Illegal Dish TV Users Are Under Regulatory Scrutiny Of UAE Authorities

Illegal Dish TV Users Are Under Regulatory Scrutiny Of UAE AuthoritiesTelevision piracy has been in place for some years and regulatory authorities around the world are trying hard to regulate the same. Broadcasting of TV signals within a territory is regulated by licensing terms. However, if TV signals are broadcasted within a territory without any licence, then it is illegal and may be liable to be prosecuted as well. Some of the Indian players in this field are facing the heat of regulatory authorities of UAE.

As per media reports, many users of Dish TV or TataSky services in UAE have been doing the same against express prohibition. Regulatory authorities in UAE are looking for such users of Dish TV or TataSky so that they can be prosecuted, if required. The problem has arisen due to illegal import of set-top boxes that are used to receive TV signals at much lower rates than as existing in the country.

Most of the users are not aware that although they are paying for such services by presuming them to be legal yet they are illegal in nature. For instance, Dish TV set-top boxes are hugely popular with Indian expats and a monthly subscription for the service costs less than Dh50. In comparison, a similar package in the UAE costs between Dh264 to Dh477 per month. Several small shops dealing in satellite and television services have already been raided by police authorities for promoting such set-top boxes.

As per existing regulations in UAE, importing of set-top boxes into the UAE is not allowed and anyone found with it could face action, in accordance with the UAE laws. However, the legal warning has not stopped people from using television services provided by companies outside the UAE.

Once an illegal viewing card is seized, authorities make an effort to block the viewing card by reaching out to the set top box provider. This required cooperation between law enforcement agencies of UAE and India on the other hand and Indian set top box providers like Dish TV or TataSky on the other hand. The help of broadcasters is also taken to switch the illegal cards off.

Novartis AG’s Heart Drug Diovan Kept Out Of Patients Reach Due To US Policy Decisions

Novartis AG’s Heart Drug Diovan Kept Out Of Patients Reach Due To US Policy DecisionsGranting of a Patent for limited period of time protects the interests of both the inventor and the society.  For the term of Patent, the inventor can enjoy the fruits of his labour and invention. Once the Patent term expires, the general public can use the available information and knowledge to produce the patented invention for the larger good of the society.

Expiring medicine Patents can boost pharmaceutical business and e-commerce as the generic pharmaceutical companies can provide affordable drugs in large quantity. However, policy decisions may prevent this from happening. For instance, recently the United States Food and Drug Administration (U.S. FDA) issued an Import Alert 66-40 titled Detention Without Physical Examination Of Drugs From Firms Which Have Not Met Drug GMPs (PDF). This alert deals with detention without physical examination of drugs from firms which have not met drug good manufacturing practices (GMPs). Many Indian pharmaceutical companies have been listed on this alert and import from them has been banned. In fact, Lupin is recalling 9,210 bottles of Suprax drugs for failure to pass purity test.

There are many more pharmaceutical companies in India that have failed to pass the standards prescribed by U.S. As a result they cannot export their drugs to U.S. even though the drugs are desperately needed in U.S. As per media reports, a gap in U.S. patent law has kept cheap copies of Novartis AG’s heart drug Diovan off the market for 18 months, costing U.S. consumers and insurers as much as $900 million in potential savings.

While the Diovan patent expired in September 2012, the only company allowed to sell copies, Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd., hasn’t been able to manufacture and market them after four factories it runs in India failed U.S. inspections. The approval process for generic drugs has two steps. While Ranbaxy gained exclusive, legal rights to sell the Diovan copies for six months by being first to apply, they failed to nail down clearance from regulators reviewing the company’s ability to safely and properly make the drug. That’s where the trouble arises: The law doesn’t say what happens if no final approval is given.

Diovan was for several years the best-selling product for Basel, Switzerland-based Novartis, with global sales peaking at $6.05 billion in 2010. Ranbaxy, of Gurgaon, India, first asked for permission to copy the Novartis product in 2007. Ranbaxy failed to win FDA approval to sell the generic of Diovan as a monotherapy, while retaining the right to the six-month exclusivity. Since the clock never started on Ranbaxy’s six-month exclusivity, other copies are blocked.

