May 20

RKD NewsNet May 2020 - Volume II

From the desk of Dr. Mohan Dewan | Assisted by: Adv. Aboli Kherde, Adv. Sachi Kapoor & Adv. Shubham Borkar

General News

Anna University develops a “wholesome killer” sanitizer

Soap water or alcohol-based sanitizers which are generally available in the market break down the virus envelope and thereby kill it but their genetic material still remains. This genetic material is an environmental contaminant and can get into other organisms via horizontal gene transfer. However recently, researchers at Chennai’s National Hub for Healthcare Instrumentation Development Centre for Biotechnology, Anna University have developed an enhanced sanitizer by addition of a biochemical that not only digest the proteins and lipids (outer envelope) of the Coronavirus, but also its core genetic material (nucleic acid). A patent application has also been applied for this process and enhanced sanitiser . A nasal drop variant is also under planning.

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IIT Professor develops a software which can detect COVID 19 within 5 seconds

Kamal Jain, a professor at the IIT Roorkee’s Civil Engineering Department, has developed a software that can detect COVID 19 infection using an X-ray scan of an infected patient. He has filed a patent application for this method and has approached the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for a review. His software could not only reduce COVID 19 testing costs but can also reduce the risk of exposure to Doctors and other healthcare professionals.

He asserts that doctors can simply upload pictures of a patient's X-ray on the software and then the software will classify whether the patient has any sign of pneumonia. The software can also distinguish whether the pneumonia is as a result of COVID-19 or as a result of bacterial infection. This system is also capable of measuring the severity of the infection. He also says that he has analyzed over 60,000 X-ray scans, including those of COVID-19, pneumonia and tuberculosis patients and has created a repository. He is able to differentiate between the kind of chest congestion suffered in the three diseases and has noticed that pneumonia caused by COVID-19 is more severe than that caused by other infections. He has also discovered that COVID 19 affects lungs completely while other two infections affect only portions of lungs. His software analyses the bilateral opacity, the pattern of fluid build-up in the lungs, and the nature of clump or clots if they are formed.

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Personal Data Protection Laws in India

“Data is the new oil”. Data has replaced oil to become the most valuable commodity in the 21st-century. All 5 of the most valuable companies in the world namely Amazon, Google Apple, Microsoft, and Facebook belong to the data sector. Data can be broadly classified into Public data and Personal data depending upon its sensitivity and accessibility.

Protection under Indian Laws

In India, Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, Section 43A and Section 72 A of the Information Technology Act (2000) (“the IT Act”) and its corresponding Information Technology (Reasonable Security Practices and Procedures and Sensitive Personal Data or Information) Rules, 2011 (“the IT Rules”) regulate data privacy1. However, these provisions are very limited in their scope and do not cover all aspects of the data privacy issue. The main reason for this is that none of these were enacted with the primary objective of data privacy.

To overcome this, India has issued the Personal Data Protection Bill 2019 (“the Bill”) which if successful will be India’s first law on the protection of personal data. In this article, we have discussed three types of personal information and how the Bill proposes to protect them:


Health Data

Health data comprises a variety of information such as a patient’s age, contact information, medical history which is shared through fitness apps/ gadgets, online checkups, etc. The IT Rules only protect a limited set of information like physical, physiological and mental health conditions; sexual orientation; medical records, and history, and hence a major part of health data is left uncovered. Entities that process health data are not under an obligation to inform their users of any data breach, and individuals are not even aware in case, their health details have been compromised.

The 2019 Bill proposes to fill this lacuna by making a data breach notification mandatory.

Additionally, the Indian Government is also proposing the Digital Information Security in Healthcare Act ('DISHA') which would be India’s first Health Data specific legislation to regulate the storage and exchange of electronic health data.


Geo-Location Information

Multiple apps like Facebook, Google, Life360 - Family Locator, mSpy, FamiSafe, Spyzie track our locations on the go. However, since location information is not covered under the definition of sensitive personal data defined under the IT Rules; any corporate body can disseminate such information to other parties without attracting any liability under the Rules. In the absence of any law preventing the dissemination of Location information, these apps can easily trade our location information with third parties. The 2019 Bill proposes a wide definition of personal data that will cover Geo-location information.


Right to be Forgotten

The Right to be Forgotten is a Right of an individual to have his /her private information removed from public domains and prevent individuals from getting perpetually stigmatized as a consequence of a specific action performed in the past which is no more relevant in the present.

There is no Right to be Forgotten in the Indian jurisdiction yet, except Article 21 under which it is covered. The 2019 Bill does propose the inclusion of the Right to be forgotten. Individuals would be able to limit, delete, delink, or correct any information about him which is misleading, embarrassing, and irrelevant.

