From the desk of Dr. Mohan Dewan | Assisted by: Adv. Arjun Pradhan Adv. Shubham Borkar
According to the DPIIT’s Handbook of Copyright Law, making any work accessible for the public to view, hear, or otherwise experience directly or by any method of exhibition or dispersion is referred to as ‘communicating with the public’. Curiously enough, it is not imperative that any member of the public actually enjoys the work so made available through his sense perception. For instance, even though a cable operator may telecast a cinematograph film which no member of the public may see, it would still be considered as ‘communication to the public’. Thus, the fact that the work in question is accessible to the public is sufficient enough for one to proclaim that the work is communicated to the public.
Recently, in the matter of Society of Composers, Authors, and Music Publishers of Canada v. Entertainment Software Association, The Federal Court of Appeal of Canada held that ‘making available’ a music stream online and the successive act of streaming/ downloading the same track are not subject to two separate royalties. The Federal Court of Appeal set aside the ruling of the Copyright Board of Canada on the basis that the Canadian Parliament did not aim for such acts to be viewed as two separate and distinct conducts.
Thus, for example, for an e-book to be circulated through the Web, on demand, in India, it would be imperative upon an individual to check whether the e-book is made available either for ‘download’ or as a ‘stream’. Here, ‘streaming’ may be considered as a method of delivery of data from the internet straight to a user's computer or phone screen without having to be download it first.
In addition to this, one would require to weigh in the amount of royalty to be charged—whether the act of making the e-book available (through a link) should be taken as a separate remunerative activity or not; and the factum of that e-book being streamed or downloaded be deemed deserving of more royalties?
It is important to note that each of such pursuits capture separate rights of the copyright owner. Thus, if an e-book is made obtainable for on-demand online reading through subscription databases, the copyright owner can claim his ‘communication to public’, irrespective of anyone actually reading it. However, if the same e-book is made available for downloading, then the copyright owner can claim his ‘right to authorise reproduction’. Furthermore, if this e-book is in fact downloaded, the copyright owner’s ‘reproduction right’ would be said to be engaged.
In India, neither any case law nor any statute have addressed whether royalties must be paid twice, once at the time of disseminating the e-book to the public and again at the time of accessing/downloading it. At most, if the DIPP Office Memorandum of 2016 can be considered as a document of binding nature, then communication to public would also include internet broadcasting.
Fortunately, the Canadian case here, can be looked forward to when searching for relevant answers. Amongst many things, this case makes the distinction clear between ‘on-demand streams’ and making a work available for ‘download’. Interestingly, the Supreme Court of Canada held that on-demand streams would be considered as works ‘communicated to the public’ even if they are transmitted to individual members of the public rather than to the public, in general. It was also held that the said work would be treated as ‘sufficiently communicated’ (to the person making the demand) irrespective of whether it is ever actually streamed by him/her. Needless to say that it is the initial act of granting the permission to stream that has been recognised as a claim-worthy right.
The Court further made it clear that the communication right is not involved when a work is made accessible for "download". Instead, the "authorization" right safeguards it and subsequent downloads are protected by reproduction rights.
The above interpretation adopted in Canada regarding the operation of the ‘authorisation right’ is unique and a distinct right granted to the copyright owners. Further, the Court held that making the downloadable link available to the public and actual download is treated as one activity for the purposes of charging copyright royalties.
It is important to understand that, making a work available for download which is understood as communication and the actual download belong to the same right— ‘reproduction’.
To sum up, the Canadian case makes it absolutely clear that all acts of ‘making available’ are recognised by the Copyright law, either through authorisation, reproduction, or communication rights, or a combination thereof.
Given that the law in India pertaining to Copyrights bears similarities to the Canadian Copyright Law in terms of the "communication to public" right or the "making available" right, this decision is important & the Indian Courts can refer to this case as a precedent in the encounter of a similar scenario.
An incentive to innovate enhances the growth rate. The impact of Intellectual Property (IP) regimes on developing, or developed countries, is substantial. A prerequisite for sustainable development in any country is the development of an indigenous scientific and technological capacity.
