Attorneys-at-Law · Patent and Trademark Agents
Plant Variety Protection
Governed primarily by the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers' Rights Act (PVPFRA) 2001, the protection of the rights of plant breeders and farmers has assumed great significance in the context of the legal battles currently raging in India against the American multinational agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation, Monsanto (now owned by Bayer) and its Indian subsidiary, Mahyco Monsanto Biotech India Pvt. Ltd. (MMBL). Although the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers' Rights Authority in New Delhi is the first port of call for the registration of rights in new plant varieties, the way the Monsanto litigation has played out displays the likelihood of cases in this sector to transform into action-packed contentious matters with high stakes before the district courts as well as the high courts. With tremendous bench strength in life sciences and biotechnology, as well an an unshakeable grasp of the law, SNA is firmly situated in a position of great advantage to offer rights registration and maintenance services to clients worldwide in the field of plant variety protection in India.
Not only have we played an important role in the final enactment of the Geographical Indications legislation in India (The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999), we were also involved in advising for, strategising on and obtaining one of the first Indian GI tags on behalf of the Government of India.
India does not have cohesive data protection legislation. Cyber security and the protection of data are achieved primarily through the Information Technology Act, 2000 and the Information Technology Rules, in conjunction with a collection of statutes - such as The Copyright Act, 1957 and the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 - which provide piecemeal protection of rights in this area. With a thorough understanding of the rapidly changing Indian technology landscape and a formidable grasp of the statutory law such as it is, our team is competent to provide advice and formulate strategy to suit a variety of requirements.
The following two codified pieces of legislation control pharmaceutical advertising in India:
The Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, which regulates the import, manufacture, distribution and sale of drugs and cosmetics; and
The Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954, which allows for the screening of advertisements or promotional material of any kind that attempts to sell drugs or remedies on the basis that they contain “magical” or “miraculous” properties.
In addition, the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, while not specifically aimed at the pharmaceutical industry, prohibits “unfair trade practices”, which it defines as “a trade practice which, for the purpose of promoting the sale, use or supply of any goods or for the provision of any service, adopts any unfair method or unfair or deceptive practice”. The Act further states that this definition includes unfair advertising. In addition, our Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act prohibits advertisements which disparage another person’s products.
We are conversant with the relevant legislation in the area of pharmaceutical advertising. We also enjoy excellent relationships with the Department of Pharmaceuticals (Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers) and the Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI). The breadth of our combined knowledge and experience and the expertise of our pharmaceutical department permits us to provide clear, precise and legally sound advise and solutions to our clientele, which includes pharmaceutical giants from all over the world.
Domain Names, Transactions and Watch Services
SNA is fully competent to provide services including the filing of applications for, obtaining registrations for and the enforcement of domain name rights.
Our transactions department prepares the necessary documentation for assignments, license agreements, technology transfer agreements and other transactions affecting the rights in an intellectual property and handles smooth recordals before the appropriate authorities. Our expertise in law and procedure and our attention to detail ensures that even the most complicated transactions are conducted and recorded without error and with minimal inconvenience.
Protecting and maintaining intellectual property rights requires constant vigilance against the unauthorized adoption or copy of the same or similar intellectual property assets. Our watch services are designed to alert our clients to potentially conflicting patents, trade marks and designs applications and registrations as they are published in Official Gazettes. On instruction from our clients, we also maintain standing watches on intellectual property assets obtained by our clients' competitors and send monthly, quarterly, or annual reports to our clients as required.