Who should be held Liable if a Self-Driving Car has an Accident?

Jurisdiction – USA Due to lack of legislations and judicial precedents, there is no clear answer to this question. This article will analyze the different approaches that can be adopted for attributing liability in collisions involving autonomous cars. Different Approaches Last year, there were two reported instances of Tesla’s cars being involved in accidents while…

Should the Government Censor Internet Content During Riots/Protests?

During riots, protests and times of unrest, governments around the world censor content on the internet. Common victims of such censorship are political blogs, videos and social media websites. This censorship is premised on the assumption that the internet can be used as a tool for furtherance of the unrest. It allows for dissemination of rumours,…

Can Big Data be used to Predict Outcomes of Court Cases?

Studies indicate that outcomes of court cases can be predicted using big data. This area of practice, however, is still nascent. Currently the predictions are unlikely to be completely accurate; but as the practice evolves, it is likely that outcomes of court cases will be predicted with a high degree of certainty. About Big Data…

Can Software Obtain Patent Protection?

Question by Kunal Bajpai Jurisdiction – India, USA, Australia India Software per se cannot be patented in India. Software used in combination with hardware, however, can be granted patent protection. A computer programme is defined as a set of instructions expressed in words, codes, schemes or in any other form which can cause a computer…

Who would own copyright in a poem written by AI?

Jurisdiction – USA What is AI? Artificial Intelligence (AI) is intelligence exhibited by machines which allows them to ‘think’ and perform cognitive functions like humans. Machines use this ability to learn, solve problems and improve themselves with minimal human intervention. Popular examples of AI are self-driving cars, Amazon Echo and AlphaGo. Based on their sophistication…

Is Public Smoking at a Music Festival Legal?

Though public smoking at music festivals and concerts is common, in a recent article published with The Quint I argue that despite its popularity, public smoking at such events is unlawful. The article is specifically about public smoking at Bacardi NH7 Weekender, Pune, 2016. It can be accessed here. Featured image from here.  

What is Chilling Effect?

Jurisdiction – USA, India Chilling effect is a phenomenon whereby legitimate exercise of rights – commonly free speech – is discouraged due to the threat of legal action.[1] The Effect leads to indirect censorship by restricting freedom of expression even before the legality of the content has been determined. For instance, user ‘A’ puts up the…

Can 3D Printing Lead to Copyright Infringement?

A few months ago, I co-authored a paper with Amulya Chinmaye titled “Printing a Revolution: The Challenges of 3D Printing on Copyright“ which was published by the George Washington Law Review. In this paper, we argue that while 3D printing is going to revolutionize the world, our copyright laws are woefully inadequate to deal with…

What is the Legal Liability of a Ghost Writer?

Question by Sushrut Karmarkar, Purdue University. Jurisdiction – India, USA A ghost writer is a person who has written a work on behalf of someone else without getting credit for the work.[1] The person for whom the work is written and is given credit is the “guest author” while the ghost writer remains anonymous. Ghost…

Is Plain Packaging of Cigarette Packets Legal?

I recently co-authored a paper with Amulya Chinmaye on plain packaging of cigarette boxes. The paper is titled “Plain Packaging: TRIPping on Trade Marks?” We argue that plain packaging, though a policy with noble intentions, violates Article 16 and 20 of the TRIPS Agreement. We also consider the practical repercussions of the measure and reason that plain…

What is Bolar Exemption?

Jurisdiction – India, USA, Canada Bolar Exemption is a defence against infringement that allows third parties to use patented inventions (drugs, commonly) to generate data for obtaining regulatory approval from the relevant agency. This is also known as the “research exception.” The Exemption allows generic drug manufacturers to conduct trials and test manufacturing and delivery…