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1. Philips Moves Delhi High Court to Stop Xiaomi From Selling Phones That Infringe Its Patents

Xiaomi has been moved against by Philips in the Delhi High court to prohibit them from selling phones that infringe patent rights. Philips sought the court order against the Chinese smartphone maker, its affiliates, officers or agents. Philips also sought an interim order of injunction which stopped the importation of Xiaomi smartphones into India, including models specified in its application. Philips in its plea sought restraint against manufacturing or assembling, importing, selling, offering for sale, and advertising  of certain smartphones, including through its third party websites. Any future models or devices that include Universal Mobile Telecommunications Service (UMTS) enhancement (HSPA, HSPA+) and LTE technologies, resulting in infringement in the future, will be moved against.

2. Hip-Hop Streaming Platform Spinrilla Found Liable for Users’ Copyright Infringement

A Georgia Federal Judge ruled that the hiphop streaming platform Spinrilla is liable for copyright infringement, delivering a big win for music rights holders. Spinrilla is marketed as a platform which allows its users to discover independent and emerging hip hop artists. Only some pre-approved users have the ability to upload music to the site. It was identified by RIAA that 4082 works were infringed, through the course of litigation. Spinrilla and its founder Jeffery Dylan Copeland were sued by The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in February 2017 on behalf of UMG, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Bros. Records, Atlantic Recording Corporation and LaFace Records. It was alleged by them that the site allows users to stream and download content without license.

3. India, US sign MoU to enhance cooperation on intellectual property

India and the US have signed an MoU to increase cooperation in the field of intellectual property (IP) following the approval by the Union Cabinet on February 19 this year.The MoU between the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)  aims at increasing IP co-operation between the two countries by way of facilitating exchange and dissemination of best practices, collaboration in training programs, exchange of experts, exchange of information and best practices on processes for registration and examination of applications for patents, trademarks, copyrights, geographical indications, and industrial designs, as well as the protection, enforcement and use of IP rights. Both sides would also exchange information on the development and implementation of automation and modernization projects, new documentation and information systems in IP and procedures for management of IP office services.

4. Carnival Corp. drops ‘King James’ trademark application after LeBron James files opposition

The Carnival Corp. has reportedly dropped its plans to trademark the term “King James” for use as the name of their cruise ship, after NBA star LeBron James, whose fans loyally refer to him as King James, filed an opposition. The cruise giant, which operates Carnival Cruise Line, P&O and Princess Cruises, among others, had originally filed for the trademark in August 2019, revising it several times before it was accepted for review by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and eventually received the go-ahead from the federal government in July 2020. But on Nov. 18, James’ limited liability company, LBJ Trademarks, filed an opposition claiming that a “King James” ship would erroneously suggest a partnership or agreement between himself and Carnival, according to the outlet. Ending their 15-month fight for the trademark, Carnival pulled the application permanently on November 26th, in less than 10 days once James got involved.

5. N95 Is A Generic Term: IPAB Stays Operation Of Registration Of N95 Trademark

The Intellectual Property Appellate Board has stayed the operation of registration of ‘N95’ as a trademark. The term N95 is a generic term in the mask the same is not capable of being neither registered or protected as trade mark nor the same can be appropriated by any one entity, the Board observed while considering a rectification application that was filed by SASSOON FAB International Pvt. Ltd. The company engaged in the business of masks, had filed the application under Section 57 of the Trademark Act, 1999 for Removal of the ‘N95’ label under Reg. No. 4487558 in class 10 registered in favour of one Sanjay Garg. The company contended that Sanjay Garg had frivolously and fraudulently obtained an unlawful registration of the generic term N95 in class 10. As a result, the company’s N95 masks were removed from the ecommerce platform amazon on the basis of complaints lodged by Sanjay Garg. 

6. Japan passes bill to protect intellectual property control for fruits

A bill aimed at protecting intellectual property control over its fruits and vegetables was passed in the Diet on Wednesday in a bid to crack down on the illicit outflow from the country of cultivars developed through plant breeding. The revised seed and seedling protection law, expected to take effect in April, will allow plant breeders to designate areas where their varieties can be grown and export destinations when they register their species. Developers of such registered species will be able to seek an order to stop the production of their cultivars outside designated areas or exports without authorization. The reproduction of registered varieties using seeds collected from their harvest will also be prohibited without consent of the developers. Individuals who illegally take seeds and saplings abroad will get prison sentences of up to 10 years or a fine of up to ¥10 million.

7. Cambodia’s Kampot Pepper Granted GI Certification From 50 Countries

The Ministry of Commerce of Cambodia has recently managed to secure Geographical Indication (GI) status for its Kampot Pepper in 50 different countries. The news was broken by Cambodia’s Minister for Commerce, Pan Sorasak while presiding over a ceremony. The minister was highly appreciative of the European Union for its support amidst the Covid – 19 pandemic in furthering Cambodia’s products in the global market. It is said that this year Cambodia has exported 4,121.95 tonnes of pepper, which incidentally is an increase of nearly 124% compared to the same period last year. Cambodia exports its Pepper to 21 different countries including countries such as Japan, Belgium, Netherlands, France, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, etc. 

8. Irish Whiskey and Irish Cream To Be Given Special Status in China 

Following an agreement that was struck up between the European Union and China, the Irish government announced that Irish Whiskey and Irish Cream will be given special status in China. This development will result in over 100 European products that have Geographical Indication (GI) status being protected in Chinese markets. The agreement also stipulates that reciprocally over 100 Chinese Geographical Indications, shall be protected in European markets. This agreement is scheduled to come into force at the beginning of 2021. The announcement by the Irish government reads, “This agreement is hugely significant and will deliver real results for exporters. Irish food and beverages are known throughout the world for their quality and high production standards. The protection afforded to Irish whiskey and Irish cream will be invaluable in accelerating exports to China.”

Image Sources: 

  1. Unknown author on Wikimedia.
  2. Cdx2 on Unsplash.
  3. Naveed Ahmed on Unsplash.
  4. Tim Shelby on Flickr.
  5. Ashkan Forouzani on Unsplash
  6. Steven Diaz on Unsplash.
  7. Thalias on Wikimedia. 
  8. Bruce the Deus on Wikimedia.