1. Serum Institute of India faces litigation over ‘Covishield’ trademark

A commercial court in Pune has issued a notice to Serum Institute of India (SII) regarding its ‘Covishield’ trademark. An injunction suit was filed against SII’s use of the brand name ‘Covishield’ for its Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine that is being readied for roll-out across the country soon. The injunction suit was filed by Cutis Biotech, a pharma company from Maharashtra claiming that it had applied for the Covishield trademark in April, before SII did. Cutis had filed a suit in the Nanded court claiming the same in December, 2020. Cutis, in its application, stated that it had applied for the trademark in April, 2020 after thorough research and that the same was pending before the trademark office. The application also stated that the ‘Covishield’ name was meant to be used for its medicinal and pharmaceutical items and food supplements for humans and animals, and the company had started selling products under this brand name since May 2020.

2. Amazon Banned From Using AWS Logo in China 

According to a decision dated May 2020, but released last week, the Beijing Municipal High People’s Court has banned technology giant Amazon from using its AWS (Amazon Web Services) logo in China. The court in its decision ruled that the “AWS” trademark belonged to a Chinese software and data services company – ActionSoft Science & Technology Development Co., and that Amazon is to stop using the term AWS or any similar logos in the regions of China. A compensation amount of 76.5 million yuan, which is equivalent to $11.8 million, was also awarded to ActionSoft. Aggrieved by the court’s ruling, Amazon is said to have appealed the case to the Supreme People’s Court. 

3. Nicki Minaj pays Tracy Chapman $450,000 after copyright case

Rapper Nicki Minaj will pay singer Tracy Chapman $450,000 in order to settle a copyright dispute. Rapper Nicki Minaj was sued in 2018 for allegedly using portions of Tracy Cahpman’s hit track ‘Baby can i hold you tonight’ in the rapper’s song, ‘Sorry’. The song ‘Sorry’ was not officially released but it leaked and became viral as it was played by radio DJ Funkmaster Flex. Minaj was accused of sharing the song with Flex. These accusations have been denied by both the rapper and Funkmaster Flex, according to bbc.com. The song was written with fellow rapper Nas for Nicki’s fourth album, ‘Queen’ in 2018. It was based on a sample of the dancehall song ‘Sorry’ by Jamaican artist Shelly Thunder, which in turn was based on ‘Baby, can I hold you tonight’.

4. China Mulls Heavier Punishment for Intellectual Property Infringements

A new draft amendment in China has proposed stricter punishment for intellectual property crimes. The amendment proposes that the maximum prison term for copyright and trademark infringements will be increased from the existing 7 years to 10 years. It provides that whoever, without permission of the owner of a registered trademark, uses a trademark which is identical to the registered one on the same kind of commodity or service shall, if the circumstances are especially serious, be sentenced to a fixed term imprisonment of not less than three years but not more than 10 years and shall also be fined. It also provides that convicted criminals who knowingly sell commodities bearing counterfeit registered trademarks, who forge or make representations of registered trademarks without authorization or sell such representations shall be jailed for 3 – 10 years and fined, if the amount of sale is huge or if the circumstances are especially serious. further , it also provides for imprisonment for 3 – 10 years imprisonment for copyright infringement. 

5. Com Olho, Becomes India’s First Company to Win The Patent for Advertising Fraud Detection

Com Olho, one of the fastest growing companies to protect enterprises from digital frauds, has now become India’s first company to receive a patent for Advertising Fraud detection software. The company has created new age technology to help mitigate the risks that arise from the various kinds of digital frauds. Digital advertising fraud has recently been on the rise as many companies are resorting to it as an online market strategy. According to KPMG, 15% of the ad – spend is lost in advertising fraud which equates to roughly 3500 crore rupees. 

6. Samsung patents an under display camera solution

Samsung Display filed a ‘Display Device’ patent with the USPTO in May 2020 whose documentation was published on December 31, 2020, according to LetsGoDigital. This patent shows off the company’s under-display camera implementation on smartphones. According to the documents, this device includes two display parts. The primary screen with a better resolution, and a secondary smaller part having a comparatively lower resolution. The second part can be either placed along the entire top side of the handset or any of the top sides. This section can be used to hide the front-facing camera as well as LED flash and sensors. That said, Samsung also makes reference to a similar patent filed in 2016 in the new one. Thus, we can say that the company has been continuously improving its implementation for years. It is unsure as to when samsung will bring this solution to the market. However, it can be expected to debut on the Galaxy A series instead of the flagships.

7. British Competition Regulator stated it would start an investigation into Nvidia Corp’s $40 billion deal to buy UK-based chip designer Arm Holdings.

The Competition and Markets Authority is likely to consider whether, following the takeover, Arm has an incentive to withdraw, raise prices or reduce the quality of its IP licensing services to Nvidia’s rivals.  Arm was sold to Softbank in 2016 after the Japanese conglomerate pledged to retain the company’s headquarters in Cambridge and increase employment. Nvidia struck a deal with Softbank in September 2021 to acquire Arm. Arm’s energy-efficient architecture under pins processors made by Apple, Samsung, Qualcomm and others, making the technology ubiquitous in smartphones and a host of other devices. The CMA said it was inviting views on the impact of the deal on competition.

8. Hipgnosis acquires 50% of Neil Young’s song catalog for around $150M

Merck Mercuriadis-led Hipgnosis has announced that it has acquired 50% of the worldwide copyright and income interests in Neil Young’s entire song catalog, comprising 1,180 compositions. This deal includes both 50% of the publisher share and 50% of the writer’s share in Young’s music, spanning his work with Buffalo Springfield, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Crazy Horse, in addition to the singer/songwriter’s full solo catalog.

Images Sources:

  1. Hakan Nural on Unsplash
  2. Michael Vi on Shutterstock
  3. Pure DOPE Magazine on Wikimedia
  4. SKopp on Wikimedia 
  5. Com Olho on Google Images
  6. Samsung On Wikimedia
  7. Nvidia on Wikimedia
  8. Warner/Reprise on Wikimedia