IPRMENTLAW WEEKLY HIGHLIGHTS (APRIL 15-21)

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ELECTION COMMISSION DIRECTS EROS NOW TO STOP THE STREAMING OF WEB SERIES ON PM MODI WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT

The Election Commission on April 20, 2019 issued a notice to Eros Now, the digital platform streaming the web series titled “Modi-Journey of a Common Man”, directing them to immediately stop the online streaming and remove all connected content of the web series until further orders.

The Election Commission states that it received a complaint claiming that the web series on Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in violation of the Model Code of Conduct.

On viewing the same, it found,

Whereas in view of the admitted facts and material available on record this web-series being an original web series on Shri Narendra Modi, Prime Minister and a political leader and a prospective candidate in the current General Elections to the Lok Sabha cannot be exhibited…”

The order was passed in furtherance of the Election Commission’s earlier order dated April 10, 2019 where the EC had ordered that “ That any biopic material in the nature of biography/ hagiography sub-serving the purposes of any political entity or any individual entity connected to it, which is intended to, or which has the potential to disturb the level playing field during the elections, should not be displayed in electronic media including cinematograph during the operation of MCC”.

Prior to this, a biopic on the life of  Narendra Modi had been stopped from being released  in the country by the Election Commission.

SAREGAMA AGREES TO PULL DOWN PHOTOGRAPHS & STOP USING NAME OF MANNA DEY ON COVER OF ITS CD’s IN A CASE FILED IN SUPREME COURT

In an SLP filed by daughter of Shri Mannay Dey, Saregama India Limited agreed to remove and not make any further use of the photographs and the name of late Shri Manna Dey on the cover of the subject CDs. The Court further directed that Civil Suit being O.S. No.6676 of 2017 pending before the City Civil Judge at Bangalore shall be decided as expeditiously as possible preferably not later than one year after the next date of hearing.

The SLP was filed by Shumita Deb challenging the judgement passed by Karnataka High Court wherein the High Court had dismissed her plea seeking injunction against Saregama on grounds of copyright infringement by the label in the works of her father which form part of a Cover Version CD titled “Hyoto Tomari Jonno” which Saregama released as a tribute to Shri Manna Dey.

The order was passed in the proviso to sub-section (2) of Section 31C of the Copyright Act, 1957, which stipulates that a Cover Version shall not be sold with any packaging, cover or label which is likely to mislead the public and in particular shall not contain the name or depict in any way any performer of an earlier sound recording of the same work.

NO RELIEF FOR TIK TOK FROM SUPREME COURT: REFUSES TO PASS STAY ORDER ON BAN OF MADRAS HIGH COURT

The Supreme Court in its order dated 15th April, 2019 refused to pass a stay order on Tik Tok a video sharing platform by China based company Beijing Bytedance Technology Co Ltd. On April 3, 2019 the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court had passed an order to put a ban on the app after a group of activists has filed an application stating that the app encouraged paedophiles and pornography.

The Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi along with Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjeev Khanna had ordered the case to be heard after the Madras High Court made its observations on April 16 with both parties present before it. The Supreme Court will now be hearing the case on April 22.

Meanwhile, in the matter before the Madras High Court on April16, the Court refused to stay its ban on the App. The bench of Justices Kirubakaran and S S Sundar appointed Senior Advocate Arvind P Datar as amicus curiae to assist the Court and posted the matter to April 24 for further hearing.

Google has blocked access to the App after the Madras High Court refused to lift the ban.

DELHI HIGH COURT RESTRAINS JUSTDIAL FROM USING PVR TRADEMARK ON ITS PLATFORM

The Delhi High Court vide order dated April 10, 2019 restrained Justdial from using the registered trademark PVR on its platform. The suit was filed by PVR seeking a permanent injunction against Justdial restraining infringement of trademark as well as copyright, passing off, unfair business practices, damages, etc.

It was submitted by PVR before the court that both the parties entered into a non-exclusive ticketing agreement which expired on August 15, 2018, yet the plaintiffs found out through Big Tree Entertainment Private Limited (BookMyShow) that the defendant is providing online ticket bookings of movies shown at PVR cinema halls by providing deep links of the BookMyShow platform. PVR claimed that despite repeated reminders by PVR and verbal assurances by JustDial on agreeing to stop the facility, the same continued on the defendant’s website.  It was further submitted that Justdial was unauthorisedly continuing its illegal activities with the mala fide intent to popularize its platform at the expense of the immense reputation and goodwill earned and achieved by the plaintiff, PVR Cinemas. The Court held “Keeping in view the aforesaid, this Court is of the opinion that a prima facie case of infringement and passing off, is made out in favour of the plaintiff and balance of convenience is also in its favour. Further, irreparable harm or injury would be caused to the plaintiff if an interim injunction order is not passed. Consequently, till further orders, the defendant, its owners, directors, officers, servants, employees and all others in the capacity of principal or agent acting for and, on their behalf, or anyone claiming through, by or under it, are restrained from using the registered mark PVR or any deceptive variant thereof which is identical and/or similar to the plaintiff’s trademark PVR, in any manner whatsoever.”

 

INDIAN PSYCHIATRIC SOCIETY WRITES TO CBFC OBJECTING AGAINST EKTA KAPOOR’S FILM ‘MENTAL HAI KYA’ RECENTLY RELEASED POSTERS

In a letter addressed to CBFC, the Indian Psychiatric Society has objected to the title of the movie ‘Mental Hai Kya’ and said it was “discriminative, stigmatising, degrading and inhuman in projecting mental disorders and persons who suffer from mental disorders.”

The production banner ‘Balaji Motion Pictures’ however countered that the film aims to celebrate distinctiveness. “The makers of the film, believe that their movie – ‘Mental Hai Kya’ will encourage people to embrace their individuality and distinctiveness.

The recently released poster of the film where the lead cast Kangana Ranaut and Rajkumar Rao are shown facing each other as they balance a blade between their tongue has irked the Psychologist community.

The Indian Medical Association and the Indian Psychiatric Society have also appealed to producers of the film  to withdraw its teasers and change the movie’s title, besides revising its content if it has any provocative sequence, dialogue or song.

IS “FAIR AND LOVELY OR HANDSOME?”: COMPANIES LOCK HORNS OVER TRADEMARK INFRINGEMENT

The Delhi High Court has rejected a plea by Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) seeking a restraint on an advertisement by Emami Ltd which the former claimed to have been damaging its Fair and Lovely brand of fairness cream besides infringement of the trade mark, disparagement and unfair trade practices.

Justice Jayant Nath observed that prima facie it cannot be concluded that Emami’s TV commercial seeks to slander the goods of Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL).

“I conclude that there is no merit in the contention of the senior counsel for the plaintiff (HUL). In my opinion, overall the commercial advertisement does not leave an impression that in any manner disparages the product of the plaintiff. It cannot prima facie be concluded that the said TV commercial seeks to slander the goods of the plaintiff,” the judge said.

The court passed the order on an application by HUL seeking to restrain Emami from telecasting one of its commercials for the product ‘Fair and Handsome’, which allegedly disparaged the goodwill and reputation of HUL’s product ‘Fair & Lovely’.

 

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