Ranbaxy planned to manufacture Diovan in its Mohali, Punjab plant. The FDA, though, banned exports to the U.S. from that plant in September 2013. Three other plants have also been banned from selling their products in the U.S. On April 7, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. said it had agreed to acquire Ranbaxy from Japan’s Daiichi Sankyo Co. for $3.2 billion ($4 billion including debt). Meanwhile, one rival tried to take away Ranbaxy’s privilege. In October 2012, Mylan Laboratories challenged Ranbaxy’s exclusivity right by suing the FDA on the grounds that the company was unable to obtain approval within the required 30 days after submitting its application.

However, the U.S. District Court in Washington denied the challenge saying Mylan failed to show it suffered “irreparable harm” from Ranbaxy’s right to exclusivity. Mylan didn’t appeal the decision and no other drugmaker has since challenged Ranbaxy’s exclusivity right.

Toshiba’s Nand Memory Chips Faces Industrial Cyber Espionage Threats

Toshiba’s Nand Memory Chips Faces Industrial Cyber Espionage ThreatsIntellectual property rights (IPRs) theft has become a big nuisance these days. Countries around the world are facing this nuisance but they are finding it very difficult to deal with IPRs theft in the contemporary times. Conflict of laws in cyberspace has further made the scenario complicated.

With increasing use of information and communication technology (ICT), IPRs theft has become comparatively easier and anonymous. For instance, trade secrets are often stolen by cyber criminals. It is very difficult to conclusively prove authorship attribution for such cyber crimes and IPRs thefts as crucial digital evidence is scattered across different jurisdictions. Till the time digital evidence is approached, it is either destroyed or is made legally inadmissible.

Recently, Japanese company Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) accused Chinese Company CSR Sifang of stealing its Shinkansen Bullet Trains. United States has also decided to introduce a legislation that would target companies using stolen IPRs of U.S. Japan is once again on the receiving end as technology and information from local companies, including chipmaker Toshiba, had been leaked to rivals from other countries. Japan has decided to fight against growing incidences of industrial cyber espionage.

“Safeguarding Japan’s cutting-edge technology and preventing leaks are extremely important”, chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters. “The government as a whole will respond to ensure that such a thing doesn’t occur again”. Suga declined to discuss specific cases but several media outlets said police had arrested a former engineer at a Toshiba affiliate on suspicion of improperly providing technical data to South Korea’s SK Hynix.

Cyber security and data security are crucial for successful protection of IPRs in the digital regime. Further, anti piracy and copyright infringement protection must also be extended to IPRs. Brands protection and management must also be ensured to sufficiently safeguard IPRs. Even domain name protection policy is required these days to adequately protect one’s IPRs.

Indian Patent Law Is In Conformity With WTO And International Obligations

Indian Patent Law Is In Conformity With WTO And International ObligationsEven since Novartis lost the patent claims of Novartis AG’s Cancer treatment drug Glivec in the Supreme Court of India, United States in general and U.S. pharmaceutical companies in particular are targeting Indian generic pharmaceutical companies and their exported products. Even a proposed U.S. legislation would target companies using stolen Intellectual Property of U.S.

The Obama Administration has decided to scrutinise Patent trolls in U.S. Further, U.S. is also one of the countries that is using the most liberal “compulsory licensing” regime vis-à-vis pharmaceutical supplies in the U.S. territories. U.S. is also the country where individuals and companies are targeting Indian traditional knowledge and trying to get it patented on one pretext or other. Whether it is Turmeric or Pomegranate, India has successfully challenged U.S. companies’ form getting them patented in U.S. The U.S. needs to urgently change its policy towards foreign IPRs violations.

India also needs to strengthen and protect its IPRs. Till recently we had no traditional knowledge digital library (TKDL) of India. However, now we have a TKDL that is serving the interests of India and international community by thwarting any attempt to patent a product or service based upon Indian traditional knowledge. The Indian TKDL is a representative database of 1200 Ayurvedic, Unani and Siddha formulations.

Indian IP relations with European Union (EU) are also not very smooth as is reflected by a non conclusive free trade agreement between Indian and EU. Whether it is border enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPRs) of Indian goods meant for third countries destinations or dispute at WTO the negotiations between EU and India were never hassle free.

Irrespective of the noise that International community is making against Indian patent law, we at Perry4Law firmly believe that India is in strict compliance with its international obligations under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) and World Trade Organisation (WTO). In fact, we believe that Indian Sovereignty and Indian Constitution would prevail upon any international obligation that is inconsistent with the objectives and philosophies of Indian Constitution.

India has reiterated that its patent laws cannot be successfully challenged by the U.S. either in a bilateral or multilateral forum as they strictly comply with the intellectual property agreement of the WTO. Any U.S. unilateral trade measure against India on the ground of inappropriate intellectual property protection in the country would be in violation of WTO rules and can be challenged there, an official in the Commerce and Industry Ministry told Business Line. There could also be retaliatory action by India.

US business chambers and advocacy organisations on Monday asked the Obama Administration to designate India as a Priority Foreign Country, which is a status imposed on countries that are most serious violators of intellectual property rights (IPRs). The US imposes trade sanctions against countries included in the list.

The campaign against India is being led by the US pharma industry that has been lobbying for a more favourable IPR regime in India so that it could get patents for upgraded versions of their drugs whose patents have expired. US drug-makers are particularly upset about rejection of a patent application made by Swiss company Novartis for an upgraded version of its cancer medicine by the Indian Patent Appellate Board.

The US Government now wants India to drop a particular section (Section 3d) in the Indian Patent Act that allows rejection of patents on grounds that the product for which patent is sought is not significantly different from an existing product. Of course, there is no possibility of any such action on the part of Indian government and this seems to be a desperate attempt on the part of U.S. pharmaceutical companies alone.

Google Wins First Round In The Authors Guild Case Pertaining To E-Books

Google Wins First Round In The Authors Guild Case Pertaining To E-BooksJudge Denny Chin has ruled in favour of Google in the case of The Authors Guild Inc v Google Inc 05 Civ. 8136 (DC) 2013 (PDF), decided on 14th November 2013 at the United States District Court, Southern District Of New York.

Judge Chin has not only dismissed the Authors Guild’s lawsuit over Google’s library book scanning project but he also endorsed the fair use defence of Google.

While Google is happy yet Authors Guild is not satisfied with the decision and plans to appeal against the judgment.

Further, the decision is confined to the territorial jurisdiction of United States alone and institutions and authors at other places can still sue Google for violating the copyright of the concerned person in their own jurisdictions.

The concept of fair use is a trick issue and a supportive ruling in favour of Google in other jurisdictions may not be possible especially where the technology is not well adopted and used.

The commercial exploitation of the copyrighted contents picked by Google without copyright holder’s approval is also a major factor that may go against Google in various jurisdictions. Nevertheless Google has won the first round of litigation, at least in US.

Anti Piracy And Copyright Infringement Protection To Entertainment Industry Of India From Online Mediums And Websites

Anti Piracy And Copyright Infringement Protection To Entertainment Industry Of India From Online Mediums And WebsitesPiracy and online copyright violation has become a serious issue for Indian entertainment industry. The owners of films and music records have adopted many measures to prevent online theft of their movies and songs but the same has been of little help to them so far.

They have tried blocking of copyright violating websites, DNS redirection, using distributed denial of service attacks (DDOS) to take down copyright violating websites, using DNS cache poisoning attacks to manipulate DNS services, etc. Most of these activities are illegal to perform yet the entertainment and media industry is hiring professionals to do the same. This can make them liable for civil and criminal actions.

The correct procedure is to follow a techno legal procedure to take down the infringing material as per the laws of India and other jurisdictions. For instance a DMCA complaint to Google to remove infringing contents from its search results and platforms is the available legal option than launching DDoS against the offending website.

The cyber litigations against Indian and foreign websites is going to increase in future. Even the Indian intermediaries are required to comply with cyber law due diligence requirements to escape the civil and criminal liabilities. While European countries are stressing upon cyber due diligence for businesses operating there yet India is yet to enforce this requirement.

