[This article is authored by Prakarsh K]

Innovation has always been the focal point of human development. It is safe to say that an innovative mind has been more or less reserved for humankind. However, is there a way that we have found to share this gift of nature with an inanimate entity? And if so then what does that entail? 
Artificial Intelligence (Hereinafter referred to as ‘AI’) is the closest to a fabricated consciousness that has been created. Innovation by learning is one of the prime points of research in the field of AI. When we look at innovation from a legal perspective, the first thing that comes into consideration is the rights to protect it, specifically intellectual property rights (Hereinafter as ‘IPR’).
IPR includes various rights and protections given to individuals such as rights to recreate, sell, distribute, exclusive use, etc. It essentially protects the ‘intellect’ that flows from any individual. However, when these were brought into force it was with the consideration that it may only be applicable to a ‘person’. At that point in time, one could not fathom the possibility of what the future holds when it comes to inventiveness. AI has been hailed as the closest link between software and the human mind. It has a myriad of applications and quality, one of them being the ability to learn and evolve according to the environment it is provided. This has a humanizing effect as it can based on its learning go beyond what was coded into it to create something new. The creation can be unique, novel and will have its practical applications; considering these it may very well qualify to be registered as intellectual property.  
AI systems can be registered under their individual creators, however, what about the creation that comes from an AI? Who will it be registered under and who will have the rights to it is the moot point. 

The Humanizing Factor
One of the requirements for requesting a patent is for it to be done by a ‘person’ according to the Patents Act, 1970. [1] A ‘person’ may not necessarily be a biological term (Except for the U.S. where a patent can only be requested by a natural person.), [2] it can mean any entity having the status of a legal person which may include companies, firms, etc. [3] This establishes that it is not necessary to be made of blood and bone to be considered as eligible to hold the license and rights to an IPR.
Legal personality being granted to AI has already started being considered in various countries. [4] This consideration did not initially stem from the possibility of granting AI the rights for creations, instead, it was first discussed due to the criminal activities that AI might indulge itself into. To pin the liability on the doer or the enabler or creator was the question. While that was being discussed on the criminal front the civil branch started out in a positive direction discussing the possibility of giving AI rights. It was at this point that the possibilities in IPR were shed light on. 
It is pertinent to note here that it is not being suggested that AI be given the same status as a human being or anything similar, that would involve issues of moral and ethical character which is a totally different area. It is more of a corporate version of legal personhoods such as one granted to firms or organizations giving them limited rights and imposing liabilities.
It may also be a possibility that a new category may be created for AI as being a non-living entity but having a certain level of autonomy. Without the considerations of human sentiment but of human or even higher intellect. These may be included in a Statue bringing it under existing legislation or may be subject to an entirely new policy, either way, that is in the distant future. 

No Strings Attached: AI Autonomy  
It is no surprise that currently there exist no provisions whatsoever to grant AI intellectual property rights. 
“Without human intervention and training, AI algorithms will churn out the rubbish.”
Currently, the law does not see AI as an independent entity, it sees it as an intermediary between a human and the desired result. An aiding mechanism that makes data processing and such activities faster and easier. However, this is no more completely true and definitely will not be in the near future. 
Instances of autonomous AI innovations and actions are increasing with each passing day. There are instances wherein a commercially available AI system can integrate AI and machine learning dimensions to almost any software programme and process large amounts of data without any organized input. [5] All this without any actual human intervention. The initial product was a human creation, however, what about the software code it evolves on its own into something new. Further in the field of medicine and biotechnology scientists have been using AI to expedite the process of arriving at medicines and vaccines. Currently, this requires structured input of data however with the level of development this requirement has been decreasing. [6] AI is able to study biological data and arrive at inputs without any intervention.
AI is also used by reporting agencies to create pieces of work that they publish by simply allowing the AI to scourge through available material which is the exact same thing any other employee would have done prior to availing AI services. [7] 

Worthy Enough? IPR & AI
There have been cases across the globe wherein it was discussed that there is the requirement of human uniqueness when registering for IPR. [8] However, over the years these vague terms were overruled by judgments that watered down the requirements to be limited to the mere fact that it is not copied. In India, even derivative work may be considered as intellectual property as long as there can be a distinction that is drawn. [9] Derivative work is something AI has been used for time and again mainly used by news reporting agencies. [10] This presents a rather significant possibility of AI creating works that meet the minimum standard of the requirement for getting it registered. 
How would it work? Because even if it were allowed that IPRs may be registered under an AI or that the AI will have the first claim to the creation that would be a dead end. Even if AI is allowed to hold rights, it is still too far in the future to consider AI regulating its creations into the commercial world. Hence, AI systems meeting a certain level of standard requirements should be allowed to get the creation registered under them, just like companies or other organizations. However, the licenses to regulate, duplicate, distribute etc. should lie either with the original creator, or the current owner of the system. Basically, whoever’s made it possible for the AI to create what it did. 
It will definitely require time and detailed research and analysis as a combined effort of technicians and IPR specialists to actually come up with a comprehensive way to effectuate the aforementioned. 

Audi Alteram Partem: Liability
We cannot possibly talk only about the rights to be granted without hearing the other side of it i.e. liabilities. 
AI is programmed with the intention of reducing human intervention as much as possible. This leaves scope for the AI to wander into an unwanted direction. When AI has the ability to create new works it also has the ability to recreate existing works, either intentionally or unintentionally. There is scarce jurisprudence on instances where AI has infringed another individual’s IPR. This brings us to what we had discussed at the beginning regarding AI liability.
The fundamental question here would be the intention of whoever was the most proximate human link to the alleged AI action. Was the person who coded the system meant to code it in a way so as to recreate original works. Or was the person using the AI being aware of its functionality, knowingly fed it data that resulted in the alleged product. 
It would also be worthy to note that what the individual who effectuated the process does with the final product, as it would then show his intentions. If the individual distributes it, sells it, knowingly does so in a dubious way, it would be clear who to pin the liability on. 
If it is not one of the above-mentioned scenarios, it would be better to instruct the user under the guidance of an officially appointed technician to make sure that the AI is modified in a way so as to not recreate the alleged product. 

The ‘Why’ Factor
There have been petitions filed for granting AIs the property rights, discussions, and debates and research on this very topic. But why? 
The main aims of IP rights are promoting innovation and security to creators. However, in specific situations, we may have to look past that and think of the possible conflicts once autonomous creations by machines become a mainstream phenomenon. 
One of the possible points of conflict may be when various minimal-to-no human intervention AI systems promising novelty creations are commercially available. Consumers buying such products will expect the least amount of input from their side and a novel creation. If they do get the desired result, then what would stop the creator of the AI claiming a right to that invention because he is the one who created the AI in the first place. Sure, contracts can be made but how efficient would be signing contracts for every system and honestly when was the last time you actually read the terms and conditions for anything. 
There is already a point of conflict regarding such future regulations wherein ‘open’ movements for science and data are pressing on any and all creations made by AI to be freely available for the development of other AI systems and data. [11] If this is made possible then there would again be no incentive to obtain AI systems that create novelty items as the moment it is created, it becomes public. 
Such problems may be evident now or when we are faced with the situation in front of us. The only way to make sure it does not lead to chaos and hasty decisions is to start regulating it right from the beginning and get a head-start. 

Conclusion: Only the Tip of the Iceberg 
Artificial Intelligence and its capabilities are a gift that mankind has given itself. There are two sides to everything, and AI is no exception. The use of AI should be promoted however while keeping a tab on the developments. Nothing in today’s society can be allowed to stay unregulated. Policymakers have to balance the scales between preserving innovation and curbing misuse. 
AI is still in the process of reaching the stage where it will require compulsory IPR regulation. There are projects under development that will determine the future of AI technology, what we know now is still only the tip of the iceberg. However, one may never be too sure about the possibility of sudden advancement. Hence, the policies must remain in the loop with technology. The earlier we start regulating the larger will be the scope for evolving the policies along with the progression of technology. This will also leave minuscule room for situations that we are completely unprepared for. 
Artificial Intelligence is tricky, as it is an inanimate object with the only quality of humans that we cannot trust as an outsider, their thinking.  

[1] The Patents Act, 1970, Acts of Parliament, No. 39, 1970 (India).
[2] Aarsha, Whether Company registered under the Companies Act have corporate personality, Legal Service India, Available here
[3] Bacha F. Guzdar v. Commissioner Of Income-Tax, (1954), AIR 740, (India). 
[4] Politico, Europe Divided over Robot Personhood, POLITICO, (June 25,2020, 23:55), Available here
[6] Ahuja AS. The impact of artificial intelligence in medicine on the future role of the physician. PeerJ. 2019;7:e7702. Published 2019 Oct 4. DOI:10.7717/peerj.7702.
[7] Sandra Durcevic, Intelligent Reporting - How Big Data and AI Are Changing the Way We Create and Analyze Reports, DATAFLOQ.
[8] Bleistein v. Donaldson Lithographing Co. 188 U.S. 239, 23 S. Ct. 298 (1903). 
[9] Eastern Book Company & Ors vs D.B. Modak & Anr, (2007), Appeal (civil)  6472 of 2004, (India). 
[10] Enrique Dans, Meet Bertie, Heliograf And Cyborg, The New Journalists On The Block, Forbes, Available here
[11] WIPO, Artificial intelligence and intellectual property: an interview with Francis Gurry, Available here

[This article is co-authored by Tejas Satish Hinder and Prakarsh, National Law Institute University, Bhopal]

The debate about secularism in India today is arguably symptomatic of the increasing communalization of Indian society and politics. The resurgence of majority and minority fundamentalism, the reassertion of parochialism, the sudden outburst of the anti-reservation movement, and, above all, the call to liberate Lord Rama in Ayodhya, have all contributed towards the creation of the current state of “civil war” in the Indian society.
Between 1982 and 1985, the army was called out as many as 353 times to maintain law and order in different parts of the country. [1] Between 1980 and 1989, India witnessed close to 4,500 communal incidents, in which over 7,000 people lost their lives, [2] almost four times as many deaths in this type as in the 1970s. 
India’s intellectuals argue that secularism is essentially a western value, out of place in the Indian cultural context, They seek, instead, alternatives in the Indian past, turning to the “real India” of pre-colonial times and to its ‘history and mythology”, in the hope that “our past, in its essence, could be adopted for the future.” [3] They attribute the decline of secularism in India not to the social and political process at work under British rule, within the national movement and under the independent Indian state, but to the un-Indianness of the concept of secularism itself. [4]

The implications 
Secularism is implicit in the entire constitutional framework. What does secularism in the Indian Constitution mean? The question admits of no easy answer and cannot be restricted to textual interpretation alone. It is a constitutional value that seeks to manage India’s diverse and plural society, in an atmosphere of cohesiveness of national purpose.
The guarantee of equality in Article 14; the promise of non-discrimination in Articles 15 and 16; protection from religious taxes and religious instruction in state-funded institutions set in Articles 27 and 28; the permission of educational institutions of choice to linguistic and religious minorities in Articles 29 and 30; the promise of equal ballots devoid of sectional preferences in Article 325 - all make for a constitutional architecture which is devoid of any religious preference whatsoever. God is significantly absent throughout the Constitution. “One nation under God” is not the allegiance which the Constitution seeks of its citizens. Believer, atheist, and agnostic alike, the Constitution do not differentiate.
There are however provisions that seek to enforce equality within the Hindu religion in Articles 17 and 25(2)(b). Deference to Hindu sentiments on cow slaughter is also provided for in Article 48, as is the pious hope for a uniform civil code in Article 44. Taken as a whole package, the constitutional vision of secularism is one of principled equidistance from all religious matters, while at the same time regulating its practice in a manner consistent with the demands of modern society. Crucially, in Article 25(2)(a), we can find constitutional permission for the state to regulate or restrict “any economic, financial, political or other secular activity which may be associated with religious practice”.
Thus, it is fallacious to argue that the original Constitution as adopted, enacted, and given to ourselves on November 26, 1949, was not a secular document. The inclusion in the Preamble of the words “socialist” and “secular” by the 42nd Amendment on January 3, 1977, only headlined what was already present in the original text of the Constitution. We must also remember that the Preamble itself was drafted only after the Constitution was approved by the Constituent Assembly. The Preamble thus became a one-page mission statement of the republic’s intent. [5]

