Karnataka High Court strikes down provisions of Karnataka Police (Amendment) Act, 2021; holds online gaming with stakes as legal

The Karnataka High Court has struck down certain provisions of the Karnataka Police (Amendment) Act, 2021 which banned online games with stakes. The Court considered these provisions as ultra vires to the Constitution of India. The Court has also issued a writ of mandamus restraining the State Government from interfering with the online gaming business.

After this judgement, the Karnataka High Court has entered the list of High Courts such as Kerala and Madras which have also struck down laws banning online gaming. The Kerala High Court struck down the law banning online rummy and the Madras High Court struck down a law banning all kinds of online games.

The judgement dated 14th February, 2022 can be accessed here.

Government of India bans 54 Chinese apps that pose a threat to national security

As per certain reports, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has banned 54 Chinese apps that are considered to be posing a threat to India’s national security. This ban adds on the 224 Chinese apps that were banned by the central government in June 2020 including popular apps such as TikTok, WeChat, UC Browser, etc.

The reports further clarified that these 54 apps were banned earlier as well but they rebranded themselves and relaunched under new names. These apps are reported to have been using malicious software and transmit user information to China-based data centres without user consent.

Delhi High Court restrains other Historians from publishing defamatory material against Dr. Vikram Sampath

In the defamation suit filed by historian, Dr. Vikram Sampath, the Delhi High Court has restrained Dr. Audrey Truschke and others from publishing any defamatory material against Dr. Sampath till April 1, 2022 on Twitter and other online and offline platforms.

The defendants are further restrained from publishing the letter dated February 11 addressed to Royal Historical Society, London wherein allegations of plagiarism were raised against Dr. Sampath. Dr. Sampath has been accused of plagiarism regarding a journal publication and his two-volume biography of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar.

IndiaMart.com and other 4 Indian markets feature in US Notorious Markets List

Popular e-commerce website Indiamart.com and four other markets have been listed in the annual list of the world’s notorious markets released by US Trade Representative. The other markets include New Delhi’s Palika Bazaar and Tank Road, Heera Panna in Mumbai and Kidderpore in Kolkata

The list has identified 42 online and 35 physical markets around the world that are reportedly engaged in substantial trademark counterfeiting or copyright piracy. The report states that IndiaMart.com, while claims to be the world’s second largest online business-to-business market, however, is home to several counterfeiting pharmaceuticals, electronics and apparels.

Adoption of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality faced a boom in India since the pandemic

Over the last few years and especially since the pandemic, the growth of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) has accelerated in the India markets. The AR and VR are now being deployed in EdTech, manufacturing, healthcare, media and entertainment among other verticals. As per reports, the global AR and VR market is expected to reach $571.42 billion by 2025.

Delhi High Court directs Hero trademark battle to arbitration

The legal battle between the Munjal Brothers regarding the ownership over the trademark “Hero” for two-wheeler vehicles has been directed to arbitration by the Delhi High Court. The issue arose when Vijay Munjal, owner of Her Electric, had moved the Delhi High Court against his cousin, Pawan Munjal, promoter and chairman of Hero MotoCorp, seeking an injunction on use of brand name, Hero MotoCorp.

As the Court has refused to impose any injunction, the Hero Electric has stated that it would reiterate its prayer for interim injunction before the arbitration tribunal. The arbitration panel shall include 3 retired judges.

Delhi High Court frowns upon the practice of ridiculing competitors in the ads

The bench headed by Justice Asha Menon of Delhi High Court has held that although certain latitude can be given for hyperbole and commendatory expression, no license can be given to denigrate the competitor. The observation has arisen in the suit filed by FIITJEE against Vidya Mandir Classes and other for their derogatory advertisements against the plaintiff.

There has been a practice by the coaching institutions to represent themselves in such a manner so as to encourage students and compete for their admissions. In course of this, at times, certain advertisements content tends to defame other coaching institutions. In the present case, the defendant’s YouTube videos used terms like “kidnap” and ”hostage” against the plaintiff.

The Court directed the defendant to take down the portion of its YouTube videos containing such serious allegations.

Pahari Performing Rights Association files application for registration as a copyright society for musical work and lyrics

The Copyright Office vide public notice dated February 18, 2022, notified that the Pahari Performing Rights Association has filed an application for registration as a copyright society under Section 33 of the Copyright Act, 1957 for carrying out business of issuing or granting license in respect of musical works as defined under Section 2(p) of the Copyright Act, 1957 and literary work associated with musical work. The Copyright Office has invited objections / comments from general public/ stakeholders within 30 days of publication of the notice. Read the public notice here.

Madras HC Rules in favour of Ilaiyaraaja in 8-year-old copyright infringement case

The Madras High Court on Feb 18 restrained record labels from utilising original songs by composer Ilaiyaraja in the appeal filed by him against single bench order. The division bench ruled in favour of the music composer and said that the Echo and Agi Recording will not be allowed to distribute Ilaiyaraaja music after the termination of the contract. The next hearing has been adjourned until March 21, while allowing the music labels to present their side.

According to reports, the Echo and Agi Recording firms had reached an arrangement to sell Ilaiyaraaja’s works on CDs and cassettes. Ilaiyaraaja filed a lawsuit in 2014 against music labels and others for allegedly infringing his licensing over the songs he composed. He claimed that the companies were not only infringing on his copyrights but also profiting from his music after the contract was terminated. In 2019, the single bench, ruled in favour of the music labels Echo and Agi Audio. However, Ilaiyaraaja’s songs were prohibited from being monetised through TV reality shows, concerts and online radio channels without his permission. Films with music created by Ilaiyaraaja that have been released and shown in theatres were exempted from the order.