The laws and procedures relating to IP have their roots in Europe where granting of Patents dates back to the 14th century. In comparison to other European countries, England was technologically advanced and used to attract artisans from elsewhere, on special terms whereas the first known Copyrights appeared in Italy. Venice can be considered the cradle of IP system as the foundations of IP were laid; laws and systems were made for the first time in the world, and other countries followed this in due course.
Originally, only Patents, Trademarks, and Industrial designs were protected as IP, however the term ‘Intellectual Property’ has wider meaning in the present times.
IPR enhances technology advancement in the following ways:
a) It provides a mechanism of handling infringement, piracy, and unauthorized use.
b) It provides information to the general public since all forms of IP are published except in case of trade secrets.
IP has seen numerous modifications. Different IPs have come about to exist, as a matter of necessity of the changing times, which reminds one of Victor Hugo who quoted that, “no power on earth can stop an idea whose time has come.”
SEPs and FRAND Licensing
Standards are technical requirements which provide a common design for a product or process. For example, a modern-day laptop computer implements approximately 251 interoperability standards. Similarly, examples of standards for mobile devices or Near-Field Communication (NFC) in smart cards are Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and LTE. Patents that protect a technology that is necessary, or which is “essential” to comply with what are known as specific industry standards are called as standard-essential patents (SEPs).
The concept of SEPs evolved in India in 2011 when Ericson objected to the importation of handsets by Kingtech Electronics (India), claiming that the handsets infringed several of their SEPs in AMR Codec (Adaptive Multi-Rate) technology.
The Indian Patents Act, 1970 does not contain any special provisions for SEPs.
FRAND stands for Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory. SEP holders commit themselves to make their patented technology accessible and compliant in exchange for a mutually agreed royalty. In other words, FRAND terms can be said to be a method to ensure that the SEP implementers are able to license and use standard technology on fair grounds.
However, it is important to consider the fact that there is no specific entity designated to enforce such FRAND terms. Therefore, what may be fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory to one person, may not be the same to others, as there is no universally accepted rule for the specific circumstances under which a license complies with FRAND terms. It is a general practice that the interpretation of FRAND depends upon the nature of the transactions between the SEP holder (licensor) and the SEP implementer (licensee).
Data Exclusivity is a concept of protecting of exclusive test data in the form of publicly undisclosed information which is in the form of trade secrets based on the principles of equity and good faith and the domain of patent protection which requires invention to be new, having an inventive step and capable of industrial application. Data exclusivity provides rights to the originator to preclude any third parties from relying on the data for a specific period of time.
Data exclusivity of registration date is a limited period of non-reliance and non-disclosure or when the drug regulatory authorities do not allow the test data (Data created to satisfy the execution preconditions and input content required to execute one or more test cases), new chemical entities, pharmaceutical compositions, and agrochemical registration data to be used to register the generic version of the drug. It is an independent intellectual property right and ought not to be confused with the protection provided by other rights, especially patents.
A much debated in India, it arises from the interpretation of Article 39 of the Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights Agreement (TRIPS), ), which mandates for steps to be taken to ensure that the data is protected against unfair commercial use, wherein the big Pharmaceuticals and countries like the USA interpret, “protection against unfair commercial use” to obviously mean, “protection of clinical data required to be submitted to a regulatory agency to prove safety and efficacy of a new drug, and prevention of generic drug manufacturers from relying on this data in their own applications.”
The Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 provides for data exclusivity for a “new drug” under Section 122E for a total period of 4 years from the date of approval. There were considerations in November 2016 that this period of four years to be increased to ten years. Such exclusivity is itself protection and does not depend upon the validity of the patent associated with the same drug, so even if the patent associated with the drug stands invalidated, the exclusivity stands unaffected and the drug remains out of the reach of the generic producers.
Orphan Drug Exclusivity
An orphan drug is developed specifically to treat a rare medical condition. Orphan drug exclusivity only rarely extends beyond the exclusivity derived from patent protection to delay competitive entry, and when orphan exclusivity does extend later, it is typically due to a very short period of protection or other market exclusivity protections. India does not have a law or regulations for manufacturing or selling on orphan drugs as yet but the draft rules released by the health ministry on a regulatory framework for clinical trials in India define orphan drugs as those intended to treat a condition which affects fewer than 200,000 people.
Although there may still be challenges, orphan drugs have offered a key to recovery and stability within the market. Governments of several countries have implemented special incentives for the manufacturers of orphan drugs like regulations for accelerated marketing procedures, marketing exclusivity, tax credit grants for research, reconsideration of applications for orphan designation.
Businesses normally collect and use innovative in addition to modern thoughts which can be unknown to their competition to benefit a part over and keep the individuality in their product/service. Information that isn’t usually acknowledged to competition and is included through confidentiality agreements is acknowledged as ‘Trade secrets’ and is eligible for safety under tort or contracts regulation against disclosure or unauthorized use of the trade secret.
For example, the formula to make Coca-Cola is a trade secret of Coca-Cola Company. In India, the only protection that trade secrets have received is through traditional judicial rulings and through provisions and aspects of equitable law, contracts law and torts.
With the advancement of information technology, an emerging branch in the field of IP has flourished, called as the Layout-Design or the of the semiconductor integrated circuits. The Indian legislation therefore provides a comprehensive protection to the layout designs and topography of the semiconductor integrated circuits as recognized intellectual property under the Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout-Design Act (SICLDA) enacted in 2000.
Smell is the most basic of five senses and it means to "perceive the odour or scent of something through stimuli affecting the olfactory nerves". This creates images in a person's mind, which play a significant influence in a consumer's choice to purchase a product. Olfactory mark, also known as a ‘Scent mark’ is one such non-conventional trademark. Despite its significance, the idea of olfactory marks lacks general acceptance due to the ambiguous position and non-uniformity of national legislation. As a result, there have been several disputes over the legality of such olfactory marks and their registration.
The TRIPS agreement does not explicitly include non-conventional trademarks, nor does it rule out the possibility of registering a non-conventional trademark.
Position in India - The word "non-conventional trademark" refers to a trademark that does not fit within the standard definition of a trademark. Examples of these marks are hologram marks, sound marks, smell marks, motion marks, and taste marks. For a smell-mark that ought to be registered, the same should not be the natural fragrance emerging out of the properties of that commodity and must be explicitly related to the concerned commodity as well as should be giving it a sense of uniqueness and distinction to qualify as a trademark. This makes the registration procedure more complicated because a basic description of chemical composition cannot be considered as an appropriate graphical depiction. USA and Singapore allow for partial registration of olfactory marks, however the Indian legislation is yet to recognise olfactory mark under trademark law.
Movie Names and Titles of the books
A Title of the film or book plays a crucial role in its first impression among the consumers. A Title is not considered as a ‘literary work’ and hence is not protected under the Copyright Act, 1957. Hence, the producers and writers have resorted to the Trademark Laws. Currently if any producer wants to protect his title then he may protect under service mark under the trademark law.
Recently in case of Sholay Media Entertainment Pvt Ltd vs Yogesh Patel and Ors, where one Yogesh Patel had registered a domain name ‘www.sholay.com’. The makers of Sholay thereafter filed a suit in Delhi HC claiming trademark infringement. The Hon’ble Delhi High Court held that, ‘Sholay’ was landmark film and recognised as a well- known trademark and common public is likely to get confused and possible that they may think that the film ‘Sholay’ association with the website. The Court awarded damages to Sholay Media Entertainment Pvt Ltd and Sippy Films Pvt Ltd and restrained the infringers by passing an injunction.
Registration of titles helps the owner to knock the doors of the judiciary for relief that are justified and righteous. Such suits can also help the registered owners to get compensation for any kind of loss occurred or a royalty (if applied) can be collected by the infringer. India recognizes trademark rights to the title of the movie even in case of single literary work under the Trademark protection in India. A title that acquires secondary meaning and the use of the same by another may cause overlapping of the source and likely to create confusion in the mind of the consumer.
In order to protect such minor innovations the WIPO has introduced the Utility Model. Utility models are a form of patent-like protection for minor or incremental innovations. They tend to protect the functional aspect of a product (examples of utility models apply to the functional aspects of toys, watches, optical fibres, machinery, etc.) Utility models are common in the mechanical, optical and electronic fields and persons registering their innovation under Utility Model get a short period protection for his innovation i.e. up to 6 to 10 years.
