, with the limited exception of cases where urgent relief is being sought. Patent infringement disputes, being disputes of a commercial nature, are governed by the Commercial Courts Act and, therefore, the mandatory pre-institution mediation provision applies to such disputes. The time bound mediation procedure envisaged in this provision allows a patentee to not only bring a possible infringer to the negotiation table under the threat of future litigation but also allow patentees to resolve disputes in a timely manner by avoiding long-drawn litigation in Indian courts. Patentees can now consider a different strategy when considering steps for enforcement of patent rights in India in view of the possible advantages of such mediation proceedings discussed in this article.