Madras High Court judge recuses from Ilayaraaja copyright case

Madras High Court judge Justice R Subramanian on March 25 recused from hearing an appeal suit filed by Echo Recording Private Limited seeking to set aside an order of the court regarding a copyright dispute over the musical works of composer Ilayaraaja.

Justice Subramanian said he had appeared in the civil suit relating to this matter earlier while practising as a lawyer and so was not willing to hear it.

Subsequently, the bench directed the registry to place the records before the Chief Justice to assign the matter to some other bench.

Delhi High Court restrains ‘Wow Punjabi’ from using mark similar to ‘Wow! Momos’

The plaintiff informed the Court that it had coined and adopted the trade mark ‘Wow’/’Wow!Momo’ in 2008 for providing products & services in the food industry.
Further, it informed the Court that it had over 600 outlets across 30 plus cities and a brand valuation of about ₹1,225 crores in the year 2021 and had grown more than 60% in the year 2022.

The plaintiff also produced all its registered marks using the mark ‘Wow’ and highlighted that it had bought the domain name ‘www.wowmomo.com’ in 2013.
The Court noted that the defendant had not replied to a cease and desist notice and a follow up legal notice sent by the petitioner.

Thereafter, based on a comparison between the mark of the plaintiff and the defendant, the Court concluded that the plaintiff had made a prima facie case.

Read order here.

Notify Guidelines To Make Cinema More Accessible For Visually, Hearing Impaired Persons Before July 15: Delhi High Court To MIB

Justice Prathiba M Singh clarified that the guidelines shall make the provision of accessibility features mandatory in feature films and provide a reasonable period for compliance by all stakeholders, in an expeditious manner.

Read order here.

Delhi High Court passes dynamic+ injunction in favour of Viacom 18; restrains illegal IPL streaming

“During the currency of the IPL Events, if any further websites are discovered which are illegally streaming and communicating content over which the Plaintiff has rights, the Plaintiff is given liberty to communicate the details of such websites to the DoT and MeitY for issuance of blocking orders, and simultaneously to the ISPs for blocking the said websites, so as to ensure that these websites can be blocked on a real time basis there is no considerable delay,” the court said.

Read order here.

Delhi High Court refuses to cancel registration of ‘Kwikheal’ trademark

The Delhi High Court refused to remove or cancel the trademark of ‘Kwikheal’ in a plea filed by ‘Fevikwik’, saying that it cannot have a monopoly over a mark ‘Kwik’ and all its variations.

The Court observed that the common and dominant part of the mark is ‘FEVI’ which is suffixed with a sub-brand depending on the nature of the product and that the recall, therefore, of a customer is on the basis of the ‘FEVI’ family of marks and not the sub-brand forming part of the suffix.

“The fact that respondents registered device mark has the word ‘KWIK’ as part of ‘KWIKHEAL’ would not estop the respondent from claiming commonality in the word KWIK. It is acceptable that a part of a distinctive mark may have a common element and comparisons are therefore insulated from a portion of the mark applying the ‘anti-dissection Rule’. Even if qualified by the ‘dominant mark principle’, KWIK would certainly not be the dominant portion of the marks of the petitioner. It is already noted above that ‘FEVI’ is by far the dominant part of the petitioner’s marks”, it also noted.

NLU preparing recommendations for a online gaming regulator, to submit to MeitY soon

Previously, the government had proposed creation of more than one self-regulatory bodies (SRBs) for gaming under the proposed IT Rules 2023. These SRBs were supposed to be empowered to decide on the issue of permissible and non-permissible gaming companies in India.

However, MeitY later determined that SRBs shall be unduly influenced by major players and may lack independence. Therefore, the idea was dropped in early 2024.

Reliance Entertainment sends legal notice to T-Series

A public notice has been issued by Reliance Big Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. to Super Cassettes Industries Ltd. and Hungama Digital Media Entertainment Ltd., calling upon the former to dish out their requisite dues amounting to the tune of 397 crores.

As per reports, T-Series has responded to Reliance Entertainment’s claims about non-payment of dues and called it false and bogus.T-Series, in a statement, said that Reliance Entertainment is violating two judgements of Bombay High Court.

Startupwala Private Limited v Google India Private Limited : Delhi High Court to examine whether terms of Google Ads bar advertisers from arbitration in India

Startupwala Pvt. Ltd has filed a petition against Google India Pvt. Ltd under Section 9 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 inter alia seeking a direction to Google to maintain status quo ante by reinstating all the digital ads of the Petitioner which were disapproved/marked as `LIMITED’ on 10th December, 2023, 29th December, 2023 and 30th January, 2024. Further, the Petitioner also seeks directions to restrain the Respondent from disapproving any remaining ads of the Petitioner which have been marked as ‘Limited by Policy’.

The Delhi High Court recently said that it will examine whether the terms of Google’s Advertising Program bar an advertiser from availing legal remedies or filing for arbitration in India .

Justice Prathiba M Singh issued notice to Google on a plea filed by a company named Startupwala and asked the US headquartered tech-giant to file its reply on the issue.

“These advertising programs may be availed of by millions of customers of Google India Pvt Limited within the country and, thus, the Court would like to consider as to whether such a clause [clause 13 of Advertisement Terms] would in fact prevent people like the Petitioner from availing their legal remedies in accordance with law in India or should arbitration in such cases be held in India,” the Court recorded in its order.

The petitioner said that since August, 2023 some of the advertisements released by Startupwala were being disapproved by the Google advertisement program upon giving reference to a policy called ‘Government Documents and Official Services’.

The Court was told that Clause 13 of the Advertisement Terms provides for an arbitration clause which states that the disputes between parties would be resolved by arbitration which will be conducted in Santa Clara County, California, USA.

Startupwala contended that this was a standard arbitration clause in the Advertisement Terms which precludes them from exercising their legal remedies effectively.

Google raised the issue of territorial jurisdiction and maintainability.

The Court while giving two weeks’ time to Google to file its reply, noted “Since the Respondent is yet to file a reply and there are no reasons on record as to why any of these advertisements are disapproved or marked as eligible (limited), the Court has considered the irreparable loss which can be caused to the Petitioner and its business. Hence, it is directed that those advertisements which have currently not been blocked and are labelled as `Eligible (limited)’ in the above screenshots shall not be blocked or taken down till the next date of hearing. Mr. Mason submits that the said advertisements which are under the Petitioner’s control ought not to be modified. Accordingly, the above order shall be subject to the condition that the advertisements would be run as they are running and the content thereof shall not be modified till the next date of hearing”.

Read order here.