A Note On Monsanto vs. Nuziveedu

In the recent judgement in the High Court of Delhi in Monsanto Technology LLC and Ors. v. Nuziveedu Seeds Limited and Ors, the Delhi High Court has single-handedly devastated the Biotechnology (Bt.) industry in India. Its judgement will have far-reaching consequences on multiple sectors such as genetic modification and biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and the agriculture industry.

Brief Facts and Monsanto’s Patent Claims

Through a Government notice from the Department of Agriculture, the trait fees, or the fees charged for seeds with genetic coding for a specific characteristic (such as pest resistance, or higher yield), were revised for certain seeds including Bollgard and Bollgard II of Monsanto, a Fortune 500 global conglomerate.

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Law Enforcement v. End-to-End Encryption

The age of digital communications with all its power to reach people instantly, anywhere on the globe, still has shortcomings. The instant communications happening all around us through laptops or mobiles involve two crucial processes i.e. encryption and decryption. These two processes are fundamental to the transfer of our voice and messages to the designated recipient anywhere around the world. While data resides on our devices or when it is being transferred, it is susceptible to interception by government or any other third party. Government intercepts these signals of communications, of the people suspected of wrongdoing with judicial permissions but this ability of the governments to gather intel by intercepting communications has hit a wall with the mass use of end-to-end encryption. The E2EE makes it highly improbable if not impossible to intercept such transmission and here lies the bone of contention between law enforcement and the public use of end-to-end encryption.

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PATENTING OF HUMAN GENES: Intellectual Property vs Access to Healthcare & Research

In the case briefs of Myriad Genetics vs Associated Molecular Pathology, amongst the several moving stories of victims of gene patents, contained the story of Abigail, a 10-year-old with a long QT syndrome, a serious heart condition that, if left untreated, could result in sudden death. A company in this case had obtained patent on two genes associated with this condition and developed a test to diagnose the syndrome. But then they went bankrupt and never offered such tests. Another lab tried to offer the test to Abigail, but the previous company which held the patent to such diagnosis threatened to sue the lab for patent infringement. So as a result, for 2 years, no test was available. During that time, Abigail died of undiagnosed long QT.

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Ed. Note: This post by Vishal Rackecha is a part of the TLF Editorial Board Test 2016.

One of the greatest problems for the Indian Economy faces today is the problem of financial inclusion and the lack of credit in rural areas and for micro industries. In 2013, the Reserve Bank released a paper based on the findings of a committee under the chairmanship of Nachiket Mor. This committee said that services provided through mobiles and other internet portals are a low-cost method and under the right regulatory setup would have the potential bringing financial services to places where the formal banking setups find it unviable or unprofitable to setup branches. This is because having both credit and savings functions is necessary. The committee suggested that allowing non-banking businesses with huge customer bases and comprehensive data about the consumers will be able to increase the reach of the requisite facilities in regions where they are not available.

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CIVILIAN DRONE HYSTERIA: The Absence of a Regulation Mechanism

This post by Sayan Bhattacharya is a part of the TLF Editorial Board Test 2016.

We live in a world where presence of drones, more formally known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, are owned by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs to high school kids who put them to several new non-military uses previously unimaginable. We live in a world where drones are conceptualized to do something as simple as delivery of items by Amazon to your doorstep to delivering radioactive vials to the office of the Japanese Prime Minister, from monitoring crops to capturing heart stopping footages which you would see circulating on social media platforms. In a world where these gadgets have flown uncomfortably close to US airspaces as many as 650 times, been used to smuggle contraband into prison cells, used to take pictures of inner premises of temples in India which are prohibited, interfered in police and firefighting operations and lastly crashed into civilian populations causing injuries. This article is placed in such a paradigm where clear absence of regulations have led to imposition of blanket bans post freak accidents and subsequent media hysteria leading to isolation of these progressive gadgets from our daily lives.

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