The Delhi High Court Judgement in the IPRS Case (2021)
In this post, Adarsh Ramanujan analyses the Delhi High Court’s recent judgment in IPRS v. Entertainment Network (India) Ltd. The judgment has been appealed, and the Division Bench has issued notice in the matter, with the interim direction that the judgment from the Single Judge will not be treated as a precedent in other proceedings. Adarsh points to the Court’s finding that IPRS took self-contradictory legal positions in the two suits considered in the case. He also notes that the disposal of the suits summarily under Section 151 of the Civil Procedure Code (CPC) was questionable since invoking the section for this purpose amounts to circumventing other provisions of the CPC. He also examines the issue of the Court basing its final decision in this case upon a prior interim order despite interim orders not serving as precedents for final decisions. He notes that adopting the reasoning of an interim order, in a case where there was no application for summary disposal, and forcing the other party to demonstrate the need for a trial, affects due process. Further, he provides a list of pertinent questions left unanswered by the Single Judge decision under appeal, including the interpretation of the proviso to section 17 as well as the possibility of its retrospective application. He concludes with the hope that the Division Bench will answer these questions.
Call for Papers: NLU Jodhpur’s Journal of Intellectual Property Studies Vol. 4, Issue 2 [Submit by March 21]
We recently informed our readers regarding a call for papers by NLU Jodhpur’s Journal of Intellectual Property Studies. Original, unpublished manuscripts have been invited for publication in the Summer 2021 Issue (Volume IV, Issue II) of the Journal. Manuscripts may be submitted via email at [email protected]. The submission guidelines are available here.
Decisions from Indian Courts
A commercial court in Pune in the case of refused to pass an interim injunction in favour of Cutis Biotech restraining the Serum Institute of India from using the trademark COVISHIELD for its vaccine for the Coronavirus pandemic. [January 30, 2021]
- The Delhi High Court in Centrient Pharmaceuticals v. Dalas Biotech Ltd., refused to direct the defendant to answer the interrogatories detailed by the plaintiffs, noting that a roving and fishing inquiry cannot be allowed through the process of interrogatories. The case concerned a permanent injunction sought by the plaintiff restraining the defendant from violating and infringing the plaintiff’s in its patent for the “Process for preparing Amoxicillin Trihydrate”. [January 27, 2021]
- The Delhi High Court in Dassault Systemes Solidworks v. Spartan Engineering Industries Pvt. Ltd., granted an ad interim ex parte injunction restraining the defendant from infringing the plaintiff’s copyright in the SOLIDWORKS software [January 28, 2021]
- The Delhi High Court in R. Industries Pvt. Ltd. v. Mohan Meakin Ltd., held that the plaintiff could not be said satisfy the essential ingredient of a prima facie case by demonstrating that it was the prior user of the impugned mark or that defendant’s use of the mark would cause it irreparable injury. Hence, the Court vacated the ex parte ad-interim injunction granted against the defendant and dismissed the plaintiff’s application for grant of ad-interim injunction. [January 29, 2021]
- The Delhi High Court in John Hart Jr. & Anr. v. Mukul Deora & Ors., refused to grant an injunction against the release of the film, ‘The White Tiger’ on Netflix based on the plaintiff’s allegations regarding copyright infringement less than 24 hours prior to the release of the film. The Court held that an injunction was not necessary since the plaintiff’s could be monetarily compensated later if they succeeded in the case, and directed the defendants to keep detailed accounts of the earnings made from the film so that, at any later stage, were the plaintiffs to succeed, award of damages or monetary compensation could be facilitated. [January 21, 2021]
- The Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (Mumbai) in Trimble Solutions v. Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax partly allowed the appellants’ plea, holding that the payments received by the assessee towards distribution of sub-releases and main releases were for a right to provide a copyrighted article i.e. software updates, which was akin to the amounts received for distribution of the specialized off-the-shelf software products, and not for any right to use the copyright embedded in the said copyrighted article (i.e. software products). Thus, the Court held that the same could not be construed as “royalty” income, and would be the “business income” of the assessee. [January 18, 2021]
- The Delhi High Court in Glaxo Group Ltd. v. Zuche Pharmaceuticals Pvt. Ltd., granted an ex-parte ad interim injunction upon being satisfied by the plaintiff’s prima facie case, and restrained the defendants from selling pharmaceutical or cosmetic products containing the ingredients Betamethasone Valerate and Neomycin, packaged in a manner that is similar to the plaintiff’s packaging and infringes the plaintiff’s mark BETNOVATE. [January 22, 2021]
- The Delhi High Court in Zenith Dance Institute Pvt. Ltd. v. Zenith Dancing & Music, granted an ex-parte ad interim injunction upon being satisfied by the plaintiff’s prima facie case, and restrained the defendants from infringing the plaintiff’s mark ZENITH by using it in conjunction with their goods and services. [January 22, 2021]
Other News from around the Country
- The Designs (Amendment) Rules, 2021, came into force on January 25, 2021.
- The Crime Intelligence Unit carried out raids on the offices of Mahamovies channel in Delhi in connection with a copyright and cheating case filed by late producer Prakash Mehra’s son regarding the channel airing Mehra’s hits despite having no right to do so.
- In an article for The Wire, Shambhavi Sinha argued that compulsory licensing can be a powerful public health tool to work around concerns over insufficient supply of important pharmaceutical products.
- The Gujarat Police arrested four persons in Surat for selling whole wheat flour while infringing the Jio trademark, post a complaint by Reliance Jio.
- In an article for The Indian Express, Pranav Mukul examines the broader implications of Google and Facebook’s skirmish in Australia regarding sharing of royalties with news publishers, upon India and the regulation of news media and digital platforms in our country.
News from around the World
n an article for The Print, Nayanima Basu highlighted that US and Europe still oppose India and South Africa’s WTO proposal to waive IPR restrictions concerning Covid-19 vaccines, and the TRIPS Council has set up another meeting to discuss the same on February 4, 2021.
- Continental AG sued Nokia before a U.S. court for determination of a fair payment for using Nokia Oyj patented technology in the case of Continental Automotive Systems Inc. v. Nokia Corp., 2021-66, Delaware Chancery Court (Wilmington).
- A New York judge denied Microsoft a fresh trial when Microsoft endeavoured to overturn a 2020 judgement holding it liable for infringing a database interface patent.
- The divorced Welsh and British designers David and Elizabeth Emanuel are engaged in a legal battle regarding reproduction of sketches of Princess Diana’s legendary gown. David filed a lawsuit alleging copyright infringement against Elizabeth for creating “eight drawings which constitute a reproduction of the design drawings” that the erstwhile couple had jointly created.
- Shares in Apple Inc.’s supplier Luxshare Precision Industry fell by around 9.5% due to concerns regarding a patent infringement investigation filed by U.S.-based Amphenol Corp.