India has set up WTO Cell in the Ministry of Small Scale Industry to assist the Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) to take advantage of global IP System in order to protect their intellectual creations. Despite these efforts, there is no law as of yet for the protection of utility model which can protect the small innovations which have lesser innovative steps and novelty but have practical benefits in order to satisfy the customers need and requirements.
A metaverse is a network of virtual worlds focusing primarily on social connections and interactions. Metaverse being a technological advancement taps Patent Law; any creative protection taps Copyright Law, for customer to be able to distinguish one metaverse from another taps trademark law. Assignment and Licensing of IPs are few upcoming niche areas for IP professionals to work.
3D Printing and Artificial Intelligence
Copyright Law protects original and creative work of the person. So if any author creates his work in 3D, then it is protected under copyright law with the bundle rights. AI gets protection under traditional software part of computer program. AI per se cannot be protected under copyright or patent law.
It is obvious that management of IP and IPR is a multidimensional task and calls for many different programs and strategies which need to be aligned with national laws and international treaties and conventions. IP Rights came into existence with the primary objective of promoting the progress of science. However, it is to be understood that they are seriously influenced by the market needs, market response, cost involved in translating IP into commercial venture and so on. In other words, trade and commerce considerations are important and beneficial in the management of IPR. Different forms of IPR demand different treatment, handling, planning, and strategies and engagement of people with different domain knowledge such as science, engineering, medicines, law, finance, marketing, and economics. Each industry should evolve its own IP policies, management style, practices, strategies, etc. depending on its area of specialty. IPR influence in the current regime is much affected by its awareness and intellect nature.
Following the tragic death of the petitioner who had earlier pleaded with the Government to use the Patent Act's levers to stop the escalating costs of life-saving treatment, the Kerala High Court recently took suo moto cognizance of a drug's unaffordability i.e. Ribociclib, a medication used to treat specific types of breast cancer. Ribociclib is marketed under the brand names Kisqali in the USA and Kryxana in India. In a prior order, the Court had instructed the Government to take into account the petitioner's request to use Patent Act tools and to issue a "reasoned order" in the meantime after consulting with other authorities.
However, the Court issued this order taking suo moto notice due to what appears to be a delay on the side of the State and to prevent the matter from becoming infructuous as a result of the petitioner's passing. The government was instructed to take into account the request to employ the Patent Act's levers by the case court's earlier order, which was issued on June 14, 2022. On two additional occasions, the subject was brought before the bench, and the court bemoaned the red tape and inaction of the administration. After learning that the petitioner had tragically passed away as a result of her illness on September 16, 2022, the court took suo moto cognizance of the matter.
The Ribociclib patent has the number 283133 and is titled "Pyrrolopyrimidine Compounds and Their Uses." The patent is assigned to Novartis and is valid until 2027. The patent claims “methods of combination therapy for inhibiting protein kinase activity in cells, or for treating, preventing or ameliorating of one or more symptoms of cancer, transplant rejections, and autoimmune diseases in patients using the compounds of the invention or pharmaceutical compositions, or kits thereof.” The invention is utilized to cure tumours, including breast cancers, according to the description on page 7.
Dosage and Cost
According to the Order, a month's supply of the medication costs INR 58,140. A quick web search reveals that a strip of 21 tablets, each weighing 200 grams, can be purchased for INR 20,700/- from online pharmacies. Based on the information above and the dosage of 600 mg per day for three weeks as recommended by Novartis, a monthly dose of the medication would cost INR 62,100. (Approximately INR 986 per 200mg tablet). The medication is presently imported from Switzerland. Form 27 of the Patent Act relates to the statement regarding the working of a patented invention on a commercial scale. The analysis of Form 27 of patent no.: 283133 infers the following:
• In 2018, 8299 units of Ribocicilib (200 mg) were imported and valued at INR 12,70,09,834.
• In 2019, 24,857 units of Ribocicilib (200 mg) were imported and valued at INR 37,18,38,664.
The petitioner had claimed that if the medication is made in India, the price will drop significantly.