Judicial Stance on the issue 
In S.R. Bommai v. UOI [6], It was held that “Religious tolerance and equal treatment of all religious groups and protection of their life and property and the places of their worship are an essential part of secularism enshrined in our constitution. while the citizen of this country are free to profess, practice and prorogate such religion, faith or belief as they choose, so for as the state is concerned i.e. from the point of view of the state, the religion, faith or belief of a person is immaterial to it, all are equal and all are entitled to be treated equally.” Further the Court while emphasizing the significance of Secularism declared it as the basic structure of the Constitution.
The concept of secularism was not expressly incorporated in the constitution at the stage of its making. However, its operation was visible in the fundamental rights and directive principles. The concept of secularism, though not expressly stated in the constitution, was, nevertheless deeply embedded in the constitutional philosophy. The concepts of secularism are not static; it is elastic in connotation. In this area, flexibility is most desirable as there cannot be any fixed views in this concept for all time to come. The courts decide from time to time the contours of the concepts of secularism and enforce it in practice. In M Ismail Faruqui v. Union of India, [7] It was held that “It is clear from the constitutional scheme that it guarantees equality in the matters of religion to all individuals and groups irrespective of their faith emphasizing that there is no religion of the state itself. The preamble of the constitution read in particular with articles 25 to 28 emphasis this aspect and indicates that it is in this manner this concept of secularism embodied in the constitutional scheme as a creed adopted by the Indian people has to be understood while examining the constitutional validity of any legislation on the touchstone of Constitution.”
The concept of Secularism is one facet of the Right to Equality Woven as the Central golden thread in the fabric depicting the pattern of the scheme in our Constitution. Any steps inconsistent with these mandates are Unconstitutional. The Court further held that any state Government which pursues unsecular policies or unsecular course of action acts contrary to the Constitutional mandate and renders itself amenable to action under Article 356.
In Aruna Roy v. Union of India, [8] The court held that “The Concept of secularism is not endangered if the basic tenets of all religions all over the world are studied and learned. Value-based education will help the nation to fight against fanaticism, ill-will, violence, dishonesty, and corruption. These values can be inculcated if the basic tenets of all religions are learned.” The Hon’ble Supreme court has held in Lata Singh v. State of U.P.[9] “that caste barriers in societal interactions are anti-secular. Inter caste marriage shall be promoted, protected, and conserved by the state to promote greater secular values. This is also a part of the secularization process. The concept of secularism is not merely a positive attitude of religious tolerance. It is also a positive concept of equal treatment of all religions.”
Although the Constitution does not define what is meant by the word "religion," the Supreme Court of India has expressed divergent views on the meaning of religion.  In cases such as Hindu Religious Endowments v. Sri Lakshimdra Thirtha Swamiar, [10] the Supreme Court took an inclusive approach to religion:
On the other hand, some Supreme Court cases have taken a narrower view of religion. For instance in S.P. Mittal v. Union of India[11] the Supreme Court took a restricted view of religion and held that Sir Aurobindo's teachings were a philosophy, not a religion, despite his followers' belief that it was a religion. In other cases, the Court has given effect to the egalitarian vision of the Constitution. For instance, in the Temple Entry case, Sri Venkataramana Devaru v. State of Mysore[12] the Court found that the state legislation allowing all Hindus, including low caste Hindus, the right to enter temples did not violate the rights of religious institutions under Article 26(b) of the Constitution.
In addition to the general inclusive approach to religion, the Supreme Court has stated that religious practices or performances of acts that are essential to the pursuance of religious beliefs are as much a part of religion as faith or belief in particular doctrines. [13] The question of what practices can be considered to be an essential part of the religion is ascertained by examining the doctrines of that religion. [14] 

But if Indian Secularism has indeed been such a failure, why, one might ask, has India continued to pay lip-service to it? The answer, it is possible to argue, lies in the imperatives of nationalism, first in the need to unite India behind the nationalist leadership, and later, in the need to invent a legal and political framework in which “national unity” might be realized. These imperatives pushed even those who had little real commitment to genuine secularism to proclaim publicly their adherence to secular values. There thus has always been a hiatus, therefore, between the true meaning of secularism and the variant of secularism as espoused in India. [15]
If secularization, therefore, is to be understood as a process in which ties of religion, casteist, and ethnic particularisms are gradually transcended, in which politics are defined on rationalist and ideological lines, and in which religion, caste, and ethnicity are confined to the sphere of ‘private” life, then its reverse has occurred in India. Communal politicians have successfully used the economics of inequality, uneven development, and under-development to reinforce their stranglehold over society. [16]

[1] India Today, 15 May 1985, 5
[2] India Today, 15 January 1990, 34. Mushirul Hasan “In search of Intergration and Identity”, 2469.
[3] Veena Das, Difference and Division as Designs for Life, in Carla M. Borden (ed.) Contemporary India: Essays on the Uses of Tradition, pp. 46 (Delhi, 1986)
[4] Rajni Kothari, Will the State Wither Away?, The Illustrated Weekly of India, 8 July 1984
[5] Sanjay Hegde, Secular in spirit and in letter, The Hindu, Available here
[6] S.R. Bommai v. Union of India, AIR 1994 SC 1918
[7] M Ismail Faruqui v. Union of India, AIR 1995 SC 605
[8] Aruna Roy v. Union of India, Writ Petition (Civil) 98 of 2002
[9] Lata Singh v. State of U.P., Writ Petition (Crl.) 208 of 2004
[10] The Commissioner, Hindu Religious Endowments v. Sri Lakshimdra Thirtha Swamiar 1954 AIR 282
[11] S.P. Mittal v. Union of India 1983, SCR (1) 729
[12] Sri Venkataramana Devaru v. State of Mysore, AIR 1958 SC 895
[13] Ratilal Panachand Gandhi, AIR 1954 SC 388, 392; Venkatamana Devaru v. State of Mysore, AIR 1958 SCR 895, 909
[14] The Commissioner, Hindu Religious Endowments v. Sri Lakshimdra Thirtha Swamiar, 1954 AIR 282
[15] Prakash Chandra Upadhyaya, The Politics of Indian Secularism, Modern Asian Studies, Vol. 26, No. 4, pp. 815-853 (Oct., 1992)
[16] Javeed Alam, The Political Implications of Economic Contradictions in Punjab, Social Scientist 161, 15 (10 October 1986)

[This article is authored by Aishwarya Agarwal, Bharati Vidyapeeth's New Law College, Pune]

Development of a country is measured through its GDP, infrastructure, and position in the global market but are these the only parameters to ascertain the growth of the country? No, one of the most important features is the quality of population i.e. the literacy rate, mortality rate, etc. To ascertain the progress of a country it is necessary to focus on the child and youth population of the country i.e. to provide them with basic necessities as well as a peaceful and protected environment to grow. India is home to a large population of which more than 30% comprises children between the age of 0-18 years. [1] Ministry of women and child development with UNICEF conducted a survey in 2007 which showed that out of total respondents 52.94% were boy child as compared to 47.06% who were girl child reporting cases of sexual abuse. [2] To protect children from such inhumane acts the government of India had taken several steps. 
Before the year 2012 protection of child against sexual offences were provided under IPC, Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015 but neither could address the issues of sexual abuse of male child efficiently. The ministry of women and child development addressed the issue by enacting Protection Of Child from Sexual Offence Act 2012 (POCSO) to provide protection to children from sexual offences and establish special courts for trials in such matters. The act was made gender-neutral in order to address the matters of sexual offences against male and female children below the age of 18 years. Until now the act addressed the issues in order to safeguard the rights of children but with time and increasing offences against children the need for even more strict measures arose and the new POCSO amendment act 2019 paved a way to resolve the matter. The amendments prescribed by the Act are as follows. 

Child Pornography
POCSO 2012 did not define child pornography. The term has been defined in the new amendment which provides a large scope for protection against such an offence and a much clear meaning of the same. The POCSO Amendment Act of 2019 defines child pornography as follows:
“Child pornography means any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a child which include a photograph, video, digital or computer-generated image indistinguishable from an actual child, and image created, adapted, or modified, but appear to depict a child” [3]

Death Penalty
For the first time ‘death penalty’ has been introduced under POCSO by ‘The protection of children from sexual offences amendment act 2019’ for the crimes of aggravated sexual penetrative assault under section 6(1) of the act. Until now the act consisted of the punishments of fine, rigorous imprisonment and imprisonment for life or less.

