IPRMENTLAW HIGHLIGHTS (SEPTEMBER 9-22)

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COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT SUIT FILED IN BOMBAY HIGH COURT AGAINST AYUSHMANN KHURRANA’S UPCOMING FILM “BALA”

A copyright infringement suit has been filed in Bombay High Court against Ayushmann Khurrana’s upcoming film “Bala” by Praveen Morchhale against the author Niren Bhatt and maker of the film Maddock Films. He states that the film’s idea has been duplicated from his content titled Mr Yogi. He claims that he has registered the script with the Film Writer’s Association back in 2007.

Maddock Films, on the other hand, denied the claims. An official explanation stated, “Maddock doesn’t know about any body of evidence being recorded against it by Mr Morchhale and denies that he has anything to do with its film Bala. No one from Maddock has ever met with Mr Morchhale or is even mindful of him being related with an account of an uncovered man.”

Bala will portray the tale of a man suffering from pre-mature balding of hair, played by Ayushman Khurrana, and about a lady doing dealing with skin-shading preferences in a society fixated on fair skin, played by Bhumi Pednekar.

PUNJAB AND HARYANA HIGH COURT REFUSES TO GRANT STAY ON THE TELECAST OF A SHOW NAMED ‘RAM SIYA KE LUV KUSH’

The Punjab and Haryana High Court refused to stay the ban on the telecast of the television series ‘Ram Siya Ke Luv Kush’ imposed by the State of Punjab on 7th September, 2019. The decision to ban the telecast of the serial had been taken on the ground that Rishi Valmiki had been portrayed in a negative light, hurting the sentiments of the Valmiki community in Punjab.

The Counsel on behalf of the channel owned by Viacom 18 Pvt. Ltd, argued that the said ban orders had been passed without adhering to the principles of natural justice, and without the ingredients of Section 19 of the Cable Television Network Regulation Act. The channel also placed on record an offer from the producers of the serial to enter a dialogue with the Secretary Home to discuss the contentious scenes. They offered to delete the scenes that portrayed Valmiki in objectionable light.

During a special hearing on the petition filed by Viacom (Colors TV), the Court declined to grant stay on the order passed by various District Commissioners in their capacity as District Magistrates.

Thereafter, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting sent a show cause notice to Colors, the channel which runs the show, for “spreading distorted religious information”.

DUO SALIM-SULAIMAN ACCUSED OF COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT BY A PAKISTANI SINGER

A Pakistani singer named Farhan Saeed tweeted accusing music composer duo Salim-Sulaiman of plagiarism. He claims that their new song “Haareya” is copied from his song “Rioyaan” which was released in 2014.

Salim Merchant, one half of the duo, responded to the tweet denying the allegations and calling the similarities as a mere “coincidence” and said that he has never even heard the song by Mr. Saeed.

Mr. Saeed further points out that the lyricist of both the songs are same to which Mr. Merchant replied saying that he should check with the lyricist himself.

MADRAS HIGH COURT PAVES WAY FOR RELEASE OF SURIYA STARRER “KAAPPAAN” IN A COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT CASE

The Madras High Court dismissed the plagiarism charges against the movie ‘Kaappaan’. The suit was filed by a John Charles who claimed that he had copyright over the script titled “Saravedi” since 2016 and that he had shared the same with the director of Kaappaan. According to him, a dialogue in the trailer of the film was similar to a scene in his script. The case was heard at the Madras High Court on September 12 and the case has been dismissed, citing lack of evidence.

BOMBAY HIGH COURT DIRECTS CBFC FOR RE-CERTIFICATION OF THE FILM TITLED ‘CHIDIAKHANA’.

The Bombay High Court directed the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to consider the children’s movie ‘Chidiakhana’ for fresh certification, after the filmmakers have made the modifications to the movie according to the standards required to be eligible for ‘U’ certification.

CBFC had granted the aforementioned movie a U/A certificate, against which the filmmakers had approached the Court on the ground that the movie was a children’s movie and hence U certificate should be granted.

The film included objectionable scenes and abusive words and therefore, CBFC had given the U/A certification. CBFC agreed to revise it to a U certification only if the filmmakers deleted the objectionable content.

The filmmaker agreed to mute an abusive word, delete a scene and apply for fresh certification for which two weeks were granted by the Court.

The Bombay High Court, directed CBFC to consider the movie for fresh certification, when submitted by the filmmaker without being influenced from its previous decision.

PROPOSAL TO REDUCE THE IPR FEES FOR STARTUPS AND MICRO,MEDIUM AND SMALL ENTERPRISES.

The Ministry of Industry and Commerce, released a proposal dated 16th September which proposes to reduce IPR fees for startups and micro, medium and small enterprises with an aim to promote innovation.

