02 May 2018

Copyright – Lack of originality in work is touchstone in Rectification Petition

The Delhi High Court has allowed the rectification application holding that artistic work in label NIHAL UTTAM is not an original work under Section 13 of the Copyright Act. It held that Respondent’s artistic work in the said label was substantial reproduction and colourable imitation of Appellant’s NIHAR COCONUT OIL.

The court in its order dated 20-4-2018 noted that the colour scheme between the two labels was same, the manner in which the coconut tree was arranged was same, the arrangement of two broken coconuts was similar, and that due to the long user in the market, the Appellant’s label was quite extensively used and hence Respondent had access to it.

Further observing that the Copyright Board was concerned with artistic features in the label and not with the trademark, the Court held that rejection of rectification application by the Board on the ground that the word NIHAR comes from Sanskrit while word NIHAL owes its origin to Persian, was contrary to law.

The court in the case of Marico Ltd. v. Jagit Kaur held that in matters of rectification, lack of originality in work was the touchstone.


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