Gender Neutral
One of the recent developments in the criminal law brought in by THE CRIMINAL LAW AMENDMENT ACT 2018 is that the person convicted of rape of a minor girl below the age of 12 years would be punished with the death penalty. The amendment was much appreciated and was considered to be a progressive step towards the protection of minor girls against such a heinous and inhumane crime, but it gave rise to concerns regarding the discrimination against male survivors of sexual assault for not getting equal justice. POCSO Amendment Act 2019 introduced the death penalty as a punishment for the convicts of aggravated sexual assault against both boys and girls, keeping the act gender-neutral and providing equal justice to the victims of the same offence.

Drugs and Chemicals
A whole new dimension has been provided in the act. With the changing world, new methods of exploitation have been invented and this has exposed the victims and the targeted groups to much more vulnerability. The ministry after the intensive research and deliberation have introduced clause (v) in section 9 of the principal act which says “whoever persuades, induces, entices or coerces a child to get administered or administers or direct anyone to administer, help in getting administered any drug or hormone or any chemical substance, to a child with the intent that such child attains early sexual maturity” [4] and the punishment accordingly.

Offence POCSO Act, 2012 POCSO
Amendment Act, 2019
Penetrative Sexual Assault
(Section 4)
(i) Imprisonment of not less than ‘seven years.’
(ii) It may extend to life imprisonment
(iii) And fine
(i) Imprisonment of not less than ‘ten years.’
(ii) It may extend to life imprisonment
(iii) And fine
Note: Clause 4(2) has been inserted specifying separate punishment for the offence held against children below the age of 16 years
Aggravated Sexual Assault
(Section 6)
(i) Rigorous imprisonment not less than ‘ten years.’
(ii) It may extend to life imprisonment
(iii) And fine
(i) Rigorous imprisonment not less than ‘twenty years.’
(ii) It may extend to life imprisonment
(iii) And fine, or
(iv) Death
Using a child for pornographic purposes
(Section 14)
(i) Imprisonment which may extend to ‘five years’ and fine.
(ii) In case of second or subsequent conviction with imprisonment which may extend to ‘seven years’ and fine.
(i) Imprisonment of not less than ‘five years’ and fine.
(ii) In case of second or subsequent conviction with imprisonment which shall not be less than ‘seven years’ and fine.

Court Orders
The recent Unnao, Kathua rape case and increasing child sexual abuse cases drew attention towards the much-needed reforms and measures to be taken in order to protect the vulnerable children from the sexual predators. The honorable Supreme Court of India took cognizance of the same and under a Suo Moto Writ Petition (Crl) No. 1/2019 passed an order on 25/7/19. The order consisted of directions as follows: [5]
  • In the districts where cases under POCSO exceeds 100, a special court should be set up which deals with only POCSO cases.
  • Such courts will be funded by the central government
  • The appointment of the panel should not only be on the basis of qualification but also the sensitivity towards victims of child sexual abuse. The public prosecutor has to match the same standards.
With this, the court directed the states to report the no. of cases, no. of courts, and other relevant information under POSCO in all the states individually and the progress on the given directions. After the assessment of conditions of states individually, regarding the no. of cases under POCSO, the honorable supreme court on 16/12/19 passed an order in which each state was directed to set up special POCSO courts according to the guidelines specified previously and separate criteria were laid down for the state of Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal where the pendency of cases under POCSO was the highest. [6]

Although efforts have been made to protect and help the victims getting justice against sexual offences, it is still a long path down the road to eradicating this heinous crime from society. It is not a crime against an individual but a crime against society and this demands contribution from each and every person on their own level to help eliminate the mentality which gives rise to such offences.

[1]  2020. Population Composition. [ebook] Available here 
[2] 2020. Study on Child Abuse: India 2007. [ebook] Available here
[3] The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act, 2019. 2 d (a).
[4] The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012. 9.
[5] SUO MOTO WRIT PETITION (CRIMINAL), (2019) SCC (India), Available here
[6] SUO MOTO WRIT PETITION (CRIMINAL), (2019) SCC (India), Available here 

[This article is authored by Irith Kapur, Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies, Delhi]

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected various businesses globally. It has tested the businesses in a way like never before and the ensuing upheaval is expected to affect the global economy in the coming months and possibly years. Certain industries like the airlines, hospitality, entertainment, etc. will battle to recover financially. But, the essential commodities industries, such as pharmaceuticals and health-care industries, will experience an explosion in demand. They may try to capitalize on this situation by increasing prices or regulating the supply of essential products. 
To overcome the economic downfall, competitors may join hands to fight the pandemic. This may include situations of collaboration with competitors to manage demand and supply challenges or with potential future overcapacity. The main objective of Competition Law is to ensure that the competitors act independently and are staying afar from anti-competitive practices. While these efforts are somewhat necessary, it is contradictory to the main objective of Competition Law. Companies should be aware that the arrangements of the Competition Act, 2002 keep on applying in any event, even during the current pandemic. Any action of the companies which violate the provisions of the Act will probably be inspected by the Competition Commission of India (CCI).
The task of regulatory authorities becomes crucial during these times since the companies may use tactics that could have an appreciable adverse effect on competition in the market and, eventually, on the consumers. Thus, the regulators of several countries such as the United Kingdom, United States of America, Spain, France, etc. have come to the conclusion that competition law is not to be suspended during the pandemic and that the conduct of the companies will be kept in check to curb any anti-competitive practices in their jurisdiction.

To fight the negative impact of the pandemic on businesses, competitors may collaborate to facilitate the production and distribution of services. Section 3 of the Competition Act, 2002, forbids any agreement amongst enterprises if such agreement causes or is likely to cause an appreciable adverse effect on competition in India. The section further provides an exemption for joint ventures by saying that nothing contained in this section shall apply to any agreement entered into by way of joint ventures if such agreement increases efficiency in production, supply, distribution, storage, acquisition or control of goods or provision of services. [1] The Central Government has the power to exempt any such collaboration in the interest of the security of the state or public interest. [2]
Due to the need of the moment, the European Competition Network (ECN) has issued a statement indicating that ECN members will not intervene against certain forms of cooperation amongst competitors, which are absolutely necessary to ensure that surplus demand is met with adequate supply. 
In India, many companies are allocating their resources for research and development in the field of pharmaceuticals and medical sciences to pave the way for a breakthrough in finding a vaccine for COVID-19. So, it is a possibility that competitors may begin participating in joint research ventures to accelerate this process. However, they would simultaneously have to worry about violating the provisions of the Competition Act. The Government of India has not exempted the application of the Act yet, but it is recommended that they borrow wisdom from regulators of competition in other jurisdictions and defer the operation of antitrust laws in India for a temporary period so as to enable the companies to enter into a collaborative agreement with their rival enterprises for the purpose of accelerating the research and development activities to fight the pandemic efficiently.

