SpicyIP Weekly Review (November 26 – December 2)

The topical highlights for this week, were brought by Prashant and Prateek, respectively –

Prashant reported on the recent call for applications made by the DIPP, for certain appointments to the IPAB. Prashant notes that the DIPP’s decision to proceed with these appointments is strange, considering the Rules under which the appointments are to be made, as well as the Finance Act governing the Rules, have both been challenged. After reiterating some of the deep rooted issues concerning the Finance Act, Prashant argues that the DIPP should not go ahead with the appointments, until there is judicial clarity on the constitutionality of the Finance Act, and other legislation that governs such appointments.

Prateek wrote on the recent, widely discussed Delhi High Court order concerning infringement of the mark, ‘Barbie’ in the case of Mattel Inc. v. Aman Bijal Mehta. In his post, Prateek deals with one of the issues that came up for consideration before the Delhi HC i.e. the application made by Mattel, to have the ex-parte proceedings conducted in camera. The Court dis-allowed this application, and held that conducting in camera proceedings only at the interim stage would serve no purpose, as ultimately, details of the dispute are bound to come out into the open. Among other things, Prateek argues that the Court oversimplified the issue, and did not give due consideration to all the arguments put forward by Mattel.

This week’s thematic highlight is Harsha’s post on the troubles faced by artists in the Carnatic Music Industry. Through his post, Harsha first outlines the intersection between copyright law and Carnatic music, and then narrates some interesting conversations he’s had with Carnatic artists. The conversations throw light on inter alia, major copyright concerns in the Carnatic music industry, bullying tactics adopted against these artists by Carnatic music labels, the lack of public awareness of the same, and lack of modes of legal remedy available to such artists. At the end of his post, Harsha promises a second part to his riveting story – so stay tuned!

Finally, Mathews brought us a case note on Verizon Trademark Services LLC & Ors v. Mr. Parth Solanki & Anr. The order discusses judicial approach towards ex-parte proceedings, and Mathews uses this case note to try and provide for us a refresher of sorts. He takes us through the brief facts of the case, and then dives into the primary approach to ex-parte proceedings – that when the averments/evidence produced by the plaintiffs are not rebutted, the law does not place a heavy burden of proof on the part of the plaintiff. Finally, he argues against the court’s refusal to deal with the issue of whether or not the plaintiff’s mark was a “well known” mark, on the grounds that the same was not contested.

Other Developments



Munish Kumar Singla v. Jollibee Foods Corporation, Delhi High Court [20 November, 2017]

The court reversed an order passed by the trial court granting ex-parte interim relief to the Plaintiff/Respondents against the Defendants/Appellants for infringement of their registered trademark and copyright of an image of a bee. The court refused to grant relief as the Defendant was engaged in a business which was completely different from that of the Plaintiff, and because the Plaintiff despite having registered their trademark had not yet commenced their business in India.



Sreyoshi Guha

Sreyoshi is a law student at Symbiosis Law School, Pune. Her favourite thing about Intellectual Property Law is Copyrights. She can usually be found doing one of three things: dog-earing her favourite pages of her books, looking up a Zomato menu, or day-dreaming of the day she'll finally meet John Mayer. She doesn't have any notable achievements, except probably that one time when she encountered a crazy pigeon, and lived to tell the tale. Send her your thoughts at: [email protected]

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