1. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS AS BARRIER TO CONTAIN THE PANDEMIC: WORLD AND INDIA PERSPECTIVE
Author: Harshit Jain
Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has already infected and claimed millions of lives and adversely impacted the economies around the world. The pandemic has overburdened national health systems, resulting in more deaths and illnesses due to lack of access to public and medical services. India and the world saw the New Year 2021 with great hope and encouragement with the incoming of vaccines to battle the COVID-19 outbreak, but were not efficiently administered due to Vaccine Nationalism which caused the procurement of whole lot of the vaccines by the rich and developed countries to themselves and not distributing it to the rest of world which is dreaded with the pandemic. In this paper, author aims to discuss how the Intellectual Property Rights and Protection which was initially aimed at promotion of research and development has posed a barrier to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Vaccines launched have strict patent protection, which restricts the mass production and wields setback to developing and least developed nations. The paper discusses the initiative of the Indian Government proposing the Waiver of TRIPS Agreement to ensure the availability of the pharmaceuticals and vaccines worldwide and the challenges posed to it. The paper discusses India’s status on vaccine production and availability, further aims to provide solutions to eradicate the shortage of vaccines till the decision on the waiver of Intellectual Property Laws is obtained.
2. ROLE OF PEOPLES BIODIVERSITY REGISTER IN PROTECTION OF TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE OF THE LOCAL PEOPLE AND ITS PREPARATION IN KAMRUP DISTRICT ASSAM: AN EMPIRICAL STUDY
Author: Jayanta Boruah & Junu Das
Abstract: Nature has nourished humanity across civilizations for which the entire humanity has been getting acquainted with the knowledge of Nature including the biodiversity and its utilities as a continuous process that has been transmitted through generations to generations. Such knowledge has more or less been transmitted through verbal mediums and with a lot of lapses during transitions. However, such knowledge is a very valuable source of Intellectual Property which is valued in the true sense can contribute towards Sustainable Utilization of Biological Resources as well as towards the conservation of the same.
The indigenous people who are in touch with the natural ecosystem of the locality are expected to possess vital knowledge about the Natural Resources within their localities which if not protected can lead to a huge loss to potential commercial benefits. But since the passing of the Biological Diversity Act of 2002 in India, which is a legacy of several international developments in the legal dimension relating to Biodiversity conservation, measures were adopted for preparing the People’s Biodiversity Register that would consist of information about the Biological Resources and the communities owing such resources at one hand and the Biological Resources and the associated traditional knowledge on the other hand. The task of preparing such People’s Biodiversity Registers was handed over to Biodiversity Management Committees who were to consist of members from the local Panchayats as well as officials from the Forest Departments. In Kamrup District, Assam also, such BMCs were constituted to prepare the PBRs.
This paper will therefore focus on the process of preparing such PBRs in Kamrup District, Assam with the help of both Doctrinal and Non-Doctrinal methods of Research.
3. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF AN AI DEVICE – ISSUES AND CHALLENGES
Authors: Kanupuri Sri Hamsa & Sri Vaishnavi .M.N.
Abstract: The researchers would like to discuss the topic “Intellectual property of an AI Device- Issues and Challenges” wherein we have started with some basic questions such as “what is an Artificial Intelligence?”, to which we opine that it is an intelligence which is in periodical simulation with the human mind for achieving positive outcomes for the eventual long term progress, considering the fact that the Artificial Intelligence hasn’t completely developed yet and we still are in the olden times giving utmost value to the mechanical resources at hand. However, desperate times require desperate measures and so does the society with the technology craving for making aspects faster and dynamic in their lives.
Today, in this rapid generation where everyone requires faster results, artificial intelligence is yet, another factor that makes an individual’s life easier i.e. from getting your artificial assistant to manage certain calls and schedules to navigating through traffic to your office. However, simply because we are working from home in this pandemic doesn’t degrade the importance of artificial Intelligence. We opine in this research paper that an Artificial Intelligence (hereinafter AI) Device, in the right hands, would be a greater tool to humanity as well as the society at large. We would be focusing on the aspects of various issues and challenges when the legal systems of all other countries take an AI Device into cognizance that it is an Intellectual Property. Therefore, we are conducting a doctrinal method of research with regards to the true necessity of protection of rights in India, with specific references and studies in comparison with the laws of other countries to the true essence of Artificial Intelligence in the presence of algorithms and mathematical, business models since the Indian IPR Laws are stringent.
4. DIET IP: ROLE OF IPR IN PREVENTION OF COPYCAT CULTURE IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY
Author: Aakaanksha Akella
Abstract: The fashion industry keeps growing every year with breakneck speed and the originality of the designs produced is one of the most essential factors behind the popularity of brands, designers and fashion houses. Fashion ‘design’ is an important element in the production and marketing of clothes, and therefore needs to be protected. While discussing the fashion industry, most scholars often direct the discussion towards aspects that protect branding and brand value, such as trademarks. This paper, however, focusses solely on the aspect of protection of ‘designs’ under the intellectual property framework, and the whether the level of protection provided to designs is enough to ward off any ‘copycats’. In the course of this paper, the existing laws of jurisdictions such as India, the United States, France and Italy – places where the biggest and most significant fashion houses in the global fashion market are located – will be briefly discussed, and the adequacy of these laws in protection of fashion designs and preventing unauthorised copies.
