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Intellectual Property News and Analysis – Intellepedia

Burger King and McDonald’s: Can Taste be Patented?

Burger King v. McDonalds

Here is the next post in the series of Student Blog Contest. This post is authored by Neerja Gurnani. I recently went to the Burger King outlet that has been causing immense amounts of hype in Indian teenagers, stood in queue, got a burger, and eagerly bit into it, expecting my mind to be blown. Instead, I was greeted with a very familiar taste – that of a McDonald’s burger. This led me to ask, can taste be patented? Recipes have been famously protected as trade secrets – for example, Coca-Cola protects its Classic beverage formula by avoiding disclosure and keeping a...

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Happy Birthday sue You; Happy Birthday sue You!

This image depicts children singing the happy birthday song. This image is relevant becasue this post talks about the copyright over the tune of the song "Happy birthday to you". Click on the image to view full post.

There’s no one who hasn’t awkwardly stood around their birthday cake while people sing "Happy Birthday to You". It’s the world’s most famous song, sung to millions each year. And this six-word set of lyrics with a simple melody is protected by copyright. In 1868, two Hill sisters from Kentucky composed a song called "Good Morning to All" (now known as the tune of "Happy Birthday"), which went like: Good morning to you, Good morning to you, Good morning, dear children, Good morning to all. Nobody knows when or how the song transitioned to the lyrics of "Happy Birthday to You".[i]  It appeared in The Beginners'...

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Impact of Reservation: A Socio-Economic and Legal Study

This image depicts a pie-chart. This image is relevant because this post talks about a socio-economic and legal study on the impact of reservation. Click on the image to view full post.

Here is the next post in the series of Student Blog Contest. This post is authored by Pallavi Singh. The paper evaluates caste based reservation system in India. The Primary stated objective of the Indian reservation system is to increase the opportunities for enhanced social status for underprivileged. The reservation system exists to provide opportunities for the members of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes. Reservation is working in the opposition direction to its main objective as is demarcating the society further. It is being used to uplift one section of the society at the cost of another, which is not...

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The new IPR Policy, an innovative step?

This image depicts the Emblem of India. This image is relevant because this post talks about the Indian Government setting up a new IPR think-tank. Click on the image to view full post.

Here is the next post in the series of Student Blog Contest. This post is authored by Archit Gupta & Ankit Agarwal.   Keeping in mind the promise made by the new Central government to bring a new Intellectual Property Rights policy, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion has constituted an IPR Think Tank to draft the National Intellectual Property Rights Policy and to advise the government on IPR issues. The panel will identify areas in IPRs where study needs to be conducted and furnish recommendations in this regard to the Commerce Ministry and will also advise the government on best...

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OCR: Credibility of India’s Intellectual Property Enforcement in Question

This image depicts the logo of the Executive Office of the President of the United States. This image is relevant because in this post, the U.S. talks about the credibility of India's Intellectual Property Enforcement. Click on the image to view full post.

United States Trade Representative (USTR) ordered an Out of Cycle Review (OCR) for India in October. While the USTR insists that the aim of this exercise is to provide constructive feedback to India in order to improve its IP protection and enforcement, many in India are not happy about this move. Not only has the government criticized this move, but also refused to participate in it arguing that the US laws are not applicable to India. Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s Commerce Minister, had informed the Parliament, “The Special 301 process is a unilateral measure taken by the United States under their...

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Can you sue if your tweet gets copied?

  Here is the next post in the series of Student Blog Contest.  The Internet is often considered the Wild West of laws; People believe that laws that exist offline do not apply online, or there exist different rules of behaviour. So when you tap out a tweet and hit send, putting it in public domain, can you sue if it gets copied? Short answer: No. Long answer? It’s complicated. Copyrighting a tweet is extremely hard, for various reasons. Reporting on facts, common situations, or communicating, are not copyrightable, even when done in an original manner. Grabbing titles from newspapers, or even making one up,...

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Congratulations to Rajiv Aggarwal, India’s New Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks

Intellectual Property

Sinapse congratulates Rajiv Aggarwal, IAS officer and Joint Secretary of DIPP - Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, for being appointed as the new Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks (CGPDTM) of the Indian IP Office. He assumed charge on March 18, 2015. Rajiv Aggarwal will be the third IAS officer who will be heading the Indian IP Office. Previously, Mr. Chaitanya Prasad and his predecessor Mr. P H Kurian held the position. These appointments gesture a change in trend from such positions being held only by Examiners or Patent Specialists. The tenure of the earlier CGPDTM, Chaitanya Prasad, lasted 3 years. Mr. Prasad’s...

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Digital Rights Management : An Analysis

  Laws alone cannot eliminate copyright infringements. For copyright law to take its course, there have to be effective detection of infringements and identification of infringers. Furthermore, as with any property rights, owners of copyrighted content have to take certain measures to protect their copyrights before expecting law enforcement to aid them. Digital Rights Managements and ETMs are such measures a copyright owner is expected to take in order to protect his copyrights in the digital world. The term Digital Rights Management (DRM) broadly refers to a set of policies, techniques and tools that guide proper use of digital content. Simply...

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“Blurred Lines” for American Music Industry after Copyright Controversy

Music Copyright

On March 10, 2015, a panel of eight jurors of a California Federal Court found the artists Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams guilty of copyright infringement in a plagiarism suit filed by the heirs of artist Marvin Gaye, alleging that the 2013 hit “Blurred Lines” by Thicke and Williams was a rip off of Gaye’s 1977 song “Got To Give It Up”. ‘Blurred Lines’, written and performed by Robin Thicke, T I and Pharrell Williams, was released on March 26, 2013 and became an immense hit worldwide, becoming one of the best selling singles of all times. However, it soon became...

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IP Event held in honor of Late Hitesh Barot

This image depicts an indoor auditorium where an IP Event held in honour of the Late Hitesh Barot. Click on the image to view full post.

I-HIPP (In-House Intellectual Property Professionals Forum), an IP Think Tank and advocacy group, had conducted a conference and moot court in memory of Hitesh Barot, a leading in-house IP counsel, on March 6, 2015 at ABB campus, Bangalore. Hitesh Barot, Senior IP counsel and Former Vice President of Technology Policy at General Electric (GE), was in a tragic accident that claimed his life on May 21, 2015. In a very unusual occurrence, Hitesh Barot was dragged by a crocodile into the River Narmada near Bhalod, his native village in Gujarat. Mr. Barot's illustrious career began at McCutchen Doyle Brown & Enersen in California...

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