Indian Parliament approves Madrid Protocol
The Indian Parliament has approved the Trade Marks (Amendment) Bill 2009, whereby the long awaited Madrid Protocol gets approval. This will enable Indian and foreign nationals to protect their trademarks simultaneous in different countries. The bill allows a person to seek a global trade mark through a single application, in a single language and a single fee submitted in India.
The amendment bill supersedes the existing Act and shortens the trade marks registration procedure. It includes provisions of the Madrid Protocol to ease international registration of trademarks, enabling nationals of its member countries to obtain trademarks registration within 18 months by filing a single application with one fee and one language in their country of origin. The new law will speed up the registration of Indian marks in different markets worldwide and encourage confidence in the Indian Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) system.
GI FOR MALIHABADI DUSSEHERI MANGO
Malihabadi Dusseheri mango, a variety of a pulpy summer fruit grown in the Lucknow region, is the latest to get Geographical Indication (GI) status. The exclusivity rights for this mango were conferred on September 11 2009.
These rights would help farmers growing this variety of mango to sell their product under the Malihabadi brand and achieve better returns. The National Horticulture Board (NHB) had applied to Chennai-based Geographical Indication Registry in October 2008 to obtain GI for the mango variety. The Malihabadi Dusseheri mango tree bears fruit once in every two years.
INDIA AND US SIGN AGREEMENTS ON IPR AND TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE
Two important agreements on access to traditional knowledge and Intellectual Property Rights have been signed between India and the United States.
The first agreement that was signed was regarding access of The Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) between the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) which would enable the USPTO to search the extensive database of India's traditional knowledge compiled under TKDL, a collaborative project between CSIR and Department of AYUSH, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
CSIR has planned to train the USPTO examiners and staff for proper use of TKDL tools for search and examination which would help prevent misappropriation of traditional knowledge through mistaken issuance of patents as had earlier happened with Neem and Haldi.
The second document that was signed was a MoU between the office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the United States Patent and Trademark Office, US Department of Commerce.
The MoU between patent offices of the two countries will facilitate comprehensive bilateral cooperation on a range of IPR issues focusing on capacity building, human resource development and raising public awareness of the importance of IPR.
To promote two-way investments, another important Memorandum of Intent was signed between 'Invest in America' of the International Trade Administration, US Department of Commerce, and 'Invest India', a joint venture of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and various State Governments.
IMI GETS RS 12 LAKHS AS COMPENSATION
The Indian Music Industry (IMI) has been awarded a record compensation of Rs. 12 lakhs in a copyright infringement case under the concept of plea bargaining. It is the highest amount of money ever paid in the history of any plea bargaining case in India.
Plea bargain is an agreement in a criminal case where the prosecutor offers the defendant the opportunity to plead guilty, usually to a lesser charge or to the original criminal charge with a proposal of a lighter punishment.
Piracy in the physical format alone causes a loss of Rs 600 crores annually to Indian Music Industry. Now a days, the Industry is facing newer forms of piracy such a Mobile Chip Piracy resulting in a loss of another Rs 300 crores, i.e., total Rs 2000 cr are lost by the industry to piracy each year. IMI had sought a compensation of Rs 22.5 lakhs i.e. Rs 100 per CD as they had seized 22500 pirated CDs.
US WEBSITE SUED FOR SELLING BEATLES MUSIC
EMI Group, a music company is suing Bluebeat.com, a US-based website claiming that it is selling downloads of Beatles songs which are not authorised for any online sales.
EMI has filed a copyright infringement suit against the music site in a US court. Bluebeat.com's site lists Beatles songs, including the Fab Four's re-mastered albums, released in September, for sale on its website.
Apple Corps., Beatles holding company has not allowed the Fab Four's music on any internet music service. Talks between EMI and Apple Corps. over making the band's catalogue available online have been delayed. BlueBeat is owned by Santa Cruz, California-based Media Rights Technologies.
KIPO TO HAVE 'SUPER SPEED' EXAMINATION FOR GREEN PATENT APPLICATIONS
Green patent applications are now eligible for "super speed" examination at the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) that will provide examination results in just one month.
The special examination procedure is applicable to patent applications aimed to several categories of technologies relating to the environment or "low-carbon green growth." The green patent applicants must however, request for a prior art search, to be conducted by one of the three officially sanctioned search agencies by KIPO, to qualify for the super speedy examination procedure.
The super speed system which was supposed to start on October 1 2009 will supersede the quick Korean timeline "from application to acquire a patent" from an average of 18 months to a striking short period of one month.
HIV TEST PATENT LAWSUIT SETTLED
OraSure Technologies Inc., which makes diagnostic kits to detect HIV and drug use, has agreed to settle a patent dispute over HIV tests. The lawsuit was filed against OraSure by Inverness Medical and Church & Dwight CSays Leon Louw, executive director of the Free Market Foundation, at a conference on intellectual property rights in Johannesburg, South Africa today: "The internet wasn't invented by Al Gore. In fact, Al Gore was invented by the internet."
Inverness Medical will receive $3 million in cash, under the deal. The two companies are also granting each other distribution rights to certain products, including HIV hepatitis C tests, and flu tests.
OraSure would face a fourth-quarter loss of 10 cents to 11 cents per share because of the legal settlement.