Here are our summaries of the blog posts published last week along with the summaries of some interesting orders from different courts. Anything we are missing out on? Please drop a comment and let us know.
Highlight of the Week
The ongoing dispute between Hulm Entertainment and Fantasy Sports before the Delhi High Court is a roller coaster ride, involving intricate elements such as concept notes, the copyrightability of GUIs, and the courts’ oscillating stance regarding interim injunctions. Read the post by Tejaswini and Praharsh to know more.
Free Certificate Course in Application of Intellectual Property Rights for Startups and Entrepreneurship on November 22 and 23. The course is supported by Texas A&M University School of Law and will be delivered in-person at the Centre for Technology and Law, Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology (DA-IICT), Gandhinagar.
NLU Jodhpur’s Journal of Intellectual Property Studies is inviting original, unpublished manuscripts for publication for its upcoming issue. The last date for submissions is January 7, 2024.
Allowing the application to place additional documents on record in a rectification proceeding, the Delhi High Court clarified that the IPD Rules do not contain any provision that prevents taking additional documents on record or that warrants filing all the documents along with respective pleadings.
A Single Judge Bench of the Delhi High Court re-notified the matter for further hearing on November 21. The issue here pertains to the question of whether a patent office located in one place can transfer a patent application to another office in the absence of any specific provision in the law.
Reiterating the principle identified in Louis Vuitton Malletier v. Capital General Store and Jawed Ansari v. Louis Vuitton Malletier & Ors that counterfeiting is a serious economic crime and has to be dealt with seriously, the Delhi High Court passed an ex-parte interim injunction order restraining the respondents from using the plaintiff’s “Court Ace” mark.
The dispute pertains to the use of the plaintiff’s artistic work “Humanity” by the defendant in one of its advertisement hoardings. The defendant argued that since the plaintiff’s work was exhibited in public its reproduction will fall under the ambit of fair use. However, the plaintiff retorted that the work was not permanently situated in the public space. Though the parties were able to reach an agreement and the defendant removed the hoarding and other posts on social media sites, considering the question of whether such a use would fall under Section 52 or not, the court posted the matter for further hearing on February 2.
Relying on Pianotist Co’s test and assessing the phonetic similarity of the competing “Aziwake” and “Aziwoke” marks, the Delhi High Court restrained the defendant from using “Aziwake” mark.
The Calcutta High Court set aside the impugned order rejecting the appellant’s patent application for novel compounds effective against treating and preventing viral infections. The court held that proposals to make amendments in a patent application do not amount to an admission of the invention being non novel and the respondent’s finding that the invention is identical and similar to the cited prior art was not tenable. Furthermore, the court held that though the application was rejected on the basis of objections raised u/s 3(d), the respondent did not indicate the known substance or known efficacy.
Delhi High Court passed an ex-parte interim injunction order restraining the defendants from using IKEA or any other deceptively similar mark. The court held that the mark “IKEA” is extremely well known and deserves to be protected. Considering that the defendant was using the mark for identical goods, and targets the same consumers, the court passed the present order.
Madhya Pradesh High Court refused to set aside the impugned order and grant an interim injunction to the appellant against the respondent’s use of “London Pride” mark and trade dress. The court compared the defendant’s “London Pride” mark and trade dress with the plaintiff’s “Blender’s Pride” mark and “Imperial Blue” trade dress and held that the competing marks are not deceptively similar. The court held that the class of consumers of scotch whiskey is educated and can differentiate between the competing products.
A Division Bench of the Madras High Court upheld the Single Judge’s interim injunction against the appellant’s use of similar blue packaging for their “Mom’s Magic” cookies. The appellants argued that the respondent cannot seek monopoly over blue colour and the competing packaging are different. However, the court held that though there were dissimilarities (like trade name, the biscuit device etc.) between the competing packaging, they were placed meticulously on the wrapper to seem similar to the respondent’s “Good Day” packaging.
Other IP Developments
- Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal lauds India’s grant of 41, 010 patents in 2023-24 so far.
- Even a year after receiving the GI tag, Telangana farmers wait for the red gram board.
- A Division Bench of the Delhi High Court to hear appeal against the Single Judge order in the Sushant Singh Rajput personality rights case.
- Delhi High Court clarifies that the Government is not empowered to fix or revise the “MRP” of the non-scheduled formulations under the Drugs (Price Control) Order.
- Jammu and Kashmir issues labels to approximately 20,000 Pashmina shawls and 9000 carpets so far since 2021 and 2022.
- UK seeks higher protection from India for its GI products in the Agriculture sector.
- India aims to grow pharma sector by four times to USD 200 Billion by 2030.
International IP Development
- ChatGPT Plus subscriptions are being listed on e-bay after the company’s decision to pause new sign ups due to a surge in demand.
- Novartis’s blockbuster drug “Tasigna” faces a decline in the sales as patent term nears to end in January 2024.
- FMC faces class action lawsuits by its investors for failing to disclose information about weakening patent protection and subsequent legal defeats in markets like India, China and Brazil.
- Google sues five unidentified scammers for tricking people looking for Bard AI into downloading malware.