In this background managing anti piracy work is a tedious and expertise based requirement in India. Indian law enforcement agencies have expressed their inability to locate the person uploading the copyright violating content due to use of anonymous services. The expectations that the internet service providers (ISPs) would block websites hosting such illegal content have also been unsuccessful. In fact, many attempts by the ISPs to block such websites have not been effective in the past.

Besides facing anonymous online postings the law enforcement agencies of India are also facing the problem of lack of cooperation by international telecom service providers. The reluctance on the part of administrators of foreign domains to reveal the details of those behind websites retailing pirated movies had also slowed down anti-piracy initiatives.

Even the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) route is not successful in all cases. Recently the United States refused to serve summons upon U.S. websites including Facebook and Google for violating Indian laws. Indian attempt to do so was blocked by U.S. thereby leveling very few options to Indian government and other stakeholders.

The film and music industry of India must invest good amount of time, energy and money resources to protect their assets and intellectual properties. Adopting illegal means is the last thing they can afford in these circumstances.

EU India Free Trade Agreement (FTA) May Be Narrowed Down Due To Differences

EU India Free Trade Agreement (FTA) May Be Narrowed Down Due To DifferencesThe European Union and Indian Free Trade Agreement (FTA) has never been smooth. Whether it is border enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPRs) of Indian goods meant for third countries destinations or dispute at WTO the negotiations between EU and India were never hassle free.

Even some controversial dialogues like removal of India from Generalised Systems of Preferences (GSP) Scheme of EU, disagreements over TRIPS Plus provisions vis-à-vis IPRs, issues of Data Exclusivity, etc also surfaced. However, all these issues were amicable settled between India and EU.

Further, India is expecting a Data Secure Nation Status from European Union.  Once this status is granted, formal objections against India as a weak data protection nation would be discarded out rightly. This would also attract more outsourced work in India.

However, EU is in no mood to confer this status upon India lightly. EU has refused to grant data secure status to Indian information technology companies and instead offering a data adequacy status. Similar status has been given by EU to U.S.

India has also made its stand stern and has declared that it may sign a FTA with EU with a narrow political window. This means that India would be unwilling to offer further tariff cuts for automobiles and would provide no room to flexibilities on pharmaceuticals and government procurement.

EU has been raising various demands for the past seven years since the negotiations began. Some of them are not even tenable at the moment. For instance, regarding the government procurement, EU has demanded commitments based on the proposed public procurement law, which has not even been placed before Parliament. India has given an assurance that it would look into the matter once the law is passed but for EU it is a pre condition for the FTA.

EU is pushing for preference in government purchases for European companies, which is unacceptable to India as India is willing to ensure that orders above a specified value are bid out and European bidders are not at a disadvantage.

EU is raising issues at the last minute where political consensus is very difficult to achieve. India would be witnessing general elections next summer and with the present pace, a FTA between EU and India is not possible. So as on date there seems to be a deadlock between EU and India on the FTA.

Obama Administration Would Scrutinise Patent Trolls In US

Obama Administration Would Scrutinise Patent Trolls In USThe patent system of United States is very liberal in nature. It is occasionally claimed that anything under the sun is patentable in U.S. This has created a problem for U.S. patent systems where patent trolls are exploiting it for their benefits.

Patent trolls can affect the competition and the whole purpose of granting the patent is defeated. Patent trolls usually have no intention to manufacture or market the patented invention and their sole purpose is to make some quick money through cease and desist orders and Patents infringement litigations. Now even in India this practice has begun to surface.

However, compared to U.S. this menace has not affected India much. But U.S. need to take immediate action in this regard and realising this condition the Obama Administration will announce a set of executive actions on Tuesday that would regulate the acts of patent trolls in U.S.

As per media reports, President Obama will instruct the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to initiate a rule-making process that would require patent holders to disclose the owner of a patent. Obama would announce five executive actions and seven proposed legislative changes, including asking Congress for legislation that would sanction litigants who file lawsuits deemed abusive by the courts.

The sole objective of patent trolls is to extract licensing fees from other companies rather than make products based on the patents they hold. They achieve this through threats of patent violation and corresponding litigations in this regard. Such lawsuits have increased tremendously in the past in U.S.

