Our thematic highlight came from Prarthana, who wrote on the impact of intellectual property law may on culture. In her post, she discusses the meaning of the term ‘cultural appropriation’, which she notes may be lost due to incorrect usage. She notes that the crossroads between intellectual property and culture comes most concretely in WIPO’s draft articles on ‘traditional cultural expressions’, which speaks of protecting community rights over cultural expressions and manifestations. She concludes by discussing two recent examples of alleged appropriation and argues that folding it within the legal framework is difficult, especially because an accurate definition of cultural expressions is impossible in a subjectively determined world.
Pankhuri informed us that ITechLaw is organising the 15th ITechLaw 2019 International India Conference from January 30, 2019 to February 1, 2019 at the JW Marriott in Bangalore.
Blueberry Books & Others v. Bharti Goyal & Another – Delhi High Court [January 14, 2019]
The Plaintiffs had filed a suit in order to seek declarations that they were the owners of copyrights in the books “EIGHT SCIENCE OLYMPIAD BOOKS PARTS 1-8” and “MATHS OLYMPIAD PARTS 1-6” in light of the executed agreement with the Defendant. It was claimed by the Defendant that the firm was not a registered partnership, and in light of the same, the declaratory suit would fail. The Court held in favour of the Defendant and stated that the mandatory provisions of the Partnership Act would apply, and the Plaintiff being an unregistered partnership firm could not file a suit for enforcing a right arising from a contract without it being registered.
M/s. Millennium Automation & Systems v. M/s. Celkon Impex Private Limited – Delhi High Court [January 15, 2019]
The Court granted an ex parte permanent injunction restraining the Defendant from infringing and passing off the Plaintiff’s registered mark “MILLENNIUM” by using a deceptively similar mark “CELKON MILLENNIUM” in respect of mobile phones. The Court examined the evidence placed on record and observed that the Plaintiff was the registered proprietor of the mark “MILLENNIUM” and was using the same in its corporate name as well. The Court further noted that the Defendant’s use of the mark even if done innocently would not confer any rights upon it in violation of the Plaintiff’s registered mark.
Mallcom (India) Limited & Another v. Rakesh Kumar & Others – Delhi High Court [January 17, 2019]
The Court found the interim injunction restraining the Defendant from infringing and passing off the Plaintiff’s registered mark “TIGER” by using a deceptively similar mark “TICER” in respect of safety shoes, valid. In arriving at this decision, the Court noted that the font of the rival marks was identical and that the Defendant had merely replaced the alphabet “G” with alphabet “C” to create confusion in the minds of the general public.
Bigtree Entertainment Private Limited v. D. Sharma & Another – Delhi High Court [January 21, 2019]
The dispute between the parties arose on the Defendant’s use of the prefix “BOOKMY” in its domain name and corporate name in relation to booking of events. The Plaintiff “BOOKMYSHOW” claimed sole proprietary rights over the prefix “BOOKMY” and thereby prayed for an injunction in its favour. The Court noted that it could not be lost sight of that the phrase “BOOKMY” was descriptive of the services offered by the Plaintiff and was a generic English term. Moreover, the rival marks were different in their appearance and would not lead to confusion among the public. In light thereof, it was concluded that the Plaintiff had failed to make a prima facie case for an injunction.
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