1Sensitive personal data or information of a person means such personal information which consists of information relating to;— (i) password; (ii) financial information such as Bank account or credit card or debit card or other payment instrument details ; (iii) physical, physiological and mental health condition; (iv) sexual orientation; (v) medical records and history; (vi) Biometric information; (vii) any detail relating to the above clauses as provided to body corporate for providing service; and (viii) any of the information received under above clauses by body corporate for processing, stored or processed under lawful contract or otherwise

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Indian Court exercises extra-territorial jurisdiction on a US based trademark infringer and squatter

Hindustan Times Media Limited (“HT”) is a news broadcasting agency known for its newspaper Hindustan Times, in India since 1924. HT also has immense global reputation. It is the registered proprietor of, inter alia, the marks “Hindustan Times”, “Hindustan” (bearing TM Nos. 1350439, 1508548 respectively) in class 16 and owner of www.hindustantimes.com, www.hindustan.in, etc.. HT found that Brainlink International, Inc., based in New York, owned the domain name www.hindustan.com which was deceptively similar to HT’s registered trademarks and domain names. HT filed a suit at the Delhi High Court, HT Media Limited & Anr. v. Brainlink International, Inc. CS(COMM) 119/2020 IAs 3767-3771/2020.

In December 2019, HT sent a notice to Brainlink for ceasing trademark infringement and asking it to sell the domain name to HT. However, Brainlink asked for 3 Million USD as consideration to give up the domain name. Brainlink also filed a suit against HT in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York (“US EDNY”) for declaration of non-infringement.

HT stated that as per Section 134 (2) of the Indian Trade Marks Act, 1999, a registered proprietor can file a suit for infringement in the jurisdiction where it is carrying on business. Also, users in Delhi searching for “Hindustan” were being directed to the infringing domain giving rise to the cause of action in Delhi. Thus, the Delhi High Court has jurisdiction over the matter. HT further contended that Brainlink had obtained the domain name in 1997, mala fide, to use it for news broadcasting by riding upon HT’s goodwill. It alleged that Brainlink was clearly ‘cyber-squatting’ by demanding an exorbitant amount for selling the domain to HT. HT prayed not only for injunction against infringement of its trademarks and domains, but also to restrain Brainlink from proceeding with its suit filed at the US EDNY.

The Court, in its order dated April 28, 2020, agreed with HT’s contentions. It noted that Brainlink had not legitimately used the domain same since 2000 and was squatting upon it only to earn profits from HT. The case filed in the US was also considered oppressive by the Court, since there was no assertion of trademark rights by HT in the US. The Court thus held that a prima facie case was made out against Brainlink and granted a temporary ex-parte injunction from infringing the trademarks and for proceeding against HT in the US EDNY.

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The Indian Government hopes Gilead will voluntarily license Remdesivir to manufacturers in India

Gilead’s Remdesivir is considered to be one of the most promising drugs being tested to treat COVID-19. In an article published by Live Mint, two senior Indian Government Officials have stated that the Government is not planning to order Gilead Sciences Inc. to compulsorily license the novel drug Remdesivir to manufacturers in India. Instead, the Government is hoping that the California-based pharma giant will voluntarily issue licenses for its patented drug to manufacturers in India so that the drug is available to patients at a low cost. The drug is presently undergoing clinical trials which are at an advanced stage.

Earlier in 2015, the Indian Patent Office had rejected Gilead’s patent application for Sovaldi (an anti-hepatitis C drug) on the grounds that it lacked an inventive step over an earlier compound. The move attracted a strong observation from the US Pharma Industry. This time around the Indian government does not want to disturb the relationships with the US.

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Justice Pratibha Singh expresses the need for the creation of a Pandemic Patent Pool

Justice Prathiba M. Singh of the Delhi High Court, in an article published on the occasion of World IP Day 2020 in The Hindu expressed a need for the creation of a Pandemic Patent Pool. Patent Pools are consortium between two or more patent owners who offer their patents to third parties. Patent Pools can be used to effectively aggregate, administer, and license patents related to specific areas of technology. Patent pools are generally managed by a central agency and anyone who wishes to license any of the patents of a patent pool can approach the pool, pay the royalty rates to the agency agree to the terms, and begin to manufacture and sell the products.

She stated that the creation of a global patent pool of COVID 19 related innovations or innovations related to rare pandemics, in respect of vaccines and medicines would be a fruitful endeavour. This will supplement individual efforts made by research organizations to license their technologies. Trustworthy international organizations can manage these patent pools.