Judicial intervention regarding medication access
In the past, Indian Courts have interpreted the State's duty to guarantee access to life-saving medications as a requirement under the Article 21 of the Indian Constitution and have argued for the necessity for a direct action to encourage the use of patent law levers by the Government in order to carry out the commitments. This is made possible in a variety of ways, such as:
a. Compulsory License (CL) issued u/s 84 or 92 of the Patent Act:In accordance with this method, the Government either receives an application directly from the applicant or issues an invitation to apply. A CL may be granted if the company can demonstrate, among other things, that the drug is out of reach under section 84(1)(b); or, if the Government solicits the application, upon understanding that the drug would be made available to public for "non-commercial use," meaning it won't be sold for profit (u/s 92).
b. The government uses u/s 100 of the Patent Act: The government may permit firms to utilize a patented invention for "the purposes of government."
c. Government Acquisition u/s 102 and 47 of the Patent Act: In this approach, the government may purchase the patent from the patentee and make it available in any government-run dispensary or hospital.
Convincing the State to ensure a smooth access to medications is a challenging undertaking from a practical standpoint. Given that private companies carry out important stages of drug research, the likelihood of fulfilling these commitments becomes murkier. Since it could lead to other related problems including a knowledge gap and the concerns of unilateral sanctions by wealthy nations, the government has been reluctant to employ the legal mechanisms to break the patent monopoly. Additionally, employing such levers only makes sense in situations where a different entity is willing for the medicine production at a competitive price.
Currently, if the Government wants to employ these levers, there mandates an existence of a player with the necessary industrial prowess. A submission for an Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) no. 215976 to the USFDA was made by a subsidiary of MSN Laboratories Ltd in 2021 seeking permission to manufacture, use, and sell 200 mg Ribociclib tablets in the USA. However, these tablets are expensive and the cost may range anywhere from $62 to $115.
According to a list issued by the Government under the Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India) Order of 2017, which includes information on organizations from which the Government can purchase pharmaceutical products, MSN stands listed as a "local maker" of Ribociclib. Therefore, MSN can manufacture and distribute the drug in India at a supposedly lower cost.
However, the drug is currently being imported by the patentee and not created within the nation, which prevents the government from discovering the alternatives to manufacture affordable drugs.
This instance emphasizes the necessity for state engagement from a policy perspective to reduce the number of fatalities brought on by a lack of access to life-saving medications. The number of cancer patients growing at an alarming rate is a compelling case for adding it to the list of conditions that require notification, as proposed recently by the Standing Committee of the Parliament on Health and Family Welfare. Doing so, among other things, would help to chart the disease's trend and pattern throughout India.
In a major victory against counterfeit products in the United Arab Emirates, our Indian client, Kamal & Sons (KAMAL), a Star Export House recognized by the Govt. of India, from Sidhpur area of Gujarat, India, and the owner of the renowned “S.B. DEER BRAND” ® Sat Isabgol (Psyllium Husk & Powder), successfully managed to raid the counterfeiter and confiscate three truckloads of counterfeit products weighing about 7.41 tons (6722 Kilograms) under the infringing “STAG” trademark. R.K. Dewan & Co. assisted Kamal & Sons in taking criminal action against trademark infringement in the United Arab Emirates through our representatives and with the assistance of the Dubai Police.
“S.B. DEER BRAND” Sat Isabgol had its origin in India in the year 1943 which is owned by the family-run Kamal & Sons Group.
Kamal & Sons was established way back in 1948 as a producer of quality psyllium (Ispaghula) products. With long and varied experience in business, trading and exports, the Firm started exporting quality Psyllium Seeds and Husks in the early 1950s and before long, it became one of the foremost and leading suppliers of Psyllium products to the European, U.S and Middle East markets.
Kamal’s trademark “S.B. DEER BRAND” in various formats stand registered and protected in India and the United Arab Emirates, among others. Being an original artistic work, its product labels are also protected under the Copyright laws.