According to the proposal, the current fees for filing of patent applications which is Rs. 4,000 or Rs. 4,400 is proposed to be reduced to Rs. 1,600 or Rs. 1,750. The fees for expedite examination is also proposed to be reduced to Rs. 8,000 from the present fee of Rs.25,000. It further also mentioned that the fees charged from MSME’s for design application are also proposed to be revised to Rs. 1,000 which at present is for Rs. 2,000.

The Ministry also stated that the domestic patent filing has increased from 22 % to 34 % in the year 2019-20 and a major credit was being given by the ministry to the Awareness programs for IP being conducted at schools, colleges, universities, R&D institutes and industry clusters.

RAJASTHAN HIGH COURT ORDERS DISMISSING FRAUD COMPLAINT AGAINST PRODUCER BONEY KAPOOR

The Rajasthan High Court ordered the quashing of an FIR lodged against Bollywood film producer Boney Kapoor on charges of duping an investor of Rs. 2.5 crore in the name of organising a Celebrity Cricket League.

The alleged victim, Praveen Shyam Sethi, a resident of Ramnagaria in Jagatpura, registered an FIR in June this year against three people namely Boney Kapoor, one Mustafa Raj and the director of the Signature Cricket League — Pawan Jangid — for allegedly duping him in the name of unrealistic returns on his investment in the Celebrity Cricket League.

The complainant and his friend made a huge investment, but the league was not organised. Hence, an FIR was lodged at Pratap Nagar police station.

A legal team from Boney Kapoor’s office confirmed that the FIR has been quashed against him but not against the other two accused. The order copy from the court is yet to come but the judgement is out.

In his plea, Kapoor said that knowing Mustafa, he attended the press conference at his request but he never collected any money from him.

The court had reserved the verdict on September 16 after hearing both the sides and on Friday, while announcing the verdict, it quashed the FIR against Kapoor.

TITLE OF VARUN TEJ’S FILM CHANGED FROM ‘VALMIKI’ TO ‘GADDHALAKONDA GANESH’ AFTER PROTESTS FROM GROUPS

After protests from the Boya community, who objected to the title of Varun Tej’s Valmiki, the film’s title has been changed to Gaddhalakonda Ganesh, just a day before the film’s release. The title was changed after some groups from the Boya community threatened to protest in Anantapur and Kurnool districts, following which the district collectors had sought the filmmakers to resolve the issue.

The Boya community, who claim to be the descendants of the sage Valmiki, who wrote the mythological book Ramayana, took offence to the film’s title claiming that their sentiments were hurt. The community, categorised as Scheduled Tribes in the state, worship Valmiki as a deity. When film’s title was announced, the Boya community began objecting to the film’s release and demanded that the title be changed. Further, they even approached the Telangana High Court seeking a stay on the film. However, the court declined to consider the plea. They also approached political parties seeking their support.

 

Addressing the media, an emotional Harish Shankar, director of the film, said that he was upset that the groups who took offence to the film’s title had not even seen the film. The director said that they were willing to show their film to them before the release, however, they remained adamant on the title change.

MUMBAI COPS IN A FIX OVER COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST NETFLIX

A Mumbai activist’s complaint against alleged Hinduphobic contents on US-based digital media platform Netflix has hit a wall. The cyber cell of Mumbai police hasn’t been able to register a case even after a fortnight on the grounds that the country doesn’t have a regulator for over-the-top (OTT) media platforms like Netflix and shows produced by them.

Activist Ramesh Solanki has alleged that Netflix is defaming Hindus and India through shows hosted on its platform. In his complaint to LT Marg police, Solanki has cited the examples of series like Sacred GamesLeila and Ghoul along with shows of standup comedian Hasan Minhaj to accuse the streaming site of trying to “paint an incorrect picture of Hindus and India globally”.

“We are working on Solanki’s complaint. If we find anything offensive against any religion, we will give the data to the LT Marg police to register an FIR,” said Sharmila Sahastrabuddhe, a senior inspector with the cyber police. In the absence of a regulator, DCP Vishal Thakkar said, “We need a strong reason to file an FIR.”

Meanwhile, Solanki is determined to take his complaint to the next level. “The cyber police are taking my complaint too lightly. I will go to court for action. I will not stop until they ban these web series.”

BJP leader Tajinder Bagga had also given a complaint against filmmaker Anurag Kashyap over a controversial scene in the second season of Netflix’s Sacred Games. Bagga said the Delhi police didn’t register an FIR. “The scene in question involves actor Saif Ali Khan’s character, police inspector Sartaj Singh, throwing his ‘kada’ into the sea,” Bagga had said.

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