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Indian Government double-minded on Dasatinib Patent

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry in India is not in favour of breaking the patent on Dasatinib, the multinational Bristol-Myers Squibb’s (BMS) anti-leukemia drug, thus granting compulsory license under emergency conditions to allow local pharma manufacturers to come up with its generic version. BMS sold the drug Dasatinib under the brand name of Sprycel that cost around US$ 2,624 for a month’s dosage.

DIPP (Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion) of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry has sent out a questionnaire with 9 questions to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare requesting them to answer and substantiate why they think an emergency situation prevails with respect to Dasatinib.

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Texting

Apple to cough up US$ 23.6M for Patent Infringement

Apple lost a jury trial for infringing on patents owned by a pager company, Mobile Telecommunications Technology LLC (MTel). The infringing patents were used in MTel’s SkyTel 2-way paging system. In the 1990s, when these patents were filed, MTel was considered a pioneer in the pager industry after rolling out hardware and services for SkyTel. At the time, SkyTel network was at the cutting edge of mobile telecommunications, though the paging system has since been relegated to use by doctors and emergency services personnel. Now, MTel is a licensing company controlled by United Wireless Holdings, which operates the SkyTel paging system for use by first responders and doctors.

The suit was brought against Apple in 2013 by patent holder MTel targeting iOS devices capable of handling iMessages, creating calendar invites and entering Emoji characters. MTel’s original complaint against Apple accused the company of infringing seven patents, but the case was narrowed to six by trial. Apple’s iMessage feature and e-mail apps were accused of violating patents. The US$ 237 million damage demand represented a royalty of about US$ 1 per product for the iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touch products that were accused at the time of the suit’s filing. MTel’s patents were issued in mid-to-late 1990s and are either recently expired or nearing the end of their terms.

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Burger King Trademark Battle in Delhi High Court

Here is the next post in the series of Student Blog Contest. This post is authored by Archit Gupta & Ankit Agarwal.

The Burger King Corporation opened its first store in 1954 in Miami, Florida and expanded its operations to 91 countries. It opened its first store in India on September 9, 2014 under the auspices of Burger King India Pvt. Ltd. Before that, they filed a petition in the Delhi High Court, seeking to prevent injunctions from those parties with whom they had trademark disputes. They also wanted all disputes to be decided in Delhi. Justice Mahmohan Singh ordered that the parties should maintain status quo with regard to the registration of legal proceedings.

Burger King approached the Delhi HC in August, 2014 seeking permanent injunction against several parties alleging that they had registered in the name of Burger King India Ltd. Two of these outlets are in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. Although the case is still pending, Burger King Corporation is taking no chances with respect to its operations in India. It first registered its trademark in India in 1979 and renewed it from time to time.

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Flavour Marks – Can they become a Reality?

Here is the next post in the series of Student Blog Contest. This post is authored by Amrita Vasudevan.

Every city has its food treasures and eating haunts, and Bangalore, for example, has Shivaji Military Hotel’s Donne Biryani or CTR’s Benne Masala Dose, both of which have quite the fan following. Eating joints like these often become landmarks, and a ‘must visit’ for tourists. We often associate a particular taste or flavour with an eating joint, a sort of trademark of that business. But can we then register and protect the flavour as one?

Flavour marks, if accepted, join the list of non conventional trademarks like sound, smell, touch etc. The criteria for registration of a traditional trademark, however, do not translate well for the registration of a non-conventional mark like a flavour. For example, a flavour cannot be graphically represented. Additionally, since taste is such a subjective human experience, it escapes objective and precise definition. Some jurisdictions like the EU plan to remove the requirement of graphical representation, but there still has to be some kind of representation. Representation by depositing samples at the registering office is unfeasible as flavours change over time, besides being difficult to access.

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Sinapse

Weekly Warm up with Sinapse!

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND LICENSING – PRESENTATION BY DR. KALYAN AT IIM, BANGALORE

… Dr. Kalyan Kankanala delivered this presentation at IIM, Bangalore, giving an overview of IP and licensing. With the help of recent cases and examples, he provides an understanding of the nature of licensing transactions and types of licenses.

RELEVANCE OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS (IPR)

… This post is authored by Pallavi Singh, where she talks about the uses and advantages of Intellectual Property Rights and how it helps the industry.

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Patently Asia – A Drug War!