Kamal & Sons started exporting its “S.B. DEER BRAND” Sat Isabgol products to the United Arab Emirates in the year 1984. The exports were done through various upcountry vendors. By 2011-2013, the exports had to be exclusively handled due to various regulatory requirements and accordingly, an exclusive agency, namely, MONARCH INTERNATIONAL (Monarch), Ahmedabad, India, was appointed to handle the UAE market. Monarch has been exporting Kamal’s products for many years. However, due to some suspicious activities being conducted by Monarch, differences arose between Kamal and Monarch. Monarch used to buy goods from Kamal but since their relations were no longer cordial, Kamal had to stop supply of its “S.B DEER BRAND” original products to Monarch. After this development, Monarch even threatened to launch their own products in the UAE market. Their products then appeared in the UAE Market. However, they did not have any manufacturer’s name on it and were sold by one DREAM STAR TRADING LLC (Dreamstar), a company based in the UAE. It was found that the goods sold by Dream Star were packed in cartons similar to Kamal’s cartons and these goods were inferior in quality and sold at a lower price to harm Kamal’s business. A further investigation revealed that Monarch International had made a clandestine agreement with one GIRIRAJ ENTERPRISE (Giriraj), Unjha, India, to get the infringing products manufactured and packed by them for exports to U.A.E. Giriraj manufactured and packed the products and supplied to Monarch that in turn exported to Dreamstar. Later on they changed the design of the old pack to make it look closely similar to Kamal’s “S.B DEER BRAND” product label. Appended below are the respective infringing and original product labels:
The Infringer had literally copied Kamal’s registered trademark and product label including the device of a Deer within an oval shape, colour scheme and general layout, and other unique and distinctive features of the “S.B DEER BRAND” trademark label. They simply replaced the word ‘DEER’ with ‘STAG’, bearing in mind that the two words have the same meaning in the English dictionary. The Infringer imitated Kamal’s trademark so that the general appearance between Kamal’s trademark and the Infringer's mark looked similar, which would help them to deceive the consumers.
In December 2021, Kamal & Sons came to know that Monarch International, India, has exported huge quantities (80,000 pieces) of infringing products to Dreamstar, UAE. Based on few samples of counterfeits bought from Dreamstar by Kamal’s distributors in UAE, in the year 2021, R.K. Dewan & Co. assisted Kamal in lodging a trademark infringement Complaint against Dreamstar Trading LLC before the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) for infringement of their registered trademarks, S.B. DEER (logo) and S.B DEER SAT ISABGOL (label). Acting on Kamal’s complaint, although an inspection was conducted at the Infringer’s place, the DED officials found only one infringing item which ultimately led to the closure of the complaint by the DED. This initial setback for Kamal was due to the fact that the infringer rather got some information or suspicion that the DED Officials would visit and inspect their place and therefore, they probably shifted the products/samples to a safer location to evade any action and conceal their infringement activity despite the fact that their counterfeit products were openly available in the Emirati market.
In the meantime, as a further follow-up of the Complaint filed with the DED, a detailed Technical Report on behalf of Kamal & Sons was prepared and submitted to the DED in an attempt to further convince them about the continuing infringement and sale of counterfeits by Dreamstar throughout the Emirates. However, DED decided to treat the matter as closed and did not act upon our request any further.
In February, 2022, Kamal & Sons came to know that yet another shipment of about 20,000 pieces of counterfeits were exported from India by Monarch International to Dreamstar, UAE. Following this information, it was decided to take a Criminal Action against trademark infringement in the U.A.E. In June 2022, by involving the Dubai Police, and our representative claiming as a dealer, fresh samples of counterfeits were bought from Dreamstar and at the same time expressing his desire to buy and order a large quantity of the counterfeit products for re-exporting to a neighbouring country. After purchasing the samples, the same along with original samples of Kamal were submitted to the Forensic Laboratory to have their Opinion & Report regarding the imitation. After receiving a positive report from the Forensic Laboratory confirming the imitation, our representative contacted Dreamstar again, confirming the purchase of a large Order and was able to visit the Store which confirmed that the counterfeit goods are very much lying there. A Police Complaint was then lodged along with all supporting documents including proofs of infringement, original and counterfeit samples, Forensic Lab Report, trademark registration certificates and Copyright certificates, among others. As per the local practice, a Prosecutor’s permit was issued by the Dubai Police to organise the raid. Simultaneously, our representative (as a dealer in disguise) also contacted the merchant and informed him of his desire to execute the Full Big Order on the scheduled day.
