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intellectual property (IP)

10 June 2016

Prashant Reddy reviews the major decisions of Justice Manmohan Singh of the Delhi high court (mostly) in the field of IP law, in the first of a series of posts that will mull on what criteria should be considered in appointing persons to the position of chairperson of the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB).

Read more on Spicy IP.

11 May 2016

Phoenix Legal counsel Mukul Baveja has joined Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas as a salaried partner, according to his Linked-in profile as first reported by Bar & Bench.

09 December 2015

The Delhi high court has held a cyber-squatter guilty of misusing the name of Tata group chief Cyrus Pallonji Mistry by holding on to websites www.cyrusmistry.co.uk and www.cyrusmistry.co and has directed him to transfer both the websites to Mistry reported The Hindustan Times.

Justice Manmohan Singh observed in his judgment that the defendant, Aniket Singh has blatantly and illegally tried to capitalize on the goodwill of Mistry as he is a well known personality. Singh was also directed to deposit Rs 5 Lakh as punitive costs to the Delhi High Court library fund.

Apart from the obvious use of Mistry’s name, the conduct of the defendant in registering the domain name a month after he was announced to be the next CEO of Tata group and using “threatening tone” with the plaintiffs which made the intention of extortion clear, led the court to impose costs to Singh.

12 October 2015

The Delhi high court heard first arguments on Monday in the infringement claim by the US footwear company against two Indian rivals that have released similar plastic clog-style shoes.

Calling it a case of obvious imitation, Akhil Sibal, […] counsel representing Crocs India said, “I am in the market since 2004 and have a formidable reputation in the market. Uniqueness of the product which is the selling point of the product is the look of the product.”

- via Mint.

03 September 2015

The Delhi high court fined Ramgopal Varma and his production house a sum of Rs 10 lakh as punitive damages in a judgment in favour of Sholay Media and Entertainment by Justice Manmohan Singh on 24 August 2015, reported Asian Age and others.

Read judgment.

The suit was filed through Sascha Sippy, represented by Anand & Anand managing partner Pravin Anand and advocate Geetanjali Vishwanathan, while the defendants were not present and ex parte, according to the judgment.

It was held by the court that the Varma remake’s publicity material, movie, similar plot and characters along with the music, lyrics and background score and even dialogues from the original film Sholay, gave “an overall impression that it is a remake of the film Sholay” and, “amounts to infringement of copyright”.

The court held the defendants guilty of infringement which is, “a deliberate act to gain profits.” The court also said that, “the defendants have distorted and mutilated the original copyright work of the plaintiffs”.

The court passed the judgment which also barred the defendents permanently from manufacturing, selling, offering for sale or distributing any of materials involved with Sholay or the characters, music or the dialogues on top of the punitive damages and costs to be given to the plaintiff.

01 September 2015

The central government has been called by the Delhi high court to show how it is ensuring that patentees commercially work their patents, on the public interest litigation (PIL) of the Infosys Foundation’s intellectual property rights prize awardee Prof Shamnad Basheer, reported Spicy IP.

Axon Partners founder Abhimanyu Bhandari, and advocate Sai Vinod acted for Basheer before a bench of chief justice G Rohini and justice Jayant Nath.

The Patent Act and Rules require that anyone who has been granted a patent must annually disclose as to how far and to what extent they have commercially worked their patent, so as to help demonstrate how the public is benefitting from their patents. These are India’s “patent working norms”.

According to Basheer’s PIL, “35 per cent of the patentees [failed] to disclose their patent working status during 2009 to 2012” and the government “never initiated action against any of the errant patentees”.

Basheer adds: “What makes this government inaction even more egregious is the fact that the blatant non-compliance was already brought to the notice of the government four years ago through a similar investigation conducted by the Petitioner in a public report titled ‘The ‘Non-Working’ of the Patent Office ‘Working’ Requirement!’.”

The PIL will be heard next on 17 November. Basheer’s other PIL, the Supreme Court challenge to the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT), will be heard on Friday.

28 August 2015

Saikrishna & Associates managing partner Saikrishna Rajagopal won an order from the Delhi high court, modifying its earlier trademark injunction against German auto maker Audi from using the “TT” trademark, which was also used by Delhi-based garment maker TT Textiles.

24 August 2015

Intellectual property (IP) firm LexOrbis, which set up a Bangalore office in April, has merged with local IP boutique Inolyst, which was set up by Dilip Kumar.

12 August 2015

German auto maker Audi was restrained, ex parte, by the Delhi high court from using the trademark “TT” on its leather goods, after Delhi-based garment maker TT Textiles sued it for using its “multi-product global brand” trademark, reported Indian Express.

TT Textiles, of the TT vests fame, filed a trademark infringement suit for damages of Rs 25 lakh against Audi for “selling car and the related accessories with the mark ‘TT’ clandestinely in Delhi.” Advocate Shilpa Jain was acting for TT in the high court.

TT Textiles has used the trademark TT since 1968 and now has 87 registrations in 65 countries, while its turnover in the financial year 2013 to 2014 was Rs 754 crore, according to the order.

Justice Najmi Waziri ordered:

“This Court is of the view that the plaintiffs have made out a prima facie case for an ex parte ad interim injunction and in case such an order is not passed at this stage, irreparable prejudice would be caused to them. The balance of convenience too lies in favour of the plaintiffs.”

The case will be heard next on 2 November.

29 May 2015

Ranjan NegiFormer Amarchand Mangaldas Gurgaon-based IP partner Ranjan Negi, who resigned from the Shardul Shroff managed region of the firm last month, will join Shardul’s brother’s split firm Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas with his team of five.

11 March 2015

The Madras high court ruled that the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) is unconstitutional, reported SpicyIP.

