Centre issues notice to Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn over misleading gutka ads   

The Union of India revealed to the Allahabad High Court that the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) has issued notices to Bollywood icons Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar, and Ajay Devgan regarding surrogate Gutkha advertising. This disclosure came in response to a contempt plea following non-compliance with the High Court’s September 2022 order, sparked by a PIL petition concerning misleading Gutka advertisements featuring certain Padma awardees.

The September order resulted from a PIL filed by Moti Lal Yadav, directing the CCPA to take action against respondents, including actors Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan, Akshay Kumar, and Ajay Devgan.

Advocate Moti Lal Yadav told ANI, “Actors such as Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Ajay Devgn, Akshay Kumar and Saif Ali Khan have been doing misleading advertisements of tobacco products. I lodged a PIL in Allahabad High Court on 22nd September. After this, HC gave two directions to the Govt of India. First, a guideline should be framed to seize the ‘Padma’ awards conferred to these actors and a case be filed against the tobacco manufacturing company and the actors. Second, a fine of Rs 50 lakhs also be imposed on the actors and the gutka companies for making misleading advertisements.”

Read more about it here.

Delhi HC Restrains Virat Kohli’s Restaurant Chain One8 Commune From Playing Songs Of PPL

Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) initiated a copyright infringement suit against One8 Commune, seeking to prevent the use of PPL’s songs at the chain’s restaurants and cafés. PPL alleged that One8 Commune played its songs without the required copyright license, despite receiving a legal notice on the matter. However, One8 Commune failed to comply with the terms outlined in the legal notice.

The Delhi High Court after hearing the submissions of the parties restrained One8 Commune from playing the songs of PPL till the pendency of the present suit.

The Court’s order stated, “Till the next date of hearing, the defendants as well as all others acting on their behalf shall stand restrained from playing any of the recordings forming the subject matter of the plaintiff’s copyright and figuring on the website https://www.pplindia.org/songs, without obtaining a prior license from the plaintiff.”

Read more about it here.

Viacom18 V Fairplay: Arrest of Key Stakeholder Of The Betting Platform for unlawful streaming of IPL rights

The cyber crime unit of the Maharashtra Police has arrested a key figure behind the betting platform FairPlay India named Gulam Abbas Muni for allegedly unlawfully streaming the cricket tournament on the FairPlay app.

As per a statement by Viacom18, Muni was produced before a court on the same day and has now been remanded to police custody until the unspecified next date of hearing.

Read more about it here.

Arbitration Clauses In Unstamped Agreements Enforceable : Rules Supreme Court 7-Judge Bench

The Supreme Court unanimously ruled on Wednesday that unstamped arbitration agreements were legally enforceable. The seven-judge Constitution Bench said that deeming such agreements unenforceable merely due to a lack of stamping at the start of arbitral proceedings goes against the rationale of the law.

Delivering the lead opinion in a curative petition overruling an earlier five-judge Bench verdict of the Supreme Court in the N.N. Global case, Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud held that “non-stamping or inadequate stamping is a curable defect and agreements without the right stamping were not automatically void or unenforceable – they just couldn’t be used as evidence.”

Read more about it here.

“Just Looking Like A Wow”: Delhi High Court Restrains VBRO Skincare From Imitating Products Of WOW Skin Science

The Delhi High Court recently restrained skincare product manufacturing company VBRO Skincare from manufacturing or selling its products in packaging or lay out similar to the one used by WOW Skin Science. Justice Prathiba M Singh passed an interim order restraining VBRO from using the marks ‘WQVV’ or any other mark that is identical or deceptively like the trade mark ‘WOW’.

Referring to the viral expression “Just looking like a wow!” on social media, the court held that the defendants’ products could be passed off as the plaintiff’s products.

The court directed e-commerce platforms Amazon, Flipkart, and Snapdeal to remove listings of the defendants’ products within 72 hours. However, the order doesn’t restrict defendants from using the word ‘WOW’ in a descriptive sense.

Read full order here.

Delhi HC allows Dabur to publish ‘World’s Leading Ayurvedic Toothpaste’ for Dabur Red Paste

The suit was filed by Dabur India Limited before the Delhi High Court seeking inter alia stay of the order dated 30th September, 2023, issued by Advertising Standards Council of India in respect of an advertisement published for ‘DABUR RED PASTE’ claiming it be ‘‘World’s No. l Ayurvedic paste’. This advertisement was challenged by Vi-John Healthcare India LLP, and a complaint was raised by it before the ASCI who in turn sought clarifications from Dabur on the claim made in the advertisement.

The ASCI, expressing its dissatisfaction on the authenticity of the claim vide impugned order dated 30th September, 2023, directed Dabur to modify its advertisement and restrain itself from publishing it, on the grounds that the said advertisement is misleading and constitutes an unfair portrayal and exaggeration, contrary to the ASCI Code.

In light of submissions made and noting that Dabur has not republished the advertisement, the Court vide order dated December 12, 2023 has permitted Dabur to publish the said advertisement, however, with a slight modification to the following effect that they may use the phrase ‘World’s leading Ayurvedic paste’ instead of ‘World’s number 1 Ayurvedic paste’. The Court further noted ‘It is clear that advertising is part of commercial speech and some puffery is allowed as long as the same does not go beyond the grey areas and the assertions made are reasonable’.

Delhi HC vacates Makemytrip’s injunction against Google and Booking in ‘adwords’ case

A division bench of Delhi High Court on December 14, 2023 vacated an interim ruling by a single judge restraining Google from using travel company Makemytrip’s (MMT)  registered trademarks as ‘keywords’ on the Google Ads Program and held that held that the use of Make My Trip’s trade marks by Booking.com on the Google Ads program does not constitute infringement or passing off under the Trade Marks Act, 1999.

Read full order here.

The Screenwriters Association (SWA) to hold talks to discuss issues of low pay, due credit etc. with producers, OTT platform.

SWA will be discussing their long-standing complaints with leading Indian studios, producers and OTT platforms next month to discuss the grievances of writers in Bollywood and regional film industries.

In a press statement, SWA, which has about 65,000 members, said more than 100 writers from Bollywood attended a meeting called by it on December 7. Among those present were acclaimed writers-filmmakers Sriram Raghavan, Sujoy Ghosh and Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari.