From the desk of Dr. Mohan Dewan | Assisted by: Adv. Aboli Kherde, Adv. Sachi Kapoor & Adv. Shubham Borkar
Gully Boy (2019) is one of the largest hits of 2019. The movie brings to foreground, the niche rap culture through the story of 2 of indigenous rappers Divine and Naezy. The movie rose to fame for its extreme relatability, exceptional direction and cinematography. It was also critically acclaimed for bringing to foreground the realities of the streets of Mumbai and its youngsters. So much so that it was also sent to Oscars. However, recent news reports suggest that the movie was refused nomination at the Oscars for allegedly being derived from 8 Miles. It is being stated amongst Netizens that Gully Boy draws inspiration from the movie 8 Miles since both the stories revolve around the struggle of upcoming rappers who were bullied by his hard-hitting realities such as family struggle, poverty etc.
On the contrary, it can be argued that art does derive inspiration from existing art. And the story of a struggling artist, that too a rapper, could be similar considering that millennial all over the world today face similar issues. It is not always what story is told, but also how it is told, especially in the case of film-making. Film making even though has story-telling as its most integral part, but it also has other aspects like cinematography, screen play, photography, acting etc. It is an entire world that is built around the story. The basic cultural fabric of Gully Boy and 8 Miles is far from similar and hence, their similarity on the grounds of cinematography, sound, etc. can easily be argued.
It leaves a question as to the extent to which IP can be protected and the point from which new IP is said to be started.
In the early 1800’s, when ice cream was introduced, they were served in glass dishes and the customer had to lick the ice cream from these dishes and return it back to the vendor. The vendor would then wash the dishes and serve ice cream in them to other customers. Yes, we know, sanitation was a huge issue in addition to the speed required to wash the dishes and use them to serve other customers! This led to the invention of the ‘cone’ in the late 1800’s! The ‘ice cream cone’ not only was a great invention with respect to solving issues related to sanitation, but also, since it was edible, the maintenance involved in maintain the dishes was cut!
Today, nearly 2 centuries later, the issue is with respect to the use of plastic and plastic cups! In an attempt to solve this issue, the Air New Zealand is trial running ‘biscotti cups’ to serve coffee. The airline recorded that it currently serves more than 8 million cups of coffee per year, and it aims to reduce the waste on board with the introduction of this edible cup. Yes, so now you will be able to munch on your coffee cup while sipping coffee. These biscotti cups are being manufactured by a company name ‘twiice’ (for more information access https://twiice.co.nz/). The company is run on the moto – no waste and no dishes. The ‘Twiice’ cup is leak proof and spill proof and will not crumble while it holds your coffee, in fact it will stay intact for long after you’ve finished your drink too.
The cups are not only eco-friendly but are also made free from preservatives or any artificial flavours. The mark ‘Twiice’ stands registered in New Zealand since September, 2019, bearing no. 1115795.
Sitagliptin is a drug used for the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes. Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp (“Merck”) has been granted a patent for this drug. Sanjeev Gupta and his associates (“the Defendants”) were engaged in the manufacture and sale of a drug under the name Swizglipt. According to Merck, Swizglipt was infringing upon its patented drug, Sitagliptin. Merck approached the Delhi High Court in Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp & Anr v. Sanjeev Gupta & Ors CS(COMM) 823/2018 seeking, inter alia, an injunction against the Defendants from manufacturing or selling the infringing product.
Merck claimed that manufacturing the product, even for the purposes of export, is in violation of the rights of the patentee, as per Section 48 of the Patents Act, 1970. Section 48 of the Patents Act, inter alia, provides the rights to a patentee to prevent third parties from the act of making, using, offering for sale, selling or importing for those purposes that product in India.
Even though the infringing product was not being sold in India, it was being manufactured for the purpose of export from India. The Defendant argued that Section 48 of the Act does not cover such manufacture which is undertaken solely for the purposes of export. The Defendant further contended that activities such as making, using, selling mentioned in Section 48 of the Act were within the territory of India and thus, manufacturing for export or export should not be considered as an infringing activity. By reading the word “export” as a part of the words ““making, using, offering for sale, selling or importing for those purposes”, the Act was being made, extraterritorial, that is, applicable beyond the territory of India.However, the Delhi High Court did not agree with this construction or interpretation of Section 48. It observed that, “...the protection enjoyed as a result of grant of a patent cannot be reduced to cover only domestic manufacture and sale.”. It held that since the manufacture of the product has, admittedly, occurred within the territory of India the question of extraterritorial application does not arise in this case.
