IP News Update: September 2022

  • Netflix Decides to Settle Alleged Copyright Infringement Dispute Over Bridgerton

An Unofficial Bridgerton Musical, produced and directed by Emily Bear and Abigail Barlow was organized to be showcased on the 20th of September. The same was cancelled following a suit by Netflix for alleged copyright infringement of their acclaimed TV Series, Bridgerton. Though Netflix initially praised the duo for their talent and outstanding efforts, the matter worsened between the two when a Grammy was awarded for the musical. Netflix claimed for profits earned unduly and insisted that the duo indulge in a licensing deal if they must continue their show. Both the parties have declared to have reached a settlement outside court, however, the terms of the settlement are not yet disclosed to the public.


  • Zara’s Tussle Over “House of Zana” Trademark

Image taken from House of Zana's Instagram

Zara alleged that Amber Kottri, an England-based entrepreneur had infringed their trademark by using “House of Zana” for her clothing boutique store. After a long-fought battle spread across a year and spending about £30,000 in litigation costs, Amber emerged victorious. The UK Intellectual Property Office held that the marks are not substantially similar as there is no chance for confusion among consumers. The case sheds light on unfair competition and media giants.


  • New-York Based Artist Receives Copyright Registration Over AI-Generated Graphic Novel

Image taken from Kris Kashtanova's Instagram

Kris Kashtanova took to their Instagram to declare that they successfully received a copyright registration from the USPTO over their AI-generated graphic novel, Zarya of the Dawn. This marked a landmark instance as other authors in a similar predicament have failed to receive registration previously. The USPTO clarified that they would still deny any application that claims any one or all of the authors of being an AI since copyright requires the author to be a natural person under the current law. On scanning Kashtanova’s application, it can be noted that there is no mention of the AI used to generate the work, and additionally, Kashtanova is claimed to be the sole author of the work.


  • Telegram’s Singapore origin does not oust Delhi High Court’s Jurisdiction: Justice Pratibha Singh

In a copyright infringement suit over leaked course material, Telegram was directed by the Delhi High Court to provide the names, devices, and IP addresses of all the infringers. In its defense, Amit Sibal, the attorney appearing on behalf of Telegram claimed that all its data was stored in a server based in Singapore, and decrypting such information would be illegal under the Singaporean Data Protection Law. While reasoning that the rightsholder, infringers and the copyrighted material is Indian, Justice Pratibha Singh ordered Telegram to produce the information demanded within 2 weeks' time.


  • Getty Removes All AI-Generated Work From their Platform

Image taken from Tara Winstead

Due to the ambiguous nature of copyright in AI-generated work and infringement thereof, Getty, a leading Gif and image-sharing platform has decided to part ways with any AI-generated content on its website. Its position was clarified by a blog post authored by the CEO, Craig Peters who mentioned that AI-generated works put intermediary platforms in a hairy situation. While most jurisdictions have outrightly denied authorship status to AIs, the question of copyright infringement is yet to be discussed in length.



  • Dior Fails to Receive Trademark Registration for the Shape of its Iconic Saddle Bag in the EU

The Second Board of Appeal of the European Union Intellectual Property Office has denied the registration of the shape of Dior’s Saddle Bag. The Board opined that the shape is not significant enough to qualify the “distinctiveness” standard for trademark registration. It further highlighted that the shape was “typical” in the industry and the shape was a functional aspect of the product rather than a pure indicator of its source.


  • Coinbase Gets Sued for $350 Million Over Patent Infringement Allegations

The US Cryptocurrency trading giant, Coinbase was dragged to the United States District Court for the District of Delaware over patent infringement in value transfer technology. Veritaseum Capital LLC, a blockchain technology firm and the patent holder, claimed that the said technology is being used in a multitude of services offered by Coinbase including Coinbase Cloud, Coinbase Pay, and Coinbase Wallet. It was further added that Coinbase is or would have been aware of the pre-existing patent and the infringement was willful. Coinbase is yet to respond to the allegations levelled against it.


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