Exploitative Conduct
In order to profit from the unprecedented demand, some companies may engage in exploitative conduct, which should be investigated and penalized by the competition regulators of the jurisdiction. Consequently, businesses should abstain from engaging in the following exploitative practices:
  1.  Forming a Cartel [3]
  2.  Limiting the supply of products [4]
  3.  Price fixing [5]
  4.  Allocation of customers [6]
  5.  Abusing their dominant position in the market [7]
The practices which are prohibited by the Act cannot be permitted and justified under any circumstances, even during the ongoing pandemic. 
In India, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs has asserted that face masks and hand sanitizers are considered to be “essential commodities”. The Government has also capped the maximum price that can be charged from the consumers. [8] However, various reports have emerged that these essential commodities are being sold at inflated rates across the country. [9] It must be made sure by the CCI that an inquiry is made into any anti-competitive practices and abuse of dominant position in the market to benefit both, the enterprises and the end consumers.

Functioning of CCI
The CCI has been efficient in embracing different measures to proceed with its working during the pandemic. The following are the key points about the working of CCI during the pandemic:
i. Filings under Sections 3 & 4: In the wake of the pandemic, the CCI issued a notice regarding the suspension of all filings under Sections 3 and 4 of the Act. Further, it issued a notice which said that all filings or compliances up to 14th April 2020, with respect to the pending cases before the CCI, were suspended. Then, as per the latest notice by the CCI, information under Section 3 and 4 of the Act may be filed electronically and fresh dates were to be notified for all compliances due on or before 3rd May 2020.
ii. Hearings before CCI: As a consequence of the nationwide lockdown to combat the pandemic, the CCI adjourned the hearing of all the cases to 31st March 2020. As per the most recent notification by the CCI, fresh dates for hearings listed up to 3rd May 2020, were to be informed to the respective parties. 
iii. Notification of Combinations: By the order of the CCI, all notifications in relation to combinations [10] were delayed until further orders. The succeeding notice authorized the filing of notices with respect to combinations electronically only under the Green Channel. [11] However, the latest notice by the CCI takes into consideration the electronic filing of all combination notices. 
iv. Advisory to Businesses: The CCI has issued an advisory to businesses, acknowledging that the pandemic has led to disturbances in the demand and supply equilibrium of the market. The CCI has agreed to the fact that collaborative agreements between businesses may be required to ensure uninterrupted manufacturing and supply of essential commodities. It has been suggested by the CCI that only those businesses will be considered by it which are necessary to fight the economic concerns arising due to the pandemic. The advisory also contains a warning for all the businesses which are likely to attempt to take advantage of the situation and violate the provisions of the Act.

The COVID-19 pandemic presents unprecedented economic challenges for businesses in India and the world over. There is a need for specific economic measures to counter its negative impact. However, this is not a free pass for companies to infringe competition law. Companies need to be wary of the fact that regulatory authorities will be keeping a close eye on their activities and will surely test any violation of the competition laws. 
Moving ahead, companies should discern that they must remain cautious in the way in which they deal with the pandemic, especially if they are looking to collaborate with their competitors. The actual risk is difficult to ascertain but history suggests that companies should linger towards the safe side. Any activity to deal with the pandemic that puts the consumer at a disadvantage or causes appreciable adverse effect on competition in the market will result in an investigation by the regulatory authorities, sooner or later. 

[1] The Competition Act, 2002, No. 12, Acts of Parliament, 2003 (India), Section 3(3)(d) proviso.
[2] The Competition Act, 2002, No. 12, Acts of Parliament, 2003 (India), Section 54(a).
[3] The Competition Act, 2002, No. 12, Acts of Parliament, 2003 (India), Section 2(c).
[4] The Competition Act, 2002, No. 12, Acts of Parliament, 2003 (India), Section 3(3)(b).
[5] The Competition Act, 2002, No. 12, Acts of Parliament, 2003 (India), Section 3(3)(a).
[6] The Competition Act, 2002, No. 12, Acts of Parliament, 2003 (India), Section 3(3)(c).
[7] The Competition Act, 2002, No. 12, Acts of Parliament, 2003 (India), Section 4.
[8] Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution, Essential Commodities Order, GOVERNMENT OF INDIA, Available here
[10] Press Trust of India, Coronavirus: Licenses of 5 medical stores cancelled for selling sanitisers and masks at inflated rates, FINANCIAL EXPRESS, Available here
[11] The Competition Act, 2002, No. 12, Acts of Parliament, 2003 (India), Section 6.
[12] The CCI (Procedure in regard to the transaction of business relating to combinations) Amendment Regulations, 2019, Regulations of CCI, 2019, Regulation 5A.

[This article is authored by Ritika Acharya, Maharashtra National Law University, Mumbai]

In recent years, the Hon’ble Bombay High Court has become the hotspot of origin of a large number of cases relating to the Intellectual Property Rights of the media and entertainment industry. Recently, vide its order dated 26th May 2020, the Court held the creators of the web series “Singardaan” liable for copyright infringement in the matter of Shamoil Ahmad Khan v. Falguni Shah & Ors. [1] (Ahmad Khan) This article aims firstly, to analyze the parameters required to establish a prima facie case of infringement of copyright and secondly, to examine the Court’s rationale in determining the quantum of liability to be attached to the defaulting party for the same.

The Plaintiff against alleged that a web series by the name of “Singardaan” created by Defendants, was an adaptation of the Plaintiff’s short story bearing the same title, that had been widely published in various books and magazines many years prior to the web series’ development. The Plaintiff submitted that the web series consisting of 6 episodes of a total duration of about 1 hour and 54 minutes, had been released by the Defendants on an application called “Ullu” as well as on YouTube. The makers of the series had copied not only the title but also the entire plot, narrative, and characters of his story by the same name. The Defendants vehemently denied the Plaintiff’s allegations and argued that even though the titles were the same, the Defendants’ work was an entirely original story; the premise, the storyline and character development in the two works were materially different.
Advocating that his copyright was infringed, the Plaintiff filed a commercial suit against the Defendants. He sought to recover damages from the Defendants along with an interim injunction restraining them from using the title “Singardaan”, or any other identical or deceptively similar title for their web series, so as to pass it off as the Plaintiff’s story.