The high court held that the provisions creating the tribunal are unconstitutional where they allow bureaucrats to be elected as judicial members to it even to the extent of becoming its chairman or vice chairman.

The court also ruled that any committee electing members to IPAB must also be constituted of members with judicial qualifications.

The ruling was made on a writ petition by Spicy IP founder Shamnad Basheer.

13 November 2014

Shamnad Basheer has won the Infosys Science Foundation 2014 prize in the humanities category today.

The former NUJS Kolkata MHRD chair professor for intellectual property (IP), founder of the Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access (IDIA) initiative and the SpicyIP blog, was awarded the prize “for his contributions to the analysis of a range of legal issues, including pharmaceutical patent injunctions and enforcement”, according to Infosys’ press release.

He has in recent years been involved in the Novartis-Glivec patent case in the Supreme Court, as an academic intervenor, and in the Delhi University textbook photocopying case.

The prize, conferred on individuals in six categories, consists of a purse of Rs 55 Lakhs, a 22 karat gold medal and a citation certificate for each category. Nobel prize laureate Amartya Sen was on the six-person jury for the prize in the humanities category. In previous years the prizes have been won mostly by academics and professors.

18 September 2014

Candy CrushKhaitan & Co won a copyright infringement suit in the Bombay high court for once-$7.6bn King.com, the creator of the hugely popular mobile device game Candy Crush Saga .

09 May 2014

New LexOrbis partnersDelhi-based IP boutique LexOrbis has promoted Deepak Sriniwas, Rajeev Kumar, Amaya Singh and Pooja Dodd to salaried partner.

11 December 2013

SC Singhvi retires, leaves legacy
The Supreme Court’s justice GS Singhvi, most famous for his stern treatment of the 2G and the land acquisition cases, retired today just after overturned the progressive Delhi HC judgment that had decriminalised homosexuality [The Hindu]

Madras HC advocates for Ganguly
Madras HC advocates yesterday took out a rally in support of sexual harassment accused former Supreme Court judge AK Ganguly, asserting that he was being targeted because of his stern dealing of sensational cases [TOI]

CCI’s giant Coal India fine
Coal India is facing Rs 17.7 billion ($290m) Competition Commission of India fine for abusing its dominant position and imposing unfair conditions in fuel supply agreements with customers [Reuters]

E&Y legal to launch Singapore with HSF partner
“Former Herbert Smith Freehills’ Singapore partner John Dick has joined Ernst & Young Singapore as a partner as the “big four” accounting firm mulls legal services launch,” reported [The Lawyer]

PIL reveals crippled IPAB
A PIL in the Madras HC has brought attention to the “crippled” state of the Intellectual Property Appellate Board due to insufficient funds to have permanent premises for its principle and circuit benches [TOI]

Maha-NLS dream remains distant
Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan “dodged” the Times’ query regarding schedule of setting up of Nagpur NLS, even though its proposal was earlier promised to be tabled in the winter session of the state legislative assembly. The paper now writes it could be a distant dream [TOI]

02 December 2013

A permanent office for the 11 year old IPAB (Intellectual Property Appellate Board) is now finally in the works in Kovalam, near Chennai, as the state has also invited applications to fill up its vacancies – after pressure from advocates pointing out its mounting workload [Business Standard]

Judges should introspect to keep fit, principles reduce rape in India: Karnataka HC judge AS Pachhapure said “for hours together the judges sit and also be at home, hence it is always better to have proper excise [sic], meditation and spirituality to keep themselves fit”. The HC’s judge L Narayanaswamy said that India has less than 25 per cent the number of America’s rape cases, despite a bigger population “because of our principles” [TOI]

Bench-bar tiffs shouldn’t amount to contempt of court, said UP advocate general Vinay Kumar Mishra in his felicitation address, adding that the bar and the bench are complementary to each other [TOI]

Corporate HR heads are working overtime to sensitise male employees about what is borderline behaviour causing discomfort to women colleagues and may cause the men to end up “unfairly maligned” [TOI]

‘False promise rape’ complaints on the rise: Touching and tragic portrait of family opposed to love marriage, unwanted pregnancy and a rape complaint resulting in marriage [WSJ] as part of a bigger examination of the rape complaints made by women hoping to avoid single parenthood under the ‘broken promise to marry’ doctrine [WSJ]

Nalsar reservations to split between AP / Telangana: Nalsar Hyderabad’s 16 reserved seats, out of a total of 68 LLB seats per batch, will be distributed equally between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana domiciled students post bifurcation of the state [Deccan Chronicle]

TN Lok Adalat settles Rs 1,000 crore: In Tamil Nadu’s Lok Adalat, part of the recent massive National Lok Adalat, more than 13 lakh cases were resolved and Rs 1,041 crores settled [PTI]

Delhi gang rape parents ask SC to try juvenile: The parents of the December 2012 Delhi rape victim have asked the Supreme Court for the 17-year-old accused’s fresh trial in an ordinary criminal court, challenging proceedings against him before the Juvenile Justice Board [TOI]

Madurai judges lost case documents and now have to show cause to the Madras high court. The judges include Madurai’s principal district judge and a few other judicial officers [TOI]

Pick and choose, said the Madras high court while lambasting the state government for contesting all and sundry cases that come to it instead of choosing the deserving ones [Zee News]

29 August 2013

Scanning Google’s fair use: Final arguments this week of Google's eight-year-long battle with US authors’ guild, which alleged copyright infringement by the search engine in scanning 20 million library books and and making them available online [Gigaom]

New IPAB chairman: Former Madras High Court justice KN Basha yesterday assumed charge as Chairman of the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) in Chennai [BS]

Overweight convict disallowed lipo: The Bombay high court has refused to allow a 2005 Aurangabad sex scandal case convict, who is 27 years old and weighs 145 kg, to undergo weight loss surgery [DNA]