Japanese Patent about a pain-killing drug extracted from ‘Kratom’ (Mitragyna Speciosa), a well-known Southeast Asian medicinal plant, is creating contradictions. Patent documents and other publications reviewed, are silent on the origin of Kratom utilized by Chiba and Josai. Patents have been issued in Japan and the US, and patent applications may be pending elsewhere.

How the Plant became a Painkiller drug:

In the early 2000s, Japanese researchers began analyzing compounds extracted from Kratom as part of a program to assess medicinal plants. They identified one Kratom compound, 7-hydroxymitragynine, as having particularly potent painkilling effects – considerably stronger and with no side effects, than even morphine, in animal experiments (According to the researchers, from Chiba National University and Josai University).

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How Lenovo became the 3rd Largest maker of Smartphones?

Officially taking the Motorola brand under its sleeve, Lenovo is now ranked as “the world’s third largest maker of smartphones.” Following Apple and Samsung’s lead and pushing away Xiaomi, another Chinese company to 4th place.

How it all happened:

With the latest acquisition of Motorola smartphone patents, Lenovo now has full jurisdiction over Motorola Mobility’s smartphones like the Moto X, Moto G and the DROIDTM series. The company also has control over 2000 patents and a few patent cross-license agreements. The acquisition is priced at US$ 2.91 billion.

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Osteoarthritis

Levolta Pharma gets US Patent for Novel Therapy for Controlling Osteoarthritis

Levolta Pharmaceuticals (formerly Voltarra Pharmaceuticals) is an innovative, clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focusing on the acquisition, development and commercialization of medically important pharmaceutical products for the treatment of Rheumatology, Immunology and Cancer. Levolta, headquartered in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, is a member organization of BioNJ and Pennsylvania Bio.

Levolta has recently secured a US patent for controlling Osteoarthritis (OA). This patent relates to a method of use of the co-administration of Steroids and Zoledronic Acid to prevent and treat OA. OA is a disease affecting the joints of the body. It is characterized by marked alterations in metabolism, structure and function of multiple joints and periarticular tissues like cartilage, meniscus, synovial membrane (SM) and subchondral bone. The symptoms of OA are mainly mechanical pain, joint deformity and swelling, stiffness and cracks upon motion. The natural evolution of OA may be interrupted by inflammatory flares which are generally associated with joint swelling, sudden increase of pain, pain at rest and a worsening stiffness. Levolta’s lead product, VOLT01, is a reformulated Zoledronic Acid that has demonstrated significantly better safety and efficacy in controlling knee OA compared to Zoledronic Acid alone, with the added benefit of no post-dosing symptoms. Zoledronic Acid alone is effective in treating OA symptoms, but produces post-dose syndrome side effects, notably flushing, fever, joint pains and muscle aches. Originally marketed by Novartis, Zoledronic Acid is also used to treat Osteoporosis, Paget’s disease and Bone Cancer.

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1024px-Brown_Flax_Seeds

Free the Seed – The Open Source Seed Initiative

With the slogan, “Free the Seed”, a group of plant breeders, academics, among others, have formed an Open Source Seeds Initiative to prevent the down stream restrictions to germ plasm, genetic material, breeding and seeds in general. Based in the open software philosophy, the initiative seeks to create a common pool of seeds. Like open source software, these seeds are expected to be free for all kinds of use and distribution.

The model followed by the open source seeds initiative to enforce their philosophy, is the distribution of seeds in a packet along with a pledge. The seeds will be contributed by members of the initiative or others, and any person, who wishes to use the seeds will have to accept the pledge. Breaking the packet open will amount to the acceptance of the pledge. The pledge requires the seed user to further interests of the initiative in maintaining the seeds and any development over them in the pool of commons.

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IP licensing helps Kodak report profits of US$ 19M, first time since Bankruptcy

New York based Eastman Kodak Company has reported its first profitable quarter since its emergence from bankruptcy in September, 2013, with net earnings of US$ 19 million. In January 2013, it had sold off more than 1,000 of its digital imaging-related patents for US$ 525 million to a consortium of companies led by Intellectual Ventures and RPX. The sale of the patent portfolio was one of the company’s main reorganization goals as it wanted to secure funding.

Kodak emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September, 2013, getting US$ 2.2 billion restructuring gain related to its bankruptcy. Since the restructuring, Kodak has experienced a slow but steady transformation. The profit registered in Q3 this year can be attributed to a one-time US$ 51 million earnings from IP licensing. Even now, Kodak holds a significant patent portfolio, with noteworthy coverage in main growth technology areas such as LEDs and the smart grid.

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