Honest Commercial Practice Can Be A Defense In A Trademark Infringement Suit

A Singapore freight forwarder, Megastar Shipping won a lawsuit against various well known and famous brands namely Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Burberry and Hermes. These brands had filed a lawsuit against the said freight forwarder in Singapore High Court in March, 2013 for trans shipping fake and trademark infringing goods. These goods were inspected by Singapore Customs on duty officers during its route from China to Batan via Singapore, wherein the concerned officers found and siezed 40 foot containers, 436 cartons containing fake fashion accessories such as China-made bags, shoes, belts and other fashion accessories. During court proceedings, it was heard... Read More

Disney’s Trademark Woes: No Worries?

The year of 2019 has been regarded as the most promising year. It started with Disney’s magnum opus announcement to deliver two motion pictures consecutively. The much loved ‘Aladdin’ and the popular ‘Lion King’, is all set to captivate the audience in the coming months. But, is everything hunky dory in the Disney world? In the recent news, a brazen petition was undertaken by Mr. Shelton Mpala, to direct the Disney Company from relinquishing the trademark of the phrase “Hakuna Matata.” The term is used in the movie “Lion King” by the characters of the movie ‘Timon’ and ‘Pumba’, as... Read More

Tale Of The Contentious Broccoli Patent

GRANT OF PATENT The European Patent Office accorded a patent on a special kind of Broccoli, containing high content of glucosinolates with health benefits; vide patent number EP1069819, in 2002. This particular kind of broccoli plant stems from the cross breeding of wild variants of broccoli, consisting of native traits, with broccoli of commercial varieties. The patent granted covers not just the grown plant but also the seeds and the harvested food. Owned by the company Monsanto, the patented broccoli is marketed as “super broccoli” in the countries of US and UK.[1] In 2013, Seminis, a company owned by Monsanto... Read More

Strict Examination Criteria needed for Drug Patents

Background Patentability of pharmaceutical drugs and other issue associated with the patent have been a moot point all over the world. Like other developing countries, India has also started granting patent rights to pharmaceutical drug products since the year 2005. The biggest concern that comes up in this scenario is of ‘Ever greening strategies’ which are dealt in section 3(d) of the Indian Patent Act, 1970. The said section proscribes the grant of patent to a new form of a known substance unless it substantially enhances the therapeutic efficacy of the drugs. Thus, the need to strike a balance between... Read More

Is Europe’s New Copyright Directive An Answer To Infringement?

The European Parliament, in its most recent activity, passed a law that has the capability to change the face of the internet as we know it. The Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, also known as the Copyright Directive, is heralded as one of the most contentious set of directions and rules, in the arena of the copyright laws. In September 2018, the members of the European Parliament proposed and ultimately passed, the new Copyright Directive. Having made several amendments, which tighten the copyright law in several little ways, the most eye catching have been Articles 11 and... Read More

Character Merchandising

INTRODUCTION Character merchandising is a clever marketing method through which goods and services similar to well-known imaginary or even real characters are made for appealing customers. In other words, it is a profitable manipulation of a renowned personality using their well-recognized national/international appeal. Overtime, the possibilities of character merchandising have amplified in such diverse forms that what perceived as an ancillary source of commercial abuse by the entertainment industry has become the sign in terms of revenue. From the initial days of character merchandising when Walt Disney Studios began licensing their famous characters in 1930s, to the present day film... Read More

Enforceability Of Oral Agreement In India

The Indian Contract Act 1872, section 2(e), defines an agreements as “every promise and every set of promises, forming the consideration for each other is an agreement.” A promise is essentially an offer or a proposal, made by a person or an entity, towards another. The assent of the other, results in the acceptance of the offer; thereby creating an agreement. A valid agreement is said to have the essentials of a valid contract, them being: Proposal Acceptance Lawful Object Lawful Consideration Capacity to Contract It is important to note that all contracts are valid agreements but not all agreements... Read More

Intellectual Property Law And The Outer Space: A Promising Future Ahead?

INTRODUCTION Technological advancements in the field of outer space, for the purpose of exploring an extra-terrestrial environment, studying and using it, is not a new concept. However, questions of Intellectual Property Rights governing these advancements have been brought to the fore relatively recently owing to the fact that these developments have become more of a private or commercial affair rather than a state run activity. Protection of one’s innovation is imperative to their success. With the world understanding the importance of such safeguards, the demand for it has risen exponentially. OUTER SPACE AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAWS Outer space (often referred to... Read More

IP Licensing In Global Perspective

In today’s information-intensive and dematerialized business environment, international IP licensing transactions are among the most common transactions. Thus, a licensing environment which is built on positive voluntary licensing policies like market-based incentives and strong intellectual property (IP) protections is required in order to promote a healthy rate of technology diffusion. For example: Through licensing U.S. has earned $386 billion in gross industry output, $80 billion in tech transfer activities revenues. Also, licensing has contributed $150 billion to American GDP and between 1.1 and 3.8 million person years of employment between 1996 and 2010. The example of U.S. shows that IP... Read More

Stairway to Litigation

The famous Led Zeppelin song 'Stairway to Heaven' which has made millions sway to its tune recently struck a wrong cord due to copyright infringement allegations levied against it in 2014. It was alleged that the introduction to the band's most celebrated song was taken from Spirit's 1968 instrumental titled 'Taurus'. After a much publicized legal battle between the estate of Spirit's lead guitarist Randy Wolfe and Led Zeppelin ended in 2016 wherein a Los Angeles District Court Judge decided in the favour of Led Zeppelin and stated that there was no evidence of copyright infringement the dispute has since... Read More