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GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATION

GI TAG FOR PHULKARI

Phulkari, a traditional embroidery art practiced by women in the state of Punjab, India has been granted the geographical indication (GI) certificate. This GI is the first for Punjab and will be relevant for Phulkari work being done in Haryana and Rajasthan. Traders and manufacturers dealing with this established art will have to get themselves registered to be able to transact in this art work.

This GI for Phulkari acquired after five years of legal battle was filed by the patent information centre (PIC) of Punjab State Council for Science and Technology in March 2005.

Thereafter an opposition was filed by a Mumbai-resident claiming that a GI status for Phulkari would affect people earning a living through this art work outside Punjab. After five years Punjab won the legal battle and claimed its first GI status. The patent information centre intends to register a logo, hologram or package to distinguish the product from others.

GI STATUS FOR COSTA RICA BANANAS

The Costa Rican bananas have acquired the geographical indication status with their national government. The national banana corporation, Corbana had been working on this for three years with officials from the national registry and the Universidad Nacional looking at all aspects of banana production in Costa Rica including its history and the production process.

Now the banana corporation would make efforts to register the Costa Rican bananas as geographical indication in the EU registry. This would be facilitated by the association agreement signed between Costa Rica and the EU last year. Costa Rica is the second biggest banana exporter in the world.

PATENT

CELLECTIS ACQUIRES EXCLUSIVE LICENSE TO TAL EFFECTOR PATENTS FROM UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA

Cellectis, the French Genome engineering specialist, and the University of Minnesota have signed an exclusive license agreement. This would grant Cellectis the worldwide right to use inventions related to TAL effector-mediated DNA recognition and cleavage. The University of Minnesota and Iowa State University had developed this innovative approach for the targeted modification of genomes.
The exclusive license granted to Cellectis covers all uses of the technology in any field. The technology which corresponds to Cellectis' proprietary meganuclease technology, has shown promising results in Genome engineering relevant to a broad range of applications including agriculture, bioresearch and human therapeutics.

ASTRAZENECA SUED OVER ANTI-DEPRESSANT PATENT

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, the Israeli generic drug maker has initiated a lawsuit against AstraZeneca in London relating to its European patent for anti-depressant Seroquel.

Seroquel is a drug used for the treatment of various diseases, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression and general anxiety disorder. AstraZeneca would defend the Seroquel patent as valid and enforceable.

Teva Pharmaceutical has sought revocation of the European patent for Seroquel, developed by AstraZeneca.

USFDA NOD TO GLENMARK'S MALARIAL DRUG

The USFDA has approved Glenmark Generics' (the subsidiary of Glenmark Pharmaceuticals) abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) for Atovaquone and Proguanil hydrochloride to be used for treatment and prevention of Malaria.

Atovaquone and proguanil hydrochloride tablets are the generic versions of GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK's) Malarone tablets. Glenmark had settled a lawsuit with GlaxoSmithKline over patent actions relating to Atovaquone and Proguanil in April 2010. According to the agreement Glenmark will be able to market and distribute the tablets under royalty-bearing license from GSK in the 3rd quarter of 2011.

The US health regulator's approval allows Glenmark Pharmaceuticals to market atovaquone and proguanil hydrochloride tablets in the American market.

Sixty seven generic products are being marketed by Glenmark in the US market and the company has filed 39 ANDAs with the US FDA for approval.

TRADEMARK

TIME WARNER'S DC COMICS LOOSE SUPERMAN TRADEMARK DISPUTE

The producer of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman books - Time Warner Inc.'s DC Comics unit has lost a Swiss trademark challenge involving its diamond-shaped Superman shield logo.

DC Comics, the proprietor of the "Superman" trade marks and the creator of many universally recognized heroes in human history had objected to a similar logo of a Zurich-based event organizer, FAF. The Swiss Federation of Intellectual Property has ruled that a diamond-shaped shield logo containing the letter "f" filed by the event organizer didn't infringe the Superman trademark.

Although DC Comics had filed evidence for foreign registrations of the "S" and press clippings concerning the "Superman" brand in Switzerland, it was insufficient to establish that the "S" mark was well known. Swiss authorities ruled that the mark was not adequately well known in Switzerland to justify protection and it was not registered in Switzerland.

COPYRIGHT

COPYRIGHT CLAIM OVER 'KRISHNA' REJECTED BY HC

The Delhi high court has vacated a stay on a private manufacturer from using the word "KRISHNA". The court mentioned that a copyright can not be claimed on the name of a Hindu God or deity.

The Judge disposed of a trademark infringement suit allowing a butter producer, 'Parul Food', to use the name of Krishna with changes in font and colour. The HC had imposed a stay on its use on a suit filed by Bhole Baba milk food industries, which alleged that Parul Food was using a deceivingly similar name and thus causing commercial loss.

The Court reminded both parties that the name KRISHNA is "as common as the word 'John' used in Western countries" and "should not be used for commercial gains" in our country. Parul Food agreed to change the name of KRISHNA by changing the packaging and the colour scheme along with the depiction of the word.