5. IPR WAIVER FOR VACCINES: IS IT A ONE STOP SOLUTION FOR THE CRUNCH IN SUPPLIES?
Author: Suyash Shrivastava & Neelakshi Joshi
Abstract: The Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement was introduced after successful lobbying by the developed nations, in order to protect the creations of mind at the transnational level and upend duplication of their efforts in other countries. The debates over the provisions of this agreement revolve around the rights of a patent holder and the interests of the public. The agreement, though, offers flexibilities under Article 31 (compulsory licensing) but its application has always been contentious, as the rich nations have predominantly been against this provision. While there have been talks at some instances since the outbreak of the pandemic in March 2020, on the virtue of the TRIPS agreement, it intensified after India and South Africa proposed at the World Trade Organization (WTO) for waiver of patent rights on vaccines. The claim that a patent waiver is a prerequisite to resolve the vaccine crisis seems to be misguided as the real issue lies with the shortage of raw material and lack of know-how of manufacturing process, which is surely not going to proliferate in case of a waiver, instead, it will put the governments at odds with the developers. Invoking compulsory licensing will be a feasible alternative as it will be under the auspices of law and will ensure safe and efficacious vaccine, also deep cooperation with the vaccine developers will provide an insight into the manufacturing process and gradually will accelerate the production, as transfer of technology is the key and that remains in the hands of developers that have carried out the R&D.
6. GENE PATENTING: A COMPARATIVE STUDY BETWEEN INDIA AND USA
Author: Brinda Singhania
Abstract: Biotechnology involving DNA genetic engineering has made it possible to build upon potential health solutions. Initially, patent law advocated patenting of only products and processes which were related to industrial inventions and technology and excluded life forms patenting. However, with the evolving biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry, several countries modified their patent law to include gene patenting. Gene patenting refers to granting exclusive rights to the holder for extracting a specific sequence of gene or the process for obtaining them, which results in monopolistic ownership of commercial usage and research of patented genes by the holder. Though gene patenting incentivises future innovation, it also hides essential information required for future research and development. The paper discusses the concept of gene patenting, its consequences and international regime over its regulation by critically analysing the legislative and judicial stance of India and the USA.
In addition, the paper throws light on the ongoing tussle between biotech directives, who are spending their labour to research and extract a gene sequence and enthusiasts who display concerns regarding unhealthy consequences of gene patenting. The scope of the study is broad enough to include study of laws related to gene patenting, specifically dealing with isolated genomic DNA, in India and the USA. The study examines several judicial pronouncements to understand the legal validity of gene patenting. Additionally, the paper contains recommendations and awareness for policymakers, bio-medical persons and the public about the concerns and net social benefit of gene patenting.
7. THE DEVIL IN DILUTION: THE DISSONANT JURISPRUDENCE WITHIN NIE V. MSCHF
Author: Varun M. Nair
Abstract: Multinational sportswear giant Nike earned a restraining order in its favour in a lawsuit against a Brooklyn based design studio, MSCHF, on the 2nd of April, 2021. The suit was settled a week later, with MSCHF accepting the conditions proposed by Nike. Essentially, Nike had claimed trademark infringement as well as trademark dilution stating that the design house had not approached them for any prior permission or authorization concerning the release of their ‘Satan Shoes’. In addition, Nike also claimed unfair competition from the sale of the ‘Satan Shoes’, amounting to loss of revenue and customers, as a result of MSCHF’s actions.
Although this appears a simple case of trademark violation, the controversy surrounding the same has the scope for dissection and exploration. The author attempts to analyze the social environment of the lawsuit and its nascent ripples across various markets, as well as navigating the paradigm shift between preliminary schools of thought around intellectual property rights and modern jurisprudential decisions. The arguments analysis portrays early foundational case laws, as well as recent relevant decisions, in order to contextualize the legal quandy. The concluding section contains prospective measures to improve the current framework.
The article will focus on the basis of the lawsuit and the background surrounding it, while also providing a comparative analysis with respect to various other cases in the same legal realm. The paper also features suggestions based on original research as to the future of trademark violations in tandem with entertainment, celebrity rights, and intellectual property.
8. IMPACT OF COVID ON IP REGIME
Author: R.V Vishnukumar
Abstract: This paper focuses on the key issues of how the Covid 19 has brought about a change in the IP regime on the all-important tool namely, the vaccine/s to fight the pandemic of the century and primarily focusses on the pros and cons of granting IP protection or otherwise to the vaccines. The gist of the different views and arguments in the current scenario is that currently, a global advocacy effort is attempting to remove COVID-19 vaccines from IP protection’s, claiming that doing so will assist to mobilise additional manufacturers and resolve vaccine access gaps.
