This 164 page IP law thriller has all the hallmarks of a winner; corporate espionage, attempted kidnapping, foiled hits, court room romance, a corrupt Chief Justice and a David v Goliath (Pharma v generic company and public hospitals) battle over patents for a life-saving drug. It's an engrossing read which I read in one sitting -- I just couldn't put it down.Details of Road Humps and Sidewalks can be accessed here.
The story begins with the theft of cutting-edge research from the Max Planck Institute in Munich and swiftly moves to India where the stolen research has been patented. A devastating viral illness sweeps across the country taking hundreds of lives, beginning with a well- known cricket player. By chance, a doctor stationed in a rural outpost discovers that the patented drug is a cure for the illness. He shares his knowledge with others and the drug is used nationally to try and stem the devastation. Soon supplies of the drug dwindle as the multinational pharma company tries to create scarcity to drive up prices. A local company that produces generics is engaged by public hospitals to produce a generic version of the drug. The battle commences as the pharma company sues for patent infringement, represented by a leading Silk. The other side is represented by a little-known but brilliant young lawyer. This hero, who is visually impaired, is intimidated and attempts are made on his life when he refuses to withdraw from the patent infringement case.
The manner in which patents should be used in the public interest is meaningfully explored in the facts of the story, the characters' conversations and in the account of the court room battle. The book does a marvelous job of placing these important issues in a real-life setting. The language is clear and engaging, and every reader will shut this book with a better understanding of the issues at stake.
The book introduces various other important contemporary IP issues such as celebrity endorsement contracts gone wrong, trade secret misappropriation in the software industry and its epilogue introduces copyright reform issues.
It will ignite a keen interest in IP for the novice reader and provides much food for thought for those knowledgeable about IP. Highly recommended".
Saturday, 26 January 2013
Dr Kalyan C Kanakanala, is an intriguing piece of fiction from the pen of an Indian IP professional who "aspires to walk the path never taken" [Does that aspiration have any relevance to the choice of "road humps and sidewalks", muses Merpel]. Here's a review by Katfriend Caroline Ncube: