News Update- May 2022
Coke Studio v. Cook Studio
The Coca-Cola Company (“Coca-Cola) went up against The Chawla Group (“Chawla”) over deceptively similar marks- Coke Studio and Cook Studio. Coke Studio is known for its telecasted live music performances. They are well known across numerous South Asian countries for their contribution to music and art. The Chawla used the mark “Cook Studio” for their culinary blog. Coca-Cola had sent multiple to cease and desist notices to Chawla, but the same was not fruitful, hence the suit. The tussle is at its nascent stage as both the parties are being referred for mediation by Justice Pratibha M Singh of the Delhi High Court.
Twitter Shells Out $150 Million Over Settlement Order
Twitter Inc. had been dragged to court over “security and privacy” breaches and misrepresentations. The said misuse was said to take place between 2013 to 2019. Information had been collected by Twitter without disclosing that it would be used for aiding targeted advertisement. The company will pay $150 million as part of the settlement announced by the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Twitter was observed to have dealt with a similar issue in 2011, but the same was kept under wraps.
Pinterest Crushes Copyright infringement claim and emerges victorious in court
Davis, a professional photographer had filed a direct and contributory infringement suit against Pinterest in 2021. The claim mainly contested that Pinterest was aware of all the copyright violations happening on their platform and that they were indifferent to the situation. The suit came forth when the photographer alleged that the copyrights of over fifty of his pictures were violated on the website as they appeared alongside advertisements in the “promoted pins” section. U.S. District Judge Haywood Gilliam Jr. in the Northern District of California held that the mere promotion of these collections (in the form of promoted pins) did not amount to infringement. This would go on record to be the second case to have gone in favour of Pinterest in a copyright infringement suit.
Huawei and SolarEdge Technologies Inc. Come Together to Settle a Long Drawn Patent Litigation
The two companies have signed a global patent license agreement that allows the use of patented technology for further innovation. The agreement includes multiple cross-licenses over each other’s products and technologies. Unconventionally, the same was decided as a part of the settlement reached by both parties in their ongoing patent litigation. This agreement put an end to their suits both in China and Germany. However, the exact terms of the contract and the finer details of the assignment are not made public.
Movie names are valid trademarks: Delhi High Court
The Delhi High Court put an end to the 20-year-old trademark infringement dispute over the popular Hindi cinema title “Sholay”. The suit came to be when the producer of Sholay came across a website called “www.sholay.com”. The defendants claimed that movie titles should not get the same status as that of a trademark as they are not intended to be used in trade. However, the Court rejected this idea and directed the defendant to refrain from using “Sholay” in relation to any goods or services due to its acquired reputation. It further added that film titles can be protected under the trademark law. It awarded damages of 25 Lakhs INR to the producers in furtherance of its order.
Copyright Infringement as per Section 63 is a Non-Bailable Offence
The Supreme Court on May 20th has clarified that offences under Section 63 of the Copyright Act, 1957 (misuse of collective marks) are cognizable and non-bailable. This means that an arrest can be made against anyone who is alleged through an FIR to have infringed copyrights in the context of Section 63 . The judgement reinforces the idea of criminality in copyright law. Since the law is intended to be majorly commercial, scholars and jurists have expressed their dissent towards the judgement and the reasoning provided.
Court Seeks Interventions from IP Academicians over Complex Intellectual Property Matters
The Delhi High Court has sought the intervention of Professor Arul George Scaria of National Law University, Delhi over the interpretation of Section 52(1)(za). The provision provides for an exception for copyright infringement whereby works used in religious ceremonies are expempted from infringement liability. The defendant in this suit claimed that marriage and allied functions and rituals fall under this exception. The Court, considering the wide implications of this judgement sought expert opinion from the NLUD professor.
Karims v. Kareem: A Loss-Loss or Win-Win outcome?
Karims is a coveted restaurant located near Jama Masjid, Delhi. The restaurant serves Mughalai cuisine since 1913 and is well known across the nation for its quality and impeccable taste. Karmis had successfully received trademark registrations in multