Monday, March 10, 2008

Competition Law and Intellectual Property Rights.

The Economic Times Reports click here

NEW DELHI: The pharmaceuticals and airline industries have attracted the attention of the competition regulator for indulging in allegedly anti-competitive activities. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has called the pharmaceutical industry for a dialogue on the anti-competitive practices in the sector, seen as a prelude to action against offenders when the government notifies the regulator’s enforcement powers.

The commission is expected to tell companies and industry associations how certain practices in pricing, trade and retail do not reflect the spirit of competition. The commission is also expected to tell companies how much pricing liberty they could take from the monopoly rights they get by way of intellectual property protection to inventions.

Competition law sets the contours of IPR rights and acts as a check against its abuse. Besides, the pharma sector is known for its lack of transparency on how brands are priced in relation to quality. It is often the costliest brand in the market that sets the benchmark in prices with the rest of the industry pricing products close to it.

If the commission comes out with guidelines related to pricing of Drugs who enjoy monopoly rights due to their Patents it would be really helpful in addressing issues related to providing access to essential medicines, which is of grave importance in a developing country like India who has to protect the patent rights and also see to it that people have access to such essential medicines these guidelines would be really helpful in creating a balance between the two.
Google lodges patent application for reading text in Images and Videos. Can this application help in curbing piracy in Youtube.

A patent application lodged by Google in July 2007 but recently made public seeks to patent a method where by robots (computers) can read and understand text in images and video.

The extension of the application would be that images and video indexed by Google would be searchable by the text located within the image or video itself, a big step forward in indexing that has not previously been available.

This Invention might be an answer to the a series of Infringement cases including the much publicized Viacom dispute which google is faced with.

Google has been working on this filtering tool for quite a long time this might be an answer to curb copyright violation on websites like Youtube where majority of the content posted is in violation of copyright.

Though the DMCA provides for take down policy through notification to the Intermediary this method has not been quite effective, considering the amount of users in YBoutube it is very difficult to monitor the content as 1000 's of video are being uploaded on Youtube every minute this filitering tool might be an answer to this problem and will come a long way in protecting copyright owners.

Copyright owners could include in their video that the video is copyrighted then this application could detect such a word in the video and could prevent uploading of such videos.

A full copy of the patent application “Recognizing Text In Images” can be viewed here