The week was a relatively slow one at SpicyIP. The first story to be reported this week was Spadika’s post on Atlantic Industries v. Simon Food Processors, a May 2014 judgment where the Delhi High Court awarded punitive damages in an ex parte order against the defendants for infringement of copyright and trademark; Spadika observed that the basis (‘attempted piracy’) on which the punitive damages were awarded in this case, where no actual loss was shown to have been caused to the plaintiff, was unwarranted.
Next, we had Gopika reporting Whirlpool of India Ltd. v. Videocon Industries Ltd., a case which was recently decided by the Bombay High Court. The two primary issues involved in this case were firstly, whether a suit for infringement of design is maintainable against a registered proprietor of a design and secondly, in the event that such a suit is maintainable, whether there was infringement of design in the instant case.
The first issue was decided in the affirmative and the Court held that a suit for infringement under S.22 of The Designs Act lies against any person including a subsequent registered proprietor; in deciding the second issue, the Court applied the test laid down in Castrol India Limited v. Tide Water Oil Co. (I) Limited and Kemp v. Prima Plastics Limited and held that there was infringement of design in the instant case.
Intellectual Property News from Around the Globe:
• Seeking to boost innovation, Tesla Motors has recently announced that it would not initiate legal proceedings against anyone who uses its patented technology on electric vehicles, so long as the technology is used in good faith.
• As copyright over Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf expires on 31st December 2015, German scholars are contemplating whether the book should be studied or buried.
• Facebook successfully defended itself in a patent infringement lawsuit– the plaintiffs had alleged that the social media company had infringed on patents held by a Dutch programmer who launched a website called “Surfbook” (a Web-based personal diary) more than a decade ago; Facebook argued that the patent should never have been granted on the ground that it would be obvious to people in the trade.
• ‘iFone’, a small firm in Mexico, which registered the name in 2003 much before Apple registered ‘iPhone’, has won a case of trademark infringement against Apple on the ground that the two marks are phonetically similar.
• Pepsico India Holdings Pvt. Ltd. has won a trademark battle over the trademark ‘Aquafina’ against Aqua Mineral (India) which was found to be using a deceptively similar mark ‘Aquafine’.
We would like to bring to remind our readers that a free webinar is scheduled to take place on 24th June, 2014. The webinar on ‘How to Avoid Worthless Patents and Develop a Strong Patent Portfolio?’ is being organized by ipMetrix Consulting Group; please see invite here.