IPRMENTLAW WEEKLY HIGHLIGHTS (August 30th to September 5th)

Allahabad High Court refuses to stay the release of the film ‘Chehre’.

The Allahabad High Court refused to stay the release of the Amitabh Bachchan starrer film ‘Chehre’ in an appeal filed by Writer Uday Prakash alleging copyright infringement. Justice JJ Munir refused to grant any interim relief against the order passed by the District Judge.

The Court compared the two scripts and opined that although the principle theme was common, there were a host of differences in the script leading to the feature film. The Court has directed the trial for the suit be expedited, thereby, directing the District Judge to fix one date every week and endevaour to conclude the trial within 4 months.

Read order here

Online gaming for money and betting soon to be considered a criminal activity.

The cabinet has approved the Karnataka Police (Amendment) Bill which seeks to ban online games involving profit or gain. The bill will be tabled in the monsoon session which is starting from 13th September. A month ago the Madras High Court had declared a similar law enacted by the Tamil Nadu government as ultra vires to the Constitution.

Central Government filed counter-affidavits in response to the petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 (IT Rules, 2021).

In all there are 19 writ petitions and all each emanate out a unique set of circumstances. Petitions have been filed challenging the constitutionality of IT Rules, and seeking a declaration of the same as “ultra vires, void and violative of Articles 14, Article 19(1)(a) and 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India”.

The counter stated that the Rules were not unconstitutional as section 87 of the IT Act, 2000 stipulated that guidelines can be issued for intermediaries and for procedures and safeguards to block public access. Furthermore, it was contended that the Rules are not new but an amendment to the already existing rules (Intermediary Guidelines of 2011) which have been upheld as constitutionally valid by the Supreme Court in Shreya Singhal v. UOI.

Fresh  Section 31D petition filed by ENIL in the Delhi High Court.

Entertainment Network India Ltd filed a petition under section 31D of the Copyright Act, 1957, for broadcast of the sound recordings owned and/ or exclusively controlled by the respondents herein via the petitioner’s radio stations. They have sought for revision of radio license fee rates as set out in the IPAB order of 31st December, 2020.

The Hon’ble Mr. Justice Sanjeev Narula vide order dated 2nd September ordered to list the matter along with other petitions filed which are likely to be listed on 8th September, 2021.

Gucci moves Delhi High Court against trademark infringement.

The luxury brand filed a case for trademark infringement against Intiyaz Sheikh for using the logo of the luxury brand on his products.

The defendant was found to be malafidely indulging in manufacturing items and packaging material by copying the plaintiff. The court passed an order for the defendant to pay Rs. 2 lakhs in the form of damages and Rs. 1.66 lakhs as cost. Additionally, the defendant has been directed to hand over all infringing goods to the plaintiff for them to be destroyed.

Wife declared as copyright owner of literary works of Pulavar Keeran.

The Court held that an assignment of copyright cannot be oral. Either a license or an assignment of a copyright has to be in writing in view of the specific provisions of Section 19 and 30 of the Copyright Act. Therefore, as the legal heir of the author, his wife was entitled to the first copyright of the works, the judge said.

The judge allowed the suit with costs and directed the defendant to surrender all master tapes of any records of late Pulavar Keeran contained in the schedule to the plaint and held that the plaintiff would also be entitled to a permanent injunction restraining the defendants from using, copying, reproducing, selling distributing or broadcasting through radio, over the internet or any other media or in any manner exploiting or dealing with the records, audio cassettes, compact discs or any other storage device containing the speeches and lectures of late Pulavar Keeran.

Netflix and Excel Entertainment enter multi-year series partnership.

A strategic multi-year partnership is signed between the parties, commencing with two projects, tentatively titled ‘Dabba Cartel’ and ‘Queen of the Hill’. “Dabba Cartel” is a story of five housewives who run a high stakes secret cartel. While “Queen of the Hill” is set in the backdrop of jazz rich 1960s Mumbai and will chronicle the dynamic relationship between two ambitious women that will change the city forever.

Shankar’s upcoming film hit by plagiarism claim.

Chinnasamy, a production executive who works with producer RB Choudary, has recently filed a complaint with the South Indian Film Writers Association (SIFWA), claiming that the story of director Shankar’s upcoming film with actor Ram Charan, is plagiarised from him.