The Judgment of the Bombay High Court
The Court first considered the issue of the title of the web series. The Hon’ble Supreme Court’s decision in Krishika Lulla v. Shyam Vithalrao Devkatta [2] was revisited. In this case, the Court had held that no copyright subsists in the title of a literary work per se and no case of copyright infringement can be urged against any other user of that title. Even if there exists a case of passing off, it is not sufficient for a Plaintiff to merely show that the Defendant has used an identical or a deceptively similar name or title; he has to further show that the title or name of his own work has acquired such reputation that the reading public is likely to identify it with the Plaintiff alone and none else, and, thus, the Defendant’s use would be likely to result in passing off of the title of the Plaintiff’s work by the same name. Going by the same line of thought in Ahmad Khan, the Court observed there was no proof that the Plaintiff’s title “Singardaan” had attained a high level of public recognition and reputation. Nothing in the Plaintiff’s arguments suggested that the term “Singardaan” was associated with the reading public with only his work. Thus, his argument regarding the infringement of the title “Singardaan” could not be sustained in the eyes of law.
Curiously, the same approach was employed by the Court in its order dated 22nd May 2020, in the case Sameer Wadekar v. Netflix Entertainment Services Pvt. Ltd. [3] (Wadekar), the facts of which are very similar to those of Ahmad Khan. In Wadekar, the Plaintiff filed a suit for copyright infringement, alleging that the Defendants had copied the title of one of his scripts called “Vetaal”, in the creation of their upcoming Netflix show titled “Betaal” [4]. The Court opined that there was no case of copyright infringement because the word “Vetaal” found its origins in Hindu mythology, and referred to an entity with supernatural powers. It was not a creation of the Plaintiff and was not associated with or revered as the Plaintiff’s work by the general public. There was a minor difference in the facts of Ahmad Khan and Wadekar, in that the web series “Singardaan” had already been released prior to the institution of the suit in the former case whereas “Betaal” was scheduled to be released post the institution of the suit in the latter case. In spite of this, the Defendants in Ahmad Khan could still have used the Court’s reasoning in Wadekar to strengthen their rebuttals by showing that the Plaintiff never had a copyright over the title “Singardaan” in the first place.
The Court in Ahmad Khan proceeded to examine the Plaintiff’s story, whose protagonist had come into possession of a prostitute’s vanity box called “Singardaan” (that inspired the title of the story). After he took the box to his home, the protagonist’s wife and daughters started dressing up and behaving provocatively using the same mannerisms as a prostitute. This ultimately resulted in the protagonist getting rid of the vanity box. The Court compared the web series’ plot to the Plaintiff’s story and came to the conclusion that there were stark similarities between the two since the Defendants had substantially reproduced the Plaintiff’s story including its key elements and characters. The Court acknowledged the Plaintiff’s contention that the web series was an actionable copy of his literary work [5].
The Court went on to explain the dichotomy of a well-known idea versus its expression, an issue that is hugely prevalent in the current copyright law framework. One of the earliest formulations of this dichotomy was found in the case of Hollinrake v. Truswell [6], wherein the English Court had expressed that copyright does not extend to ideas, or schemes, or systems, or methods; it is confined to their expression; and if their expression is not copied, the copyright cannot be said to be infringed. This maxim has been often repeated in later copyright cases and finds expression even in the celebrated case of R.G. Anand v. Delux Films [7] decided by the Indian Supreme Court, which recognized this dichotomy as fundamental to the doctrine of copyright.
The single-judge bench in XYZ Films v. UTV Motion Pictures [8] had also posited that copyright cannot be claimed of an overarching theme/central idea of a story. It can be claimed for an amalgamation of events and scenes which blend in together to form a manifestation of that theme or idea. In Ahmad Khan, the Court applied this idea-expression dichotomy. By the same logic, it held that the Defendants’ web series had all the essential elements of the Plaintiff’s theme, plot, and storyline. Minus a few minor differences in the plot that did not substantially distinguish the Defendants’ web series from the Plaintiff’s story, the characters in the web series behaved in the exact same manner as the characters in the Plaintiff’s story and the entire series unfolded in much the same way as the story.
The Court stated that if a person who had read the Plaintiff’s story, saw the web series, it would reasonably appear to be an adaptation of the Plaintiff’s story. The Defendants had adapted the Plaintiff’s story to a different format, namely, a web series. The Defendants’ work prima facie had material and substantial similarities with respect to the mode of expression adopted in the copyrighted work of the Plaintiff. The Court postulated that this was an ostentatious case of plagiarism.
Moving on to the relief aspect, the learned judge accepted the merits of the case in favor of the Plaintiff. The Court ruled that the Plaintiff was entitled to recover damages from the Defendants but was not entitled to an injunction against them, given that their web series “Singardaan” had already garnered commercial relevance on account of having been released over a year ago on 20th January 2019. The Court asserted that the suit is set down for trial in the interest of justice and directed the Defendants to maintain an account of the profits gained from the web series from the date of its release until completion of the trial. The Court also prohibited the Defendants from making any further adaptation of the web series or changing its format in any way.

It is commendable that the Court maintained a wholesome outlook and took into careful consideration the impact of its judgment on the Defendants. The bench delineated the concept of ‘balance of convenience’, weighing it in favor of the Defendant because their work had not only been fully made but also published for a sufficiently long period. If the work was withdrawn from the internet, greater harm would be caused to them than to the Plaintiff if it was not so withdrawn. Although the Plaintiff’s work was illegitimately used, the prejudice he suffered was not irreparable, it could surely be redressed by way of damages. Therefore, the Court concluded that monetary compensation was an adequate remedy for violation of the Plaintiff’s copyright.

[1] Shamoil Ahmad Khan v. Falguni Shah & Ors. COMMERCIAL IP SUIT NO. 1193 OF 2019.
[2] Krishika Lulla v. Shyam Vithalrao Devkatta MANU/SC/1774/2015.
[3] Sameer Wadekar & Anr. v. Netflix Entertainment Services Pvt. Ltd. LD-VC-70 OF 2020.
[4] Rintu Biju, Bombay High Court declines to stay May 24 release of Netflix web series “Betaal” in copyright infringement suit, BAR AND BENCH (May 24, 2020).
[5] Nitish Kashyap, Bombay HC asks makers of web series ‘Singardaan’ to share profits with Plaintiff, LIVE LAW (Jun. 1, 2020).
[6] Hollinrake v. Truswell (1894) 3 Ch.420.
[7] R.G. Anand vs. Delux Films MANU/SC/0256/1978.
[8] XYZ Films Vs. UTV Motion Pictures 2016 SCC OnLine Bom 3970.

[This article is authored by Ishan Fouzdar, CHRIST (Deemed to be University), Bengaluru]

In late October 2018, a 14-year-old Dalit girl [1] was beheaded by an upper-caste man whose wife said he hated the girl specifically because of her caste. The forefathers and foremothers of our Constitution envisaged an India which will fight against caste and with that vision laid down Article 15 and 17. Today, India scores a whopping 7.2+ score in the Social Hostility Index [2]  conducted by the Pew Research Centre bagging a place in the "Very High Hostile" league. Interestingly much of the hostility is directed against low-caste Dalits, according to the U.S. State Department. Additionally, the India Human Development Survey [3] data for 2011-12 shows that over 27% of Indians admit to practicing untouchability, despite the practice being illegal. 
As MacIver wrote, “In the great book of law the state merely writes new sentences and here and there scratches out old an old one. Much of the book was never written by the state at all.” Indian customary law is a good example of this. The origins of caste lie under grey lines of RigVeda and Manusmriti (The Law of Manu) and several inconsistencies have been found regarding the origins of caste. If one ducks the question of the origin and comes to the systematization of caste, Manusmriti is held responsible. It's also interesting to note that Manusmriti made up a good part of Hindu Personal Law before Jawaharlal Nehru and BR Ambedkar pushed in the Hindu Code Bills. Chapter 8, verse 413 of Manusmriti says, "But a Sudra, whether bought or unbought, he may compel to do servile work; for he was created by the Self-existent (Svayambhu) to be the slave of a Brahmana." Chapter 8 of Manusmriti lays down clear instructions as to how the Sudras(lowest caste) should be treated. 
The debate of whether the draconian and inhumane Laws of Manu should have adhered was put to end by our Constituent Assembly but a tradition, normalized for over than tens of thousands of years cannot be done away with just by putting down a couple of articles. As Mark Twain said, "The less there is to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it”, the law had to fight and evolve continuously in order to get rid of caste. 

