IPRMENTLAW WEEKLY HIGHLIGHTS (MAY 9-15)

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  1. Supreme Court restrains High Courts from proceeding in pleas challenging the IT Rules, 2021

The bench comprising of Justices AM Khanwilkar and Abhay S Oka has stayed the proceedings in the High Courts in the petitions challenging the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 and the Cable TV Networks (Amendment) Rules, 2021.

The Bench issued the notice in the transfer petitions filed by Union Government seeking the transfer of the petitions from High Courts to Supreme Court. However, the Court clarified that it will not interfere with the interim orders passed by the High Courts.

The order of the Court dated 9th May, 2022 can be accessed here.

  1. Delhi High Court awards 2 lakhs damages & over 9 lakhs cost in the Starbucks Trademark Infringement case

The Single Judge Bench headed by Justice Jyoti Singh while dealing with the suit filed by Starbucks Corporation regarding the infringement of its registered trademark “FRAPPUCINO” has awarded Rs. 2 lakhs damages and Rs. 9,60,100 in favour of Starbucks Corporation.

The Petitioner sought a decree of permanent injunction restraining the Defendant, Teaquilla, from infringing its registered trademark either alone or with any prefix or suffix or any other confusing and deceptively similar trademark in relation to their goods, services and business as well as passing off.

The order of the Court dated 7th April, 2022 can be accessed here.

  1. Ministry of Information and Broadcasting widens the scope of Sports Act

The MIB has widened the scope of the Sports Broadcasting Signals (Mandatory Sharing with Prasar Bharati) Act, 2007 by notifying a fresh list of sporting events of national importance that have to be shared by the sports broadcasters with the public broadcaster, Prasar Bharati.

The notification requires the sports broadcasters to share the feeds of Olympic games, in cricket – One-Day, Twenty20 and Test matches of Indian Men’s and Women’s Cricket Team and all International Cricket Council Test matches featuring India. The other events include hockey, football, shooting championships, archery championship and other International events organized by National Sports Federations recognized by the Government of India.

  1. Delhi High Court allows the release of Jayeshbhai Jordaar with disclaimers

Ranveer Singh’s Jayeshbhai Jordaar gets cleared by the Delhi High Court for theatrical release with inclusion of new disclaimers. The court heard a petition that sought removal of a scene involving pre-natal sex determination test. The Bench headed by Justice Vipin Sangh had earlier asked the producers to show the relevant scenes to the Court. The Producers agreed to add certain further disclaimers in the ultrasound scene and other connected scenes.

  1. Delhi High Court grants an ex-parte injunction against the use of the trademark ‘Mirinda’

The Bench of Justice Jyoti Singh granted an ex-parte injunction in favour of Pepsico against a liquor company allegedly using their mark “Mirinda”. The Plaintiff claimed to have been using the mark since 1959 and the earliest registration of the mark in India dates back to 1997. The Defendant applied for registration of the mark “Continental Mirinda Beer” in relation to country-made liquor.

The order of the Court dated 6th May, 2022 can be accessed here.

  1. Disney Copyright targeted by the new Florida Copyright Law

The Copyright Clause Restoration Act of 2022 limits copyright protection to 56 years and provides for retroactive applicability to existing copyrights. This law can lead to stripping Disney off of its copyright over “Mickey Mouse”. This move comes after the suspension of political donations by Disney. Several Republican lawmakers clarified that they won’t support an extension of copyright protections for Disney if a bill is introduced.

7. Complaint filed against Kamal Haasan’s song Pathala Pathala for controversial lyrics about Union government

As per reports, Selvam, a social activist and a resident of Chennai’s Korukkupettai, has filed a complaint against the lyrics, alleging that some of the lines from the ‘Pathala Pathala’ song mocks the Union government, and talks about their COVID-19 management and its funds in the exchequer, in a negative light. The complaint was lodged by Selvam on May 12, at the Chennai police commissioner’s office. The complainant has also stated that if the police fail to take action, he will be approaching the Madras High Court.

8. CCI conducts market study on film distribution to explore self-regulation

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) is conducting a market study on film distribution in the country, with the larger intention of exploring the possibility of a self-regulatory mechanism within the industry to ensure a competitive landscape.

Read more here.

9. Writer Shiva Murthy files Plagiarism case against makers of Ravi Teja and Shruti Haasan starrer “Krack”

Shiva Subrahmaniya Murthy, a Hyderabad-based writer, filed a complaint against producer Tagore Madhu at the Jubilee Hills police station, alleging that the film’s story has been lifted from a book he published in 2015. Confirming the same, SHO Rajshekar Reddy tstates “On May 12, an individual named Shiva Subrahmaniya Murthy filed a complaint against Tagore Madhu for allegedly plagiarising the story of Krack. He claims his story has been used without consent. As the film was released more than a year ago, we are taking legal opinion on whether a case can be filed now. We have not reached out to the makers yet.”

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