In 2011, Obama signed the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, which changed the U.S. patent system into a “first-to-file” patent system as opposed to a “first-to-invent system”. The USPTO previously awarded patents based on when inventors had the idea, instead of when they filed a patent application.

However, this has put the entrepreneurs and individuals at risk at the hands of software patent holders who try to exploit them. High profile IP litigations involving Microsoft, Apple, etc have also been in limelight. Mozilla had also issued a cease and desist notice to Gamma International for maliciously using its brand and reputation. Kim Dotcom has also accused Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc of violating his two step authentication patent.

It seems the Obama administration is trying to bring some order in the otherwise chaotic situation. Some guidance from India can be taken in this regard where public interest still prevails against commercial interests.

International Trade Commission Held That Xbox Did Not Violate Patent Of Motorola Mobility

International Trade Commission Held That Xbox Did Not Violate Patent Of Motorola MobilityIt seems the intellectual property war among and of companies in United States is getting more and steamier. Recently the International Trade Commission (ITC) held that Apple did not violate Google’s patent. Mozilla had also issued a cease and desist notice to Gamma International for maliciously using its brand and reputation. Kim Dotcom has also accused Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc of violating his two step authentication patent.

Now it has been reported that Microsoft has won the initial battle from Google as the ITC has held that Microsoft’s Xbox entertainment system did not violate a patent owned by Google subsidiary Motorola Mobility. An adverse observation could have created lots of troubles for Microsoft as it could not have imported Xbox into the United States.

It is not a case that only U.S. companies are fighting for protecting and enforcing their intellectual property rights. Recently, the Japanese company Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) accused Chinese company CSR Sifang of stealing its Shinkansen Bullet Trains. Similarly, the U.K. Supreme Court has held that simply because a cache is created by accessing a copyrighted work, it does not mean that the use accessing the same is violating the copyright.

However, in U.S. IP is taken very seriously. In fact, a proposed U.S. legislation would target companies using stolen intellectual property of U.S. In the present case, the tussle over the Xbox is related to a larger smartphone patent war between Apple, Microsoft and the mobile phone makers who use Google’s Android software, including Motorola Mobility.

The present complaint was filed by Motorola Mobility in the year 2010 accusing Microsoft of infringing upon five patents. However, subsequently four patent violation claims were dropped and only one claim remained on the book. This claim pertained to the ability to allow devices to communicate wirelessly over short distances.

Microsoft is happy with the decision as it has been maintaining that Google had no grounds to block its products. Motorola is disappointed with this decision and is evaluating its options.

Kim Dotcom Accuses Google, Facebook, Twitter Etc of Violating His Two Step Authentication Patent

Kim Dotcom Accuses Google, Facebook, Twitter Etc of Violating His Two Step Authentication PatentCyber security has become an important consideration for individuals and organisations alike. These days’ data thefts, confidential information thefts and trade secrets misappropriations are on rise and companies owning precious intellectual property rights are very particular in protecting the same.

In real and offline world the IP can be closely safeguarded. However, in cyberspace the protection of IP and confidential information requires extra and cumbersome efforts. Initially it was thought that a password would allow only the legitimate individual and organisation to access the confidential information.

However, with the growing cyber crimes and cyber attacks, this single authentication mechanism has failed to cope up with the contemporary IP protections. In order to protect the intangible properties more appropriately, the two step verification or authentication method was suggested. In the two step verification process besides the normal password another login criterion is required to be satisfied before access is granted to an individual or organisation.

Recently, many companies providing online services rolled out the two factor authentication procedure. This has attracted unexpected attention of Kim Dotcom who claimed that these companies have violated his patent rights as he claims to have invented the security feature. Kim refers to his patent dating back to 1997 as proof for his claim, and accuses companies including Google, Facebook, and Twitter of infringing his intellectual property rights.

Kim says that initially he did not prefer to sue these companies as he believes in sharing knowledge and ideas for the good of society. But now he may sue these companies as the bitter experience of seizure/confiscation of his website by U.S. government is still fresh in his memories. This polite threat is followed by a plea to the named companies for financial support in Dotcom’s ongoing fight against extradition to the U.S.