IPRMENTLAW WEEKLY HIGHLIGHTS (APRIL 12-18)

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Anniyan producer Aascar Ravichandran asks director Shankar to stop Hindi remake of it

Aascar Ravichandran, producer of the movie Anniyan wrote a letter to the director Shankar requesting him to immediately stop its Hindi remake as he is vested with the rights of the film. The said letter was shared by Ramesh Bala, an entertainment industry tracker on his Twitter handle.

The letter contained details of the film and explained how it is an illegal act to adapt a film without its owner’s permission. Ravichandran expressed that he was shocked to know that Shankar is going to remake the Hindi film on the much-acclaimed movie, Anniyan. He continued in the letter to say that he was very upset as Shankar forgot that it was because of him that he regained his ‘lost ground’ and did not ask for his permission. He further added that Shankar should immediately stop the remake as he is the sole owner of the movie. He also warned the director that a legal notice will follow this letter.

Right to Privacy cannot be inherited after death: Madras High Court

The Madras High Court while dismissing Jayalalitha’s niece, J Deepa plea against the release of biopics on late former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, J. Jayalalitha, including ‘Queen’ and ‘Thalaivi’ ruled that right to privacy of a deceased person cannot be inherited.

This appeal was instituted by J Deepa before the Division Bench after a single Judge in December, 2019 dismissed her plea. In the appeal, J Deepa claimed that if a biopic is made without her consent it may also infringe her own right to privacy. She further contended that the single Judge had erred in appreciating her as “Class 1 legal heir” of J. Jayalalitha and was entitled to protect the dignity, legacy and “posthumous right to privacy” of her aunt and former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, J. Jayalalitha.

The bench disagreed with J Deepa’s argument. The bench while relying on Managing Director, Makkal Tholai Thodarpu Kuzhumam Limited v. Mrs. V. Muthulakshmi and Melepurath Sankunni Ezhuthassan v. Thekittil Geopalankutty Nair observed that the “right of privacy of an individual”, extinguishes with his or her death and cannot be inherited by a person’s legal heir after his or her death.

Read judgement here.

Bombay High Court rules in favour of Prince Pipes in a trademark infringement suit

The Bombay High Court had granted an ad-interim injunction in a trademark infringement suit filed by Prince Pipes and Fittings. The ad-interim injunction was granted against the defendants, Prince Platinum Pipes and Fittings, Vigor Plast India Private Limited and Dhananjay Brass Products. While granting the ad-interim injunction, the Court observed that use of the trademark by the defendants is an attempt to trade upon and cash on reputation and goodwill of the Plaintiff, Prince Pipes.

Salt Bae faces a $5 million copyright infringement lawsuit by a US-based artist

Turkish chef Nusret Gokce, popularly known as Salt Bae has landed in a trouble after a US based artist alleged that the restaurateur and social media star has used his artwork across the globe without his permission.

Logan Hicks, a Brooklyn artist and his fellow Joseph Laruto were hired by Gokce, the mastermind behind the Nusr-Et steakhouse in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, to craft a mural of the fashionable chef in his signature “salt-sprinkling pose”.  Hicks in his lawsuit alleged that the first artwork was featured in Miami, however, other commissioned models were been spotted in Dubai, New York, Doha and Istanbul.

Hicks in the beginning of 2020 first discovered that Gokce and his companies had been using the first commissioned image without his permission internationally, in window displays, takeout bags, and even on Menus, according to Hick’s statement in the suit.

Maharashtra Government seeks compulsory licence for Remdesivir

The Centre was urged by the Maharashtra Government to issue a compulsory licence for remdesivir, a medicine used for the treatment of Covid-19. This was done through a letter by Maharashtra chief secretary, Sitaram Kunte requesting to the Union health Ministry. It was requested that the government invokes the provision of compulsory licensing so that the supply of remdesivir can be improved amidst the severe second wave of the pandemic in the country.

Bombay High Court at Goa criticizes Goa Police for hurriedly lodging an FIR against musicians; quashes FIR

Dastaan Live, a band on December 17, 2019 performed at the Serendipity Arts Festival in Panaji. They performed a song “Mantra Kavita” by Vaidyanath Misra, originally composed in the year 1969. A day later, K Venkat Krishna, a Delhi based advocate, filed a complaint against the band alleging that they had committed “blasphemy” and hurt the “sentiment of hundred crores of Indian and few million abroad”.

After the complaint, the Goa police summoned some of the members of the band to the police station to “issue an apology”. However, the members refused to tender apology, due to which they were placed under arrest while some of the members who were not present had to secure anticipatory bail to avoid the arrest.

Looking at the conduct of the Goa Police, the High Court said that the police should not have called citizens to the police station to demand an apology by the citizens. Further the Court said that even if the allegations made out in the complaint were accepted in its entirety, did not even remotely point to the ingredients required in Section 295-A of IPC. Lastly, while quashing the FIR, the Court agreed with the band that the act of the Goa Police was an unwarranted assault on creativity and freedom of speech and expression.

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