On June 29, 2022, the Store and surrounding area was monitored secretly since morning and finally in the afternoon, the full raid was undertaken in the presence of our representatives, Lawyer and Police. The Police confiscated about 570 cartons comprising of about 114,000 pieces of counterfeit products, weighing about 7.41 tons. The goods were confiscated and transported in three trucks to the shipping company, waiting for the further investigation and proceedings in accordance with the Criminal case.
Images of Raid and Confiscation of infringing “STAG Brand Isabgol Products at the Warehouse of Dream Star Trading LLC, Dubai
As per the local practice in connection with a Criminal Action of infringement, the Dubai Police conducted an investigation and after completing other procedures such as issuance of an Official Criminal Lab Report in Kamal & Sons’ favour, the Case was sent to the Public Prosecution and then to the Criminal Court for hearing and issuance of a Decision.
On 22nd September 2022, the Court passed a Decision in favor of Kamal & Sons. The Court has also imposed a penalty of AED20000 (INR 4, 45,000 Approx.) to be paid by the Infringer and ordered the destruction of the seized goods. As of now, the adverse party has filed an appeal against this Decision and the Appeal is likely to come up before the Appellate Court in November 2022.
R.K. Dewan & Co. assisted Kamal & Sons in successfully taking Criminal Action against the Counterfeit in the United Arab Emirates.
Worldwide intellectual property applications in 2021 have shown an increase over the previous years. 3.4 million Patent applications have been received by various patent offices around the world, out of which more than one-third have been received by the local patent offices of China. Receiving 1.59 million patent applications, China registered an increase of 5.5% over the previous year. USA was a distant second with 591,473, followed by Japan (289200), Republic of Korea (237998) and EPO (188788). The filings of China are highlighted by the fact that if the filings of 2nd to 13th country are added up, they match up to the filings of China.
India has also registered an increase of 5.5% in the patent filings over the previous year with the filings totalling about 61000 and India has claimed sixth position. It is for the first time in the last 11 years that the number of domestic filings has surpassed the number of international patent filings at the Indian patent office. Though one can take heart from the jump in the filings, there is still a long way to go for catching up with the leaders.
Jump in the registration of trademarks was reported by most of countries in 2021. 13.9 million Trademark applications were filed worldwide covering 18.1 million trademark classes. Local filings drove the growth in Brazil, India and Turkiye whereas it was foreign filings which spurred the growth in Canada, Switzerland and the UK. In Trademark registrations, China again assumed the role of leader with a count of around 9.5 million, followed by USA (899,678), EUIPO (497542), India (488526) and UK (450815). Offices located in Asia accounted for about 70% of all trademark activity in 2021.
Estimated 1.2 million industrial design applications were filed worldwide in 2021. These applications contained about 1.5 million designs. The China office received more than half of the applications filed worldwide. If one considers top 20 offices, strong growth was recorded by UK (+128.5%), India (+67.6%), Mexico (+38.4%) and Türkiye (+38.3%).
*We do not claim any copyright in the above image. The same has been reproduced for academic and representational purposes only.
The Snooty Peacock is a jewelry boutique in Dallas, Texas, USA has a cleverly designed Trademark which entirely is an Optical illusion.
The mark consists of an image of a woman's face, hair and necklace; in her face you see an outline/image of a peacock's head and body above the stylized words "Snooty Peacock".
Which one did you see first?
*We do not claim any copyright in the photograph. It has been used for academic and representational purposes only
The Ratneshwar Mahadev Temple which is situated at the Manikarnika Ghat, Varanasi leans at over 9 degrees from the vertical.
It is also referred to as ‘Kashi Karvat’ (Kashi being a former name for Varanasi and Karvat which means leaning in Hindi).
As per a latest update, the Leaning Tower of Pisa leans at 3.99 degrees owing to the extensive work done to straighten it. Therefore, it is true that the Leaning Tower of Pisa leans about 4 degrees, less than Ratneshwar Temple.