26 May 2014

Copyright of design when the same not registered under Designs Act

Drawing/design which is an artistic work under the Copyright Act, as also under the Designs Act, 2000, if not registered under the latter Act, will have protection under the Copyright Act only till the design is used not more than 50 times by an industrial process to produce an article. Deliberating on provisions of Section 15(2) of the Copyright Act, 1957, the Delhi High Court in the case Jagdamba Impex v. Tristar Products Private Ltd. which was decided on 5-5-2014 held that owner of the copyright work (drawing/design) in such case will not be entitled to claim exclusivity in use of such drawing/design.

The court in this regard noted that while copyright was claimed with respect to machine and the drawings which defined and declared a shape and measurement of the machine, no rights were claimed with respect to machine which manufactures a particular shape of the comb, under the Patents Act, 1970 or under the Designs Act. It was further held that reliance cannot also be placed on Section 14(c) once the copyright is lost under Section 15. The court finally set aside the injunction granted by the trial court and held the suit itself to be misconceived while it imposed costs on the respondent/plaintiff.


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