Kashmir Files receive green signal from Bombay High Court for its theatrical release

The Bench headed by Chief Justice Dipankar Datta dismissed a PIL seeking to stall the release of the movie, “The Kashmir Files”. The PIL alleged that the movie hurt religious sentiments of the Muslim community and inflaming members of the Hindu community and had the potential to trigger communal violence.

The Court also noted the fact that the Petitioner had not challenged the certificate issued by the Central Board of Film Certification. Further, the Court also observed that the exhaustion of an efficacious alternate remedy also applies in a public interest litigation, as it does in a private litigation.

The movie is based on Kashmiri Pandits and the repercussions of Kashmir Insurgency. As slated, it released on 11th March, 2022.

Delhi High Court passes John Doe Order for blocking websites illegally using ‘DABUR’ Trademark

Justice Pratibha Singh grants interim relief to Dabur India Limited by ordering the blocking of certain websites illegally using ‘DABUR’ domain name. The John Doe order is to restrict complete impersonation by illegal websites and not merely infringement and passing off. The Court observed that the balance of convenience was in the favour of the applicant and it made out a case of ex-parte injunction.

The Court further acknowledged the issue related with the practice of “hiding or masking the details of the Registrants” holding domain names is more and more resorted by persons who register such domains which impinge upon owners of trademarks and names.

Flipkart gets relief from Allahabad High Court in a case over sale of products in violation of Copyright Act

Allahabad High Court orders a stay on any coercive action against Flipkart Internet Private Limited and its officials till the next date of hearing in a case related to the sale of counterfeit products on the company’s website.

The case against the e-commerce company concerns with Flipkart selling products like articles and books that is in violation of the Copyright Act, 1957. However, Flipkart argued that the publishers should be held under the Act and not the platform as it is a mere intermediary.

The order of the court dated 9th March, 2022 can be read here.

Delhi High Court revives Phonographic Performance Limited’s application for registration as a copyright society

The Delhi High Court has set aside the orders passed by the Government rejecting the application filed by the Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) for re-registration as a copyright society and the certificate of registration that was granted to Recorded Music Performance Limited.

The Court has ordered the Government to re-consider the application of PPL for re-registration on merits, as being filed in time. Further, the Government has been asked to undertake this whole exercise within a reasonable time and communicate the output to PPL.

Read our detailed post here.

Supreme Court issues notice on MediaOne Channel’s plea challenging Centre’s telecast ban

The Supreme Court issued notice in the Special Leave Petition filed by MediaOne assailing Kerala High Court’s order of upholding the recent ban imposed on it by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The Court has also asked the Centre to produce the relevant files on which the reliance was placed by the High Court.

The order of the court dated 10th March, 2022 can be read here.

Bombay High Court upholds the decision of Single Judge ordering PhonePe to file a fresh trademark suit to claim exclusivity over ‘Pe’ suffix

PhonePe receives a nod from the Bombay High Court to file a fresh suit claiming trademark infringement against Resilient Innovations, the owners of PostPe for using the suffix ‘Pe’ for their mobile application. Earlier, a single judge of the High Court had granted leave to PhonePe to withdraw its suit and file a fresh one, which was challenged before a division bench.

Delhi High Court grants ex-parte injunction in trademark injunction suit by VOLVO

The Delhi High Court granted an ex-parte ad interim injunction restraining Lamina Suspension Products Limited from using the registered trademarks, ‘VOLVO’ and ‘FMX’ or any other mark confusingly or deceptively similar to these marks. Plaintiff, being the user of the mark VOLVO since 1915, has been using it for heavy commercial vehicles. Whereas, the Defendants were using it in relation to leaf springs and other parts used in the heavy vehicles.

The order of the court dated 8th March, 2022 can be read here.

PVR-Cinepolis India in talks for a Rs 13,600-crore merger

India’s largest multiplex chain PVR is in talks for a Rs 13,600-crore merger deal with rival Cinepolis India. As per reports, PVR promoters will own between 10% and 14%, but Ajay Bijli (CMD of PVR) will have complete management control for at least three years. Cinépolis will have board seats in the merged company.

Madras HC notice to makers of Valimai for ‘plagiarism’

The Madras High Court on March 11, 2022 issued notice to makers of Ajith-starrer Valimai, including producer Boney Kapoor and director H Vinoth on a petition alleging plagiarism of the movie Metro. Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy issued the orders for notice returnable by March 17 on a petition filed by J Jayakrishnan, joint producer of Metro. He said Metro opened a new plot of story telling in the Tamil film industry wherein the subject issue connects unemployment, chain snatching and drug peddling and was narrated and depicted in a unique manner. The storytelling, character selection and emotional elements made the movie a success.The plaintiff said a substantial portion of Valimai is derived from the story of Metro. Jayakrishnan sought for the court to restrain the defendants from screening the film in theatres and exhibiting it on OTT platforms and television channels. He further  sought for the defendants to pay damages of Rs 1 crore.

I&B Ministry Approves Fifth Self-Regulatory Body Under IT Rules

As reported here, a new Self-Regulatory Body (SRB), Media9 Digital Media Foundation (MDMF), was approved by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) in January 2022, according to a notification uploaded on the ministry’s website. The body had applied for registration in October 2021, and it will now operate as a Level II SRB for publishers of news and current affairs content.

Govt holds consultation with film industry on proposed amendments to Cinematograph Act
The Information & Broadcasting Ministry has assured the film fraternity that suitable amendments would be proposed to the Cinematograph Act 1952 to combat film piracy. Addressing a Consultation Meeting of Film Associations through video conferencing, I&B Secretary Shri Apurva Chandra said the issues with respect to proposed Cinematograph Amendment Bill and anti-piracy issues will be addressed after consultation with the stakeholders of the industry.


Russia legalizes intellectual property piracy

As the tension rises between Russia and other countries, Russian government has now decided to not pay the intellectual property rights to patent holders from “unfriendly countries” which include, among others, all the members of the European Union.

Under international law, an intellectual property piracy is when a patent holder is not paid its rights. The Russia Prime Minister has signed a decree which will change the methodology for determining the compensation paid to the right holder when deciding to use the invention without the holder’s consent.

Singer Katy Perry defeats appeal in $2.8m Dark Horse copyright case

The Federal Appeals Court has decided in favour of the US Singer and Popstar Katy Perry that her song, Dark Horse, did not plagiarize any song of the hip-hop artist Flame (or Marcus Gray) and thus, Perry is not liable to pay out the sum of $2.8 million to Flame.

Gray sued Perry in 2014 claiming that she had ripped off an eight-note beat from his Christian rap track of Joyful Noise. In 2019, Los Angeles jury agreed and awarded Flame and two other plaintiffs $2.79 million. This judgement was overturned by a judge in 2020.

Google wins legal battle over song lyrics copyright against lyrics platform Genius

Google has won a legal battle against song lyrics platform Genius that claimed that the tech giant used its transcribed lyrics without permission in search results. A three-judge panel affirmed the earlier decision, saying that the lyrics are protected by copyrights that Genius doesn’t own. Genius had sued Google in 2019, arguing that Google was scraping lyrics from its website in violation of Genius’ copyright.

Dua Lipa faces second copyright lawsuit over hit song Levitating

Dua Lipa is facing a second copyright lawsuit over her song Levitating, less than a week after a Florida reggae band sued the singer for alleged plagiarism.  Songwriters L Russell Brown and Sandy Linzer allege that the opening melody to the hit single, the longest-running Top 10 song ever by a female artist on the US Billboard Hot 100, is a “duplicate” of the melody to their 1979 song Wiggle and Giggle All Night and their 1980 song Don Diablo.