Supreme Court Refuses To Stop Streaming Of Reality Show ‘Lock Upp’ Over Copyright Infringement Dispute

The relief was sought against an ad-interim Special Leave Petition against the judgment dated 26th February, 2022, passed by the Telangana High Court setting aside the ad-interim injunction granted by the Trial Court against the reality show.

The Supreme Court refused to entertain the petition seeking directions to Alt Balaji and its agents to restrain from exhibiting and publishing the reality show on OTT platforms, YouTube and other social media.

While noting that the show has already been telecasted, a bench comprising Justice MR Shah and Justice BV Nagarathna granted liberty to the petitioner to move the Trial Court for expeditious hearing of their interim injunction application.

Kerala High Court: Mere Similarities Do Not Attract S. 14 of the Copyright Act

The Kerala High Court has dismissed an appeal moved by the broadcasting team of a popular Malayalam sitcom ‘Uppum Mulakum’ seeking an injunction on the telecasting of an imitation of the appellant’s programme.

As observed by the Apex Court, there cannot be any copyright in an idea, subject matter, themes, plots, or historical or legendary facts; in such a situation, the violation of copyright will stand confined only to the form, manner, arrangement and expression of the idea by the author of the copyrighted work.

The Court reiterated that when an idea originated or developed from a common source, similarities are bound to occur, and unless the fundamental or substantial aspects of the mode of expression adopted in the copyrighted work, the same cannot be brought under the purview of violation.

“Mere employment of very same actors in a different atmosphere, though it is pertaining to the day-to-day life of a family may not by itself bring the matter within the sweep of the copyright as defined under Section 14, especially when one is dealing with a Hindu family and the other one is dealing with a Hindu family and the other one is dealing with a Christian Anglo-Indian family.”

Delhi High Court Awards Damages to Levi Strauss In Trademark Infringement Suit

While adjudicating a trademark infringement suit in favour of plaintiff, the Delhi High Court held that the signature ‘Arcuate Stitching Design’ of Levi Strauss had achieved the status of a “well-known” mark.

The court imposed a cost of ₹4 lakh on Imperial Online Services Private Limited, which was selling denim jeans with an identical ‘Arcuate Stitching Design’ mark through the website www.urbanofashion.com and other e-commerce platforms. The court also directed the e-commerce sites to take down links to garments that were using the ‘Arcuate Stitching Design’ mark.

Concurrent Registration Of Same Or Similar Trademark By Two Or More Persons Not Per Se Barred (HTC Corporation vs. Mr. LV Degao & Ors)

The Delhi High Court in the present case (HTC Corporation vs. Mr. LV Degao & Ors.) held that for a consumer of average intelligence and observation, it may not be difficult to believe that the hair grooming products of the defendants with the Trade Mark HTC and link to the website of the plaintiff, were actually being produced and marketed by the plaintiff.

The Court restrained the defendants from manufacturing, selling, supplying, offering for sale, including through online platforms, of hair trimmers, hair clippers, hair dryers or any other goods bearing the impugned Trade Marks amounting to infringement of the registered trademark, dilution and passing off, till the decision in the rectification or cancellation proceedings is rendered.

Although, the Court clarified that ordinarily if the two Trade Marks are validly registered, both the registered proprietors can use the Trade Marks to the exclusivity of third parties, but cannot assert their rights against each other.

However in certain situations, registration of the latter Trade Mark may be refused registration or cancelled. These situations are: (i) when deception or confusion results, (ii) there is dishonest user, (iii) subsequent use without due cause, (iv) there is bad faith, or (v) dilution of the distinctiveness of a prior registered Trade Mark may occur.

Bombay High Court Refuses To Stay Release of Shahid Kapoor Starrer ‘Jersey’

The suit was filed alleging that several aspects of plaintiff’s script, like the story line and concept, have been plagiarised by the producers of Jersey, which is a remake of a Telugu film.

After hearing arguments advanced by both the parties, the Court noted that there was a substantial delay by the plaintiff in approaching the HC. The Telugu film, which was later dubbed in English was available since 2019.

Read order here.

Bombay High Court restrains CCI from taking any coercive action against Disney, Star India, and Asia net Star

The Bombay High Court comprising of a division Bench of G.S. Patel and Madhav J. Jamdar, JJ., directed the Competition Commission of India not to take any coercive actions against Asianet Star Communications Private Limited, Disney Broadcasting and Star India. (Asianet Star Communications Private Limited Versus Competition Commissioner of India & Ors, with connected matters).The challenge was to an order issued by Competition Commission of India on 28.2.2022, wherein an investigation under Section 26(1) of the Competition Act 2002 was directed. The Bench stated that the purpose of the present order was to simply hold the parties in a form of a status quo or a neutral position until they can be heard fully once the Court reopens after the summer recess and once the CCI has been given a reasonable opportunity to file an affidavit and submit a compilation of relevant law. Additionally, the High Court intended to give 2nd respondent, the complainant, an opportunity before the CCI to file a further affidavit.

Rmpl Vs Ppl: Delhi High Court as a pro-tem measure reinstates RMPL as a copyright society for sound recordings while at the same time directing government to consider PPL’s application

Delhi High Court vide its order dated April 11, 2022 granted relief to both RMPL and PPL in their conflict over registration as a copyright society. The Court has granted, as a pro tem measure, a stay on the decision of the single judge order to the extent that it disallows RMPL from functioning as a Copyright Society. The Division Bench has also directed the Government of India to consider the application of PPL during the pendency of the appeal- within four weeks. Read our detailed post here.