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A prayer to trademark pretzel dismissed

24 March, 2014 In Fritolay Division v. Princeton Vanguard the defendant found how difficult it could be to trademark a centuries old food item. Pretzel said to have originated in Germany dating to the 16th century is a baked bread with intertwined knot like appearance as if hands folded in prayer. The different flavours, glazing with sugar, uses of pretzel and transition form a handcrafted ar...

Trademarks – Protection of well-known trademarks used in dissimilar services

24 March, 2014 The Delhi High Court has granted interim injunction in case of use of mark ‘BRAHMOS’ in relation to educational services. Relying on two precedents of the court, namely Bloomberg Finance LP v. Prafull Saklecha [2013 (56) PTC 243 (Del)] and Rolex Sa v. Alex Jewellery Pvt. Ltd. [2009(41) PTC 284 (Del)], it was held that if the registered trademark is a well-known trademark within...

Draft guidelines for examination of pharma patent applications

24 March, 2014 The Indian Patent Office has, on 28-2-2014, issued draft guidelines for examination of patent applications in the field of pharmaceuticals. Comments from the public have been invited by 21st March, 2014.  These guidelines are intended to assist Examiners and Controllers of the Patent Office in achieving uniform standards of patent examination in the pharma sector. Perhaps recog...

The overall appeal of a design

24 March, 2014 An award-winning design that appeals to children, toymakers and, in all likelihood, to IP lawyers was at the heart of the decision by the England and Wales Court of Appeals (Civil Division). In the High Court the single judge proceeded to compare two designs for suitcases which to a layman appears similar perhaps appeals alike. The original design ‘rodeo’ pertaining to a ride-o...

Seizing essence of IP protection

20 February, 2014 Time and again the question of when and how Customs can aid in enforcement of IP rights has come before the courts. It was the CJEU’s turn, answering a reference by the Danish court, to interpret Council Regulation (EC) No 1383/2003 of 22 July 2003, on measures to be taken against goods suspected of infringing IPR. The intended recipient of the goods - a Danish national had ...

Communication to public must be to ‘new public’

20 February, 2014 Providing clickable links which lead the user to copyrighted material otherwise available to public is not unauthorised communication. Answering a reference from Svea Court of Appeal (Sweden ), the CJEU has ruled that in order to be ‘communication to the public’ as per Article 3(1) of Directive 2001/29, it must be also be directed at new public.  In the instant case, the def...

Use of keywords when amounts to commercial communication

20 February, 2014 Examining damage to origin function, the advertisement function and the investment function of trademark when the word /mark ‘lush’ is used in the site of the online retailer (defendant) though the trademarked products are not sold , the High Court (UK – Chancery Division – Intellectual Property) upheld the claim of infringement. ‘Lush’ was used as an adword. The person us...

Registration under Insecticides Act when process patented by another

16 January, 2014 The Division Bench of Kerala High Court recently declined to interfere in the grant of registration under Insecticides Act, for manufacture of a particular insecticide, when the process of its manufacture was patented by another company-appellant in this case. It was the contention of the original patent holder that the registering authority under the Insecticides Act should ...

Exploiting elements in public domain

16 January, 2014 ‘What one man can invent, another can discover’ – Arthur Conan Doyle’s words spoken through Sherlock Holmes on deciphering the code which used figures of dancing men. Perhaps, it could apply to the imagination of a creative human mind. Do characters/elements develop till the last work of the author or can they be vivisected? The Conan Doyle estate asserted that the charact...

IPRs on the rise – WIPO Report

18 December, 2013 WIPO released the 2013 edition of World Intellectual Property Indicators, earlier this month.  It is based on data from national and regional offices, WIPO, World Bank and UNESCO. In general, it records that there is a shift in filing activity from high income to middle income countries. Another interesting observation is that Asian countries were an important source of inve...

US Supreme Court to debug software patent eligibility

12 December, 2013 The Supreme Court of US admitted the petition of certiorari filed by Alice Corporation to review the judgement of the Federal Circuit in CLS Bank Int’l v. Alice Corp.,717 F.3d 1269 (Fed. Cir. 2013). The petition prays for clarity and certainty in testing patent-eligibility of computer-implemented inventions—including claims to systems and machines, processes, and items of ma...

Search engine giant succeeds on plea of fair use

2 December, 2013 Scanning of books and providing access to digital library           The Authors Guild (plaintiff) claimed that by scanning more than twenty millions books, providing verbatim snippets of text to aid in searching and retaining scan copies of books, providing such complete scans to libraries, Google (defendant) had infringed their rights. After over eight years of litigatio...

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