Others say that doing so would discourage further manufacturing investments and jeopardise long-term vaccine development, including for COVID-19 variations that are emerging. The novelty of idea, is whether public good at large is to be given precedence over the long-term vaccine development, including for COVID-19 variations that are emerging and threatening mankind, the case in point being of the emergence of the recent variant, the delta variant. The gravity of the situation can be best summed up in the words of Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead on COVID-19. “The delta variant, the virus, will continue to evolve. Right now, our public health and social measures work, our vaccines work, our diagnostics work, our therapeutics work. But there may be a time where this virus evolves and these countermeasures don’t,”
The specific outcome of the research paper is the analysis and comprehending of issue at hand namely, would exempting Covid – 19 vaccines from IPR’s improve global access and equity from various perspectives and the probable solution to the complex issue.
9. LEOMETRY EXAMINING THE ANGLE OF TRIPS AGREEMENT IN THE TRIANGLE OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY PANDEMIC & PESSIMISM IN INDIA
Authors: Adya Aditi Samal & Tanya Mohanty
Abstract: This article analysis defines and refines the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement, which recognized as a treaty, entered into force on January 1, 1995. In this paper, the authors tried to make the reader better understand that whether India's patent laws are following the TRIPS Agreement or not, analyzed India's Trademark laws and interpreted the relationship between India's patent system on a domestic level and the international legal regime outlined in the TRIPS Agreement, the evolution of India's patent law system following the implementation of the TRIPS Agreement, how India has developed a complex patent regime after TRIPS; because of the recent US decision to support the temporary waiver of patent rules for the coronavirus vaccines, the TRIPS Agreement is in the news; but we have examined the TRIPS waiver concept in the Indian context and tried to find out can trips waiver solve the deficiency of vaccine, whether compulsory licencing is an apt way to tackle this, is there any pessimism in India, what is the solution? Therefore, authors have tried to scrutinize, re-examine and answer the questions mentioned above.
10. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS OF MEDICINE VIS-A-VIS RIGHT TO HEALTH: OVERARCHING CHANGES IN THE TIME OF COVID-19
Authors: Agrata Das & Arunav Bhattacharjya
Abstract: The right to health of a human being as a fundamental right is crucial for the enjoyment of the co-related human rights. Under Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948, ‘Health’ is regarded as an integral part of the right to an adequate standard of living. Many international conventions and treaties relating to human rights, and various constitutions of developing countries have recognized that numerous elements would be incorporated by the right to health from prevention to cure to access to drugs. Despite making several signs of progress in the last 35 years, millions of people from developing countries lack access to the essential medicines which are erstwhile required for essential treatments and those available ones are fixed at higher prices.
Intellectual property rights protect the product’s originality in the market and save it from duplicity in the market. The products, when it gets patented can be either sold at a higher price or at a lower price on the discretion of the original creator but subject to the essentiality of the product. However, monopolies created by patents permit them to set up high prices for medicine in the market. Therefore, WHO, WIPO, WTO through TRIPS agreements and Doha Declaration and 30 August 2003 Compulsory License Import Export mechanism are taking many initiatives to provide safeguards against the abuse of patent and give importance to the public health over private intellectual property. The consumer society must grow for any society to prosper.
Therefore, there is a fervent need of interventions by various governments in this crisis hour to alter their IP restrictions for a short term so that there is an effective deployment of protective medical equipment and curing drugs for public health and safety in the current pandemic situation.
11. BTIA: STUDY OF TRIPSPLUS PROVISIONS
Author: Anoop Kumar
Abstract: Trade is one of the factors that connect two distant places of the world. No single country can declare unilaterally that it is self-sufficient in all its needs. If India needs technology, the US needs affordable IT human resource that runs their IT engines. Considering these things in mind, India and EU sought to enter into a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), called Broad-Based Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) since 2007. However, there are certain hurdles in the finalisation of this instrument. Certain provisions of this instrument have been criticised as being TRIPS-plus provisions. The author seeks to study and investigate to what extent such provisions are against interest of India and the relevant provisions of the draft BTIA that are criticised to be TRIPS-plus arrangements.
12. GENE PATENTING: A LOO INTO THE CASE THAT SHAPED ITS FUTURE
Authors: Prisha Mehta, Shreya Rakheja & Ananya Singh
Abstract: This commentary introduces the concept of gene patenting with regards to BRCA cDNA and explores the case of Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc. - 569 US 576, 133 S. Ct. 2107 (2013). It critically analyses the case by elucidating its correctness- both in terms of ethics and reasoning. It also exhibits how the court’s thinking is inconsistent with the thinking given in earlier comparative cases and how this decision conflicts with the spirit of law and public policy. Finally, this commentary delves deeper into the understanding of the statute in place and offers a reasonable methodology that can impact gene patenting judgments positively and ethically.