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Clearing houses, Indian smartphones and football copyright

Simon Crompton

Today's round-up of news includes India's first smartphone case, copyright cases over football and headlines, and the opening of the Icann Trademark Clearinghouse

Clearinghouse opens for business

Today's the day that Icann's Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) opens its doors in advance of the rollout of new gTLDs later this year. Deloitte, which is running the service, will verify trade mark data (for a fee) and maintain a database with the verified trade mark records. Once a mark is in the TMCH, applicants for domain names in new gTLDs will receive a warning notice if they try to register a domain name that exactly matches a TMCH record. If they go ahead anyway, the trade mark owner will receive a notification. You can read lots more about gTLDs and the TMCH on

First smartphone case in India

India has seen little smartphone litigation so far, but the first big case, between Ericsson and local manufacturer Micromax, is revealing some interesting aspects of the Indian approach to such cases. The Delhi High Court ordered Micromax to make a deposit, presumably to avoid injunctive relief, and then set out rather high suggested royalties – up to 2% of the sale price. The parties are now negotiating these rates, but if Ericsson is successful we should expect plenty more cases in India.

Guidance on how biotech patents will be assessed

Also in India, SpicyIP reports that the Indian Patent Office has released the final version of its draft guidelines for the examination of biotechnology patent applications. In February, the Patent Office made available the public comments it had received from various stakeholders, including submissions from the Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI), which represents multinational drug companies, the Biotechnology Industry Organization, the National Biodiversity Authority and a number of law firms. The guidelines, while noting that these do not have the force of law and do not constitute rule making, state that due to "moral and ethical concerns", there was "an urgent need to put in place Guidelines to establish uniform and consistent practices in the examination of patent applications in the field of biotechnology and allied subjects".

One EU market for football

Scottish pubs look likely to have the same freedom to show football matches as their English counterparts, following an opinion from the Court of Session in Edinburgh in The Scottish Premier League v Lisini Pub Management. As in the English case Premier League v QC Leisure, a pub owner was using a decoder card to broadcast foreign coverage of domestic football matches. The Scottish judge borrowed much from that ruling, and the Court of Justice of the EU referral, in saying limiting such cards would hinder competition. Although only a debate hearing, it looks like the direction is set for a single EU market for football coverage.

Meltwater loses in the US as well as UK

Elsewhere in copyright, a New York court has ruled that news aggregation service Meltwater is infringing the copyright of Associated Press and others by providing extracts of news stories. Although the decision is likely to be appealed, Meltwater was not successful on appeal in the UK – where the case was brought by The Newspaper Licensing Agency – and the ruling that the service amounted to far more than simple aggregators such as Google was similar. The UK's Supreme Court is due to hear the case later in the year.


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