Interpretation: The Evolution of Law 
It’s important to understand that an article of the Constitution has much more to offer than what it says prima facie. The courts are responsible for interpreting the articles written in the Constitution and during this course of interpretation, the ambit of an article is exposed and even at times, extended. Having said that, Article 17 of the Constitution deems untouchability in any form is illegal. Article 17 was first interpreted by the Supreme Court in the State of Karnataka v. Appa Balu Ingale [4],  as per K Ramaswamy j, “Neither the Constitution nor the Act defined `Untouchability'. The reasons are obvious. It is not capable of precise definition. It encompasses acts/practices committed against Dalits in diverse forms. Mahatma Gandhiji in his `My Philosophy of Life' edited by A.T. Hingorani 1961 Edn. at p. 146, stated that "untouchability means pollution by the touch of certain persons by reason of their birth in a particular state of the family. It is a phenomenon peculiar to Hinduism and has got no warrant for reasons or sastras".  Thus, expanding the ambit of the word “Untouchability” indefinitely. The Supreme Court of India in People's Union for Democratic Rights v. Union of India [5] held that Article 17 can be held against private individuals also and that is it the constitutional duty of the state, to ensure that this fundamental right is not violated. In Janki Parsad and Others v. State of J&K [6], Supreme Court held, "Where a person is refused admission in a temple on the ground of his being a Harijan, the refusal is to be presumed to be on the ground of untouchability." Hence, one can see the evolution of Article 17 vis-á-vis the word Untouchability as it underwent interpretation on different occasions by the apex court. 
Indirectly, Article 17 was also linked to the Basic Structure of the Constitution in The State Of Karnataka v. Appu Balu Ingale. In Kesavananda Bharati v. The State of Kerela [9], SC held that The Preamble is a part of the Constitution and it can be amended under Article 368; however the basic elements of the Constitution enshrined in the Preamble cannot be amended or infringed. In The State of Karnataka v. Appu Balu Ingale case, the court pronounced, “The Preamble of the Indian Constitution imbued among its people with pride of being its citizens in an integrated Bharat with fraternity, the dignity of person and equality of status. But Casteism, sectional and religious diversities, and parochialism are disintegrating the people.[...] Adaptation of new ethos and environment are, therefore, imperatives to transform the diffracted society into a high degree of nobility for establishing an egalitarian social order in secular, socialist, Democratic Bharat Republic, "Untouchability" of the Dalits stands an impediment for its transition and its bane and blot on civilized society.” Hence, when the court held that “Untouchability of the Dalits stand as an impediment” to the virtues of the Preamble, one can virtually see the lines joining The Basic Structure and Article 17 via the Preamble. 
Article 14 of the Indian Constitution, which guarantees Equality Before Law has an absurd number of case laws. The SC proclaimed in E.P. Royappa v. State of T.N. [7], (1974) “Equality is a dynamic concept with many aspects and dimensions and it cannot be “cribbed cabined and confined” within traditional and doctrinaire limits.” Also, according to the decision of SC in the Indra Sawhney v. The Union Of India [8], Article 14 with its dynamic facets of equality takes under its umbrella Articles 15-18 of the Constitution, hence taking Article 17 under it as well. More importantly, in the Indira Nehru Gandhi v. Shri Raj Narain & Anr [10] the SC very famous stated that Rule of Law contained in Article 14 is a part of the Basic Structure of the Constitution. Similarly, in Nachane Ashiwni Shivram And Ors. ... v. State Of Maharashtra & Anr. Etc. the doctrine of equality vis-á-vis Art. 14 was recognized as the basic feature of the Constitution. Hence, as a gradual development, the abolition of Untouchability in article 17 became a part of the Basic Structure of the Constitution, directly and indirectly, making it virtually impossible to infringe. 
Many other constitutional safeguards evolved during the course of time for the protection of the Dalit community including Article 15, 16, and 39-A. But these were safeguards for securing the growth of this downtrodden community and hence ipso facto lie outside the scope of this article. 
Additional to the constitution developments, two acts, namely, Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1995, and the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 were passed to better the process of dealing with cases of atrocities against Untouchables. 

Law has many sources, for example, Custom, Religion, Adjudication, etc. But in modern progressive democracies such as India laws are made by popularly elected representatives and thus ipso facto reflect the will of the people. As Duguit said, “Laws are not obeyed because there is someone to enforce them, but because they are the conditions of social living”, laws are not merely commanded but a reflection of the society. Hence, as society evolved, the law has to evolve too, or else it will be banished. Following the same principle, the Indian Constitution law has evolved according to the needs of the society and especially the downtrodden. The various interpretation of the Articles enshrined in the Constitution has widened the scope of helping and safeguard a tribe which was oppressed for centuries. But, while the law had grown to protect the downtrodden, we as citizens and part of the society need to question our sociological as well as political grounds of morality. 

[1] S. Senthalir, In Tamil Nadu, the beheading of a 14-year-old is suspected to be a caste crime, Available here
[2] Pew Research Centre, Social Hostilities Index (SHI), Available here.
[3] Amit Thorat, et al., The Continuing Practice of Untouchability in India: Patterns and Mitigating influences, Indian Human Development Survey. Available here.
[4] State Of Karnataka v. Appa Balu Ingale And Others, AIR 1993 SC 1126.
[5] People's Union For Democratic ... v. Union Of India & Others, 1983 SCR (1) 456.
[6] Janki Prasad Parimoo & Ors. Etc. v. State Of Jammu & Kashmir & Ors, 1973 SCR (3) 236.
[7] E. P. Royappa vs State Of Tamil Nadu & Anr, 1974 AIR 555.
[8] Indra Sawhney Etc. Etc v. Union Of India And Others, Etc., 1992 AIR 1993 SC 477.
[9] Kesavananda Bharati ... v. State Of Kerala And Anr, AIR 1973 SC 146.
[10] Indira Nehru Gandhi v. Shri Raj Narain & Anr, AIR 1975 SC 2299.