The Defendant also tried to base its rights to manufacture the drug on the license it had obtained under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940. However the Court rejected this contention stating that while granting the license, the Drugs Authorities do not cross check whether the drug for which license is being granted is protected under any patent.
The Court thus held that the balance of convenience was in favour of Merck and allowed its application for interim injunction.
The adjective Red, for a Beetroot is redundant. Today, when synthetic foods dominate our diet, can we say the same about the use of the adjective Organic for Foods? Isn’t all food, atleast that it raw form (vegetables, fruits, eggs, meat, etc.) supposed to be organic?
Sadly, more and more food products and other edibles such as nutrition supplements, proteins, are synthetically processed. The substitution of organic and naturally occurring food items with synthetic or synthetically processed food items has resulted in biological magnification as well as affected human health. Some jurisdictions like the USA, EU, Canada, India and Australia have various laws and standards to regulate the use of the word Organic or Natural on food packets or labels. These jurisdictions have well established provisions and procedures for obtaining certification for use of such words. For example, the USDA Organic requires that organic food products should be pesticide free, fertilizer free, hormone free, radiation free, etc.
India has Food Safety and Standards (Organic Foods) Regulations, 2017 which regulates the use of the term ‘Organic’ on Food Products. It is interesting to note that as per the Indian Trade Marks Registry, there are more than 450 trademark Applications containing the word Organic in Class 29 alone. In order to claim that the food item is an Organic Food item, the proprietor is required to comply with the provisions of the National Programme for Organic Production or the Participatory Guarantee System for India or any other standards notified by the FSSAI. However, food that is marketed for direct sales by small producers is exempted from these compliances. The Label of Organic Food Items/ Products should provide accurate information on the organic status of the product. It is required to carry the certification mark of the concerned systems and the FSSAI logo. As per these regulations, it is mandatory to display the traceability of the food item right upto its Producer.
Various reports suggest that around 80% of the world’s counterfeit/ infringing products come from China.
ORRA Fine Jewellery Private Limited (“Orra”) is a well-known brand in the jewellery sector, having multiple outlets and stores across India. It is the registered proprietor of the marks ‘ORRA’. Orra filed a suit for infringement of trademark and copyright as well as passing off ORRA Fine Jewellery Private Limited v. TomTop Merchandise Private Limited & Ors. at the Bombay High Court. Orra pleaded that it came to know about an e-commerce website called www.orra-jewels.com around August 2019. Not only did the website name contain ‘Orra’, but also some of the jewels that it displayed/ sold bore the mark ‘ORRA’. It was later found that the seller was merely a delivery agent for a Chinese manufacturer who actually owned the website. The Court granted ad-interim injunction against the Chinese website as well as the Defendant from selling the infringing products. The Chinese manufacturer who owns the website is now required to reply to the Plaint. Keep watching this space for further updates on the case.
As the holiday season comes around, most of us are away for a vacation, retreat or a family get-together. Keeping up with the holiday mood, in this edition, we bring to you, 2 very interesting places that are known all over the world for their unique and exotic feels!
A different Planet or a City of Fairy Chimneys or a Honeycomb!
Travellers from all over the world have been fascinated by Cappadocia’s beautiful landscapes. The terrain is dry and rocky and comprises of humongous rocks in soft shapes similar to sand dunes. The soft, wavy, curly topography of Cappadocia is not the only wonder it holds! This honeycomb-like place hosts a massive collection of more than 10 full-fledged cities underground!!! Yes, as volcanic eruptions over the period of time formed these beautiful natural monuments, it soon became a city-sized canvass for people to paint and carve! Goreme, which is the most popular tourist attraction of Cappadocia, witnessed lots of territorial wars. In order to save themselves from the onslaught of harsh weather conditions or ongoing terror attacks in the Hittite era, circa 1800 to 1200 B.C.1 Century. Some of these underground habitats have caves which have magnificent wall size paintings and carvings from the ancient times. Nature and man have been romancing since the beginning of time itself, giving birth to newer and newer cultures that remain a happy memory of our ancestors all over the world.
Island of Palau, Australia
Palau is an archipelago of over 500 largely pristine islands formed by limestones and volcanic eruptions. Palau now hosts an evergreen forest that is surrounded by waters. Palau is situated in the western Pacific Ocean. The pristine underwater bodies are a huge attraction of this coral treasure!
1 For more informative details visit https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/world-heritage/cappadocia/