These innovations can be implemented by any country without taking any further permission from the patent-holders and without resorting to the provisions of compulsory licensing and state acquisition.

She added that “even if the royalties are paid at a minimal level, the revenues would still be in billions of dollars owing to large swathes of the population being affected by the pandemic, who will need to be administered these products.”

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Delhi High Court clarifies difference between ‘change of name’ and ‘change of ownership’ in trade mark records

While change of proprietor’s name is merely a procedure to update the records of the Trade Marks Registry (“Registry”), an assignment is the transfer of substantial rights in the trade mark to another entity. In India, an assignment has to be recorded by filing an application vide Form TM-P as prescribed in the Trade Mark Rules (“Rules”) along with a copy of the assignment deed. However, if there is a change in the description/ address of the Applicant/ proprietor, it should be recorded with the Registry with an application vide in Form “TM-33 and 34” as prescribed by the Rules.

M/s S. K. Cosmetics is a partnership firm of Mr. Shyam Sunder Nagpal and Mr. Naresh Kumar Nagpal. There were ongoing disputes between the partners regarding the ownership of trademarks (bearing TM Nos. 440395, 491569, 789148, 789148, 1027514, 1168312, 1198243, 1327898, 1843825, 1469941 and 1843824). Mr. Naresh Kumar Nagpal filed applications for changing the description and address of the proprietor of its trademarks. Based on these, the Registry changed the ownership of the trademark and recorded Mr. Naresh Kumar Nagpal, (Respondent in the below mentioned case) as the new owner. S. K. Cosmetics filed a writ petition before the Delhi High Court: S K Cosmetics v. The Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks And Ors. W.P.(C) 13158/2019 & CM APPL. 53565/2019 praying for a writ of Mandamus to direct the Registry to revoke its orders of change in ownership.

The Petitioner sought the court’s direction for deciding whether filing of Form 33 and 34 for change of description of a proprietor could be recorded as change of ownership of the trade mark. The Delhi High Court, in its order dated February 11, 2020, clarified the legal position on this by stating, “Recordal of assignments or transmission of registered trademarks is a serious matter, especially if there are disputes pending in respect of ownership of the marks. The owner of a registered trade mark cannot therefore be changed in a mechanical or a perfunctory manner, simply upon filing of any Form.” An assignment is to be recorded only upon fulfilment of formalities, submission of evidence and satisfaction of the Registry.

In response, the Registry submitted that it has disposed off the Applicant’s request, stating that the TM-33 was only for Change of Name of the Registered Proprietor without changing ownership. It also assured the Petitioner that the change in ownership would not be affected unless such an application is duly processed, and restored the status quo ante of the petitioner’s marks. The Writ Petition was thus disposed off with no costs.

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Hidden Meanings in Trademarks

Lockdowns all over the globe, have put our dear cars to rest for some time. Today, one does have renewed appreciation for the blessing that transportation is! We can only dream of those long, windy road trips for a few days now. Did you know, most automobile brands put hidden meanings in their trademarks? Let us find out:


Toyota uses 3 ellipses in its logo. If we look closely, the word Toyota is embedded in the logo itself! It is also said that Toyota was earlier a needle manufacturing company. Thus, these ellipses are also believed to be eyes of needles. Interesting what a needle manufacturer can do!


Images sourced from: https://digitalsynopsis.com/design/famous-brand-logos-hidden-meanings/


*We do not claim any copyright in the images. They have been used for representational purposes only.


Continental Tires:

Can you fit a whole tire in the word Continental? You may not be able to fit the spelling “T-I-R-E” but you can surely fit a Tire in it! Let me give you an example. If we look closely, we can see the perspective view of a tire in the letters “CO” of the word Continental. The Horse symbol in its branding represents its connection with Germany.

Images sourced from: https://www.continentaltire.com/news/why-horse-continental-tire-logo-dates-back-1875


*We do not claim any copyright in the images. They have been used for representational purposes only.



Gone are the days when product manufacturers just sold their products and forgot about it. Customer relationship management, even after the products are sold is also an integral part of businesses in the modern world. Hyundai adopted this policy right at its inception. Its logo is said to contain a handshake between the Company and its customer. The letter “H” used in the Hyundai logo is actually 2 people shaking hands:


Images sourced from: https://carfromjapan.com/article/industry-knowledge/meaning-of-hyundai-logo-revealed/

*We do not claim any copyright in the images. They have been used for representational purposes only.

Like we always say, once you see it, you can not us-see it!

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