[This article is authored by Kritagya Agarwal, Bharati Vidyapeeth's New Law College]

The Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa Civilizations, which are known to have existed around 3500-2500 B.C., furnish evidence of the use of Trademarks. The artisans and craftsmen in those times used to stamp their work that was later used in trade. Clearly, Intellectual Property Rights have consciously and/or unconsciously been deep-rooted in human society. Over time, societies have evolved this concept and now it is recognized worldwide. The rights provided to people for the creations of their minds are called Intellectual Property Rights. [1] 
A right provided to a person is like a stop line on a traffic signal, it ought to be crossed. The infringement of a right leads to disputes among parties. And, as history has it, litigation is considered to be the best way to resolve disputes. On the flip side, however, are some glaring questions on the viability of litigation as a means of dispute resolution. To exemplify, isn’t litigation expensive and time taking? Don’t judges issue ex-parte orders? Judgments are considered public records, aren’t they? All of the aforementioned questions make us wonder, what is the best possible alternative to litigation? After all, Abraham Lincoln rightly stated, “The nominal winner is often a real loser in fees, expense, and waste of time.”
Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”) has attained widespread recognition in developed and developing countries across the globe. ADR includes Mediation, Arbitration, Negotiation, Conciliation, Lok Adalats (in India), and other ways of resolving conflicts with the help of a specially trained, neutral third party without the need for a formal trial or hearing. The fact that ADR is pocket-friendly and speedy is making it famous among the public as well as litigators. Parties are also attracted to the method due to the confidentiality of information it offers that can be sensitive to the working of their organizations. ADR is a win-win strategy as it is not focused on declaring winners and losers but to solve the problem at hand. [2]
In India, several legislations have been passed governing different aspects of IP but barely any of them consist of provisions for Alternate Dispute Resolution. ADR in India took a leap after the enactment of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act of 1996. The Act, however, lacked to shower light upon Intellectual Property Rights. The burden for the same was transferred on the shoulders of the Indian Judiciary. 
Over the past two-and-a-half decades, India has experienced a significant rise in the registration of IPs. In the year 1998-99 around 13,000 IPRs were granted in India, whereas in the year 2017-18 this figure was around 3, 44,000. [3] But this growth collaborated with infringement of IPRs in India. In 2017, India was the origin for 55 percent of the total value of global counterfeit pharmaceutical seizures, the rate of unlicensed software use stands at around 58 percent, stakeholders have identified specific incidents of camcording that originate in Indian cinemas, and Indian products bear the mark of forged accreditation certificates. [4] There was a consequential increase in the rate of IP disputes in India.

Judiciary on IP Disputes and ADR
The basic notion among people to resolve any dispute is through litigation. Specifically speaking of IP disputes, the Berne Convention 1886, the Paris Convention 1883, the Rome Convention 1961,  all these and many more statutes governing IPR state that the primary step for the enforcement of provisions of IPR is civil remedies. In this whirlpool, the emergence of ADR was tough. The Indian Courts came to the rescue of ADR across cases of overtime. Although these cases promoted ADR in commercial disputes, they created a lot of confusion about its usage in the resolution of IP disputes.
In the landmark judgment of Booz Allen [5], the Supreme Court laid down the test for determining the arbitrability of any dispute. Under this test, the court opined that if a dispute is related to a right in personam, then such dispute can be sorted through arbitration. Whereas if a dispute involves a right in rem, it can only be adjudicated by courts. Furthermore, the court recognized some examples of non-arbitrable disputes such as disputes involving criminal offenses, guardianship, insolvency, matrimonial disputes, testamentary disputes, and eviction or tenancy. 
The judgment of Ayyasamy [6], shook the very idea of whether IP disputes could be referred to arbitration because the Apex court clearly mentioned that disputes relating to ‘patents, trademarks, and copyright’ are non-arbitrable. This obiter dictum by the court gave rise to sheer confusion as it was imprudent to blindly ignore the clarifications specified in Booz Allen. In Lifestyle Equities [7], the Madras High Court clarified this confusion produced by the two judgments of the Supreme Court and said that this specification by the Apex Court was merely a scholarly opinion and was not the court’s ratio. Further, in this judgment, the court held that a patent right dispute may be arbitrable as far as it lies under the ambit of right in personam but the validity of the patent is not arbitrable because such a dispute lies under the scope of the right in rem.
In the milestone judgment of Eros International [8], Bombay HC held that a plaintiff is entitled to bring an action for infringement of IPR in right in rem but the infringement of the right is done by a certain party and the actions are in personam. Considering the ratio in Booz Allen and Eros International, IP disputes fall in the category of right in personam and thereby are arbitrable.

IP related Statutes under ADR
Legislations in India have successfully enforced several laws for the smooth running of the ADR mechanism. Similarly, laws related to IP have progressed in the effect of the same. Arbitration & Conciliation Act, 1996 is the biggest step towards the success of arbitration in India. Accordingly, the Code of Civil Procedure is amended to simplify the use of ADR in the Indian dispute resolution system. Section 89 and Rule 1A, 1B, and 1C of Order X of First Schedule were implemented by the CPC Amendment Act of 1999. These are related to ADR and talk about the different types of ADR methods. In addition, the Legal Service Authority Act of 1997 provides for ADR through Lok Adalats. 
IP statutes in India have recognized the need for ADR and accordingly, provisions are enforced. The Patent Act of 1970 under Section 103 specifically lays down the use of arbitration for the resolution of Patent disputes. Patent disputes involve a lot of technical knowledge that needs to be analyzed and understood. In India, patent disputes are stretched for long terms and become very expensive. ADR is an effective method to resolve disputes related to patents. Various judgments in this regard have made it easier for parties to engage in dispute resolution through ADR.
An extensively prominent method for infringement of Trademarks in the modern world is of Cybersquatting. Cybersquatting is the unauthorized use and registration of Internet Domain names that are identical to trademarks, service marks, company names, or personal names. Cybersquatting registrants obtain and use the domain name with the bad faith and with the intent to profit from the goodwill of the actual trademark owner. [9] To prevent this type of trademark infringement, the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy of 1999 was enforced; this policy pertains to the use of arbitration in such types of disputes. Indian Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy is responsible for adjudicating these disputes for Indian domain names.

Is litigation the best way to resolve a dispute that can be solved through ADR? Varied opinions can exist on such a question. IP disputes can often attract lack of arbitrability when the dispute lies in the ambit of right in rem, like those disputes which are to establish validity or invalidity of IPR. Although IP dispute resolution can never be completely dependent upon ADR, or arbitration which is more prominent in India, yet it should opt-in cases where there is a choice. The plethora of advantages of ADR over litigation will always be its driving factor. ADR can be positively regarded as an amicable mechanism for IP dispute resolution.

[1] TRIPS Agreement, 1994.
[2] Dr. Vikas Vashishth, Law and practice of intellectual practice in India, First Edition (2002).
[3] Annual Reports 2002-03 & 2017-18, Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trademarks.
[4] 2018 Special Report 301, Office of the United States Trade Representative.
[5] Booz Allen & Hamilton Inc. v. SBI Home Finance Ltd., (2011) 5 SCC 532.
[6] A. Ayyasamy v. A. Paramasivam & Ors., AIR 2016 SC 4675
[7] Lifestyle Equities CV v. Qdseatoman Designs Pvt. Ltd.
[8] Eros International Media Limited vs Telemax Links India Pvt Limited, 2016 (6) ARBLR 121 (BOM)
[9] What is the definition of Cybersquatting?, Winston & Strawn LLP, Available here