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IP News Update: June 2023

  • Dua Lipa Wins Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Against a Band

Dua Lipa has won the copyright infringement against the band, Artikal Sound System (“Artikal”). Artikal claimed that she derived her song 'Levitating' from their 2017 song 'Live Your Life.' The California District Court held that they could not conclude that there was copyright infringement as no one involved in creating 'Levitating' had “access” to the song by Artikal. The band argued that their song was so widely-played that its writers must have heard the tune and subconsciously incorporated it. However, their argument was considered “too generic or too insubstantial” to sustain the lawsuit, and the case was dismissed.

  • Congress Leader Rahul Gandhi in Copyright Infringement Turmoil for Using a KGF Song

Congress leaders, Rahul Gandhi, Jairam Ramesh & Supriya Shrinate are alleged to have used the music from the blockbuster Kannada film 'KGF-2' during the Congress party's 'Bharat Jodo Yatra'. MRT Music record label, which owns the rights to 'KGF: Chapter 2' music, filed a case against these leaders under section 63 of the Copyright Act. Section 63 provides punishment of imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months. The FIR was registered at Yeshwanthpur Police Station, Bengaluru. The leaders had approached the Karnataka High Court to quash the FIR. However, the Karnataka High Court refused to quash the FIR and held that using the song in the campaign amounts to copyright infringement and directed to continue the investigation.

  • Refusal of Interim Relief To Shemaroo in Copyright Infringement Case Against T-Series

The Bombay High Court has refused to grant interim relief in its copyright infringement suit against T-Series. Shemaroo had filed a plea alleging that T-Series was publishing audio-visuals of film songs on its YouTube channel without permission. However, Shemaroo argued that it held valid licenses to the copyrights for those songs. The Court observed that Shemaroo had failed to present a prima facie evidence compelling case in its favor. Accordingly, the Court denied any interim relief to Shemaroo.

  • Jack Daniel's Wins the Trademark Dispute With Dog Toy Maker

We had previously published a news update regarding the trademark dispute between Jack Daniels, a famous liquor brand, and VIP Products LLC., a dog toy company. The U.S. Supreme Court has now ruled in favour of Jack Daniels in this case. The Court upheld the decision of the District Court that VIP used the Bad Spaniels trademark and trade dress as source identifiers. The Court, by denying VIP’s fair use defense, held that the fair use exclusion would not apply if the defendant used a similar mark for the purpose of source identification.

  • KFC has no Exclusive Right in the Word ‘Chicken’

The American fast food restaurant chain, Kentucky Fried Chicken (“KFC”) had filed an appeal under Section 91 of the Trade Marks Act, 1999 against the order of refusal for registration of the mark “Chicken Zinger” by the Senior Examiner of Trade Marks. The Delhi High Court has held that KFC has no exclusive right to the word “Chicken”. However, the Court had allowed KFC to file for registration of the mark “Chicken Zinger” under Class 29.

  • Jury Orders Google to Pay $15.1 Million in Patent Infringement Case

Personal Audio LLC, a Texas-based company, had filed a patent infringement suit against Google alleging that Google's music app, Google Play Music, infringed upon their patented technologies. The US state of Delaware’s federal jury ruled that Google must pay Personal Audio LLC USD 15.1 million for infringing two audio software patents. The jury also determined that Google had willfully infringed upon these patents, which could potentially result in the judge awarding treble damages.

  • India Decides Against Extending Drug Patents in UK, EU Trade Talks

At the round of talks for the proposed free trade agreement, there were requests by the UK and the EU to amend India's Patents Act to allow the 'evergreening' of pharma patents. However, India has rejected extending drug patents. It was emphasised that India does not accept patent monopolies and there would be no compromise on the support given to Indian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the pharmaceutical industry during government procurement.

  • Uttar Pradesh’s Unique Products Procures GI tag

Uttar Pradesh’s Baghpat home furnishing, Amroha dholak, Kalpi handmade paper, and Barabanki handloom have recently received Geographical Indication (GI) tags. Uttar Pradesh now has over 52 GI-certified products with the addition of these four new goods. Another interesting fact is that Kalpi handmade paper is the first to receive the GI tag under the handmade paper category.

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