Rahul Bajaj

Rahul Bajaj is a fourth year law student at the University of Nagpur. His interest in intellectual property law began taking a concrete shape when he pursued Professor William Fisher's online course on copyright law in the second year of law school. Since then, Rahul has worked on a diverse array of IP matters during his internships. He is particularly interested in studying the role of intellectual property law in facilitating access to education.

Copyright

Petition Filed in Supreme Court to Challenge Constitutionality of Provisions on Compulsory and Statutory Licensing in the Copyright Act


In a notable development, Lahari Recording Company has challenged two provisions of the Copyright Act, 1957 (“Act”) in the Supreme Court. The gravamen of Lahari’s case is that the impugned provisions infringe their fundamental and constitutional rights and fundamentally alter the bargain that the copyright system is founded upon, by taking away the incentive for copyright owners to create original content. At issue are Sections 31(1)(b) and 31D of the Act. While the former puts in place a system of…


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Copyright

In a Copyright Infringement Dispute, Delhi High Court Holds That Makers of KBC Didn’t Engage in Copyright Infringement


In a judgment delivered last Friday, Justice Valmiki Mehta of the Delhi High Court (“Court”) ruled on a copyright infringement dispute which involved the application of well settled legal principles, but to a very interesting fact pattern. The facts of the case lie in a very narrow compass. The Appellants have a registered copyright for a concept called Jeeto Unlimited (“Jeeto”). Jeeto entails an arrangement whereby home viewers of a quiz show are able to participate live in a quiz…


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Trademark

In a Trademark Registration Dispute, Supreme Court Arrives at Correct Destination, Albeit By Adopting a Legally Suspect Path


In an interesting judgment delivered late last month, a Supreme Court (“Court”) bench consisting of Justices A.K. Sikri and Ashok Bhushan ruled on the principles to be adopted for resolving trademark disputes concerning goods or services falling within the same class(s). While the Court appears to have arrived at the correct destination, I share Eashan Ghosh’s view that the Court could have adopted a more legally robust path in arriving at that destination. [Long post ahead!] Factual matrix The Respondent,…


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Trademark

In a Passing Off Suit, Delhi HC Refuses to Grant Interim Relief by Adopting Dubious Logic


In an interesting judgment delivered earlier this month, the Delhi High Court adopted a highly tenuous (and bizarre) line of reasoning in arriving at the conclusion that the plaintiff was not entitled to passing off relief at the interim stage. But first, the facts. Plaintiff No. 1, one Rohit Singh, a software developer who works for plaintiff no. 2, Vyooh Low Level Computing LLP, claimed that he developed a proprietary software product called Split View. The distinctive attribute of this…


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Copyright

In a Deeply Problematic 2012 Judgment, Bombay High Court Held That Copyright Registration is Mandatory for Maintaining an Action for Infringement


As Professor Joshua Sarnoff eloquently noted on this Blog, copyright is first and foremost an assertion by the creator. This being so, registration of a copyright is not mandatory for maintaining an action for infringement. Indeed, to quote Prashant, the principle that registration of a copyright is not mandatory is one of the holy sacraments of the Berne Convention. It is with great dismay, therefore, that we recently found out about a deeply problematic 2012 judgment from the Bombay High…


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Patent

In a Well-Reasoned Judgment, Delhi High Court Rules in Plaintiff’s Favour in a Suit for Patent Infringement


In a well-reasoned judgment issued recently, the Delhi High Court (“Court”) adjudicated upon a suit for patent infringement comprising three patents over insecticides and herbicides. The three patents owned by the plaintiff relate to a herbicidal composition. The distinctive attribute of the composition developed by the plaintiff is this: it is an amalgam of 2 compounds each of which combats different kinds of weeds. More specifically, the composition consists of a compound called Metsulfuron, which controls grassy weeds and a…


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Trademark

Bombay High Court Comes Down Heavily on Listed Pharma Company for Engaging in Persistent Trademark Infringement


In a notable development, the Bombay High Court (“Court”) recently came down heavily on Syncom Formulation (India) Limited, a listed pharma company, for circumventing court orders and engaging in infringing conduct in a persistent fashion. The Court’s observations came in a suit for trademark infringement filed by the plaintiff, Shalina Labratories, as regards its medicinal and pharmaceutical preparations. On the whole, the case appears to be an open-and-shut case of trademark infringement, inasmuch as the Court returned a clear finding…


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Designs

Delhi High Court Vacates Injunction in Plaintiff’s Favour in a Case on the Design of Ball Point Pens


In a comprehensive and well-reasoned judgment issued last month, Justice Valmiki Mehta of the Delhi High Court (“Court”) vacated an interim injunction in a design infringement case. While the facts of the case are fairly straightforward and the conclusion arrived at by the court is founded upon a reaffirmation of well settled legal principles, some consequences flowing from the judgment merit deeper scrutiny. The judgment arose out of an application for the grant of injunction filed by the plaintiff, Pentel…


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Trademark

In a Misguided Step, Supreme Court Stays Karnataka High Court Judgment on Health Warnings on Tobacco Products


While few would disagree with the broad proposition that the commercial interest of profit-driven businesses has to be balanced with the interest of the public, the precise manner in which such a balance has to be struck continues to remain a deeply contested issue. One key arena in which efforts to achieve this balance have received sustained attention on this Blog relates to the imposition of plain packaging restrictions and health warnings on Tobacco products. Simply put, such restrictions curb…


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Trademark

In the Latest Example of a Worrying Trend, UK SC Sanctions Criminal Prosecution for Trademark Infringement of Grey Market Products


In several jurisdictions across the globe, the increasing use of criminal law as a tool to deal with wrongful conduct which lacks the attributes traditionally associated with a crime has emerged as a key area in which comprehensive legal reform is needed. This trend, which jurists have described as the crisis of over-criminalization manifests itself in several ways – from the use of the criminal law as an instrument to punish consumption of harmless drugs to the penalization of same-sex…


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