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Copyright law does not bar remedy against breach of confidence

19 June, 2015

In a suit involving breach of confidence action which also alleged infringement of copyright, the Bombay High Court has granted interim injunction restraining the defendant from releasing the offending film alleged to be based on the script/screenplay of the plaintiff. Noting differences between the statutory right of protection of copyright and the common law right...

Trans-border reputation of trade mark

22 May, 2015

The IPAB has held that mere filing of applications or obtaining certificates of registration for the impugned trade mark from some countries will not be sufficient to establish trans-border reputation. The applicant (for rectification), an overseas supplier of handcrafted beds alleged that the respondent had registered the trademark by dishonest adop...

TRIPS agreement does not create substantive rights – Canada on WTO challenge to plain packaging rules

22 May, 2015

Canada submitted its views as third party on the issue of plain packaging measures introduced by Australia as regards tobacco products. The Australian High Court had upheld the validity of the statutory provisions which mandate all cigarettes packets and cartons to be uniform or in identical colours with about 25% of the surface being available to display compan...

Copyrights – Producing jewellery articles using designs – ‘Article’ different from ‘artistic work’

28 April, 2015

Deliberating on the distinction between the ‘artistic work’ and the ‘article’ produced on the basis of the same, Bombay High Court on 1-4-2015 has granted interim injunction in the case of Pranda Jewellery Pvt. Ltd. v. Aarya 24 kt, where the branded jewellery articles were produced allegedly using designs o...

Trademarks – Comparative advertising when not disparaging

28 April, 2015

In the dispute wherein the petitioner had impugned the defendant’s advertising campaign  comparing their product with that of the petitioner, the Delhi High Court has held that a comparison, which is unfavourable to a competitor, does not necessarily mean that it is dishonest or unduly detrimental. Dismissing the application contending d...

Achieving a fanciful distinction

23 March,2015 Every seller, perhaps, fancies being distinctive and successful and the applicant in re Frankish Enterprises Ltd (decided in 27-2-2015) certainly got the combination right. The TTAB reversed the refusal to register a mark consisting of a truck cab body in the design of a fanciful, prehistoric animal with the word JURASSIC ATTACK. The registration was sought for entertainment ser...

Digital reproduction can be subject to private copying levy irrespective of actual use

23 March, 2015 Answering a reference from the Danish court the CJEU held that Information Society directive does not preclude national legislation, which provides that fair compensation to be paid to right holders, from levying the same in respect of multifunctional media such as mobile telephone memory cards, irrespective of whether the main function of such media is to make such copies and ...

Copyright and the human right to protection of authorship

23 March, 2015 The UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights has submitted a report on ‘Copyright policy and the right to science and culture’. The report states that copyright laws and international treaties in the present form are insufficient to protect the human right to protection of authorship. The report calls for a rethink on the accepted ideas that protecting economic int...

IPAB Members – Madras High Court rules on constitutionality of qualification criteria

23 March, 2015 In January, 2011 the Madras High Court admitted a PIL (Shamnad Basheer v. Union of India - W.P. 1256 of 2011) challenging: (a) The constitutionality of the qualification criteria of the members being appointed to the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB); in particular the objection was against the appointment of bureaucrats with no judicial or litigation experience as...

Validity of trademark can be questioned in infringement suit

22 January, 2015 Court can go into the question of validity of registration of the plaintiff's trade mark at an interlocutory stage when the defendant takes up the defence of invalidity of the said registration in an infringement suit. Larger Bench of the Bombay High Court recently while holding so observed that court in such cases is not powerless to refuse to grant an injunction but for est...

No wish to infringe

22 January 2015 The new year witnessed, aptly perhaps, a decision on trademark infringement proceedings which was triggered by exchange of a Christmas card between the general counsels of the opposing parties. The England and Wales High Court (Chancery Division) in Enterprise Holdings v. Europcar Group UK Limited (13-1-2015) ruled on whether the use of ‘e’ in stylised lower case by both compa...

Export of patented product for conducting studies, permitted

22 December, 2014 Bombay High Court has held that sale even outside India would fall within the sweep of Section 107A of the Patents Act, 1970 providing for no infringement in certain cases, if it is reasonably related to development and submission of information as required under a law in force in India or outside India. The court in this regard observed that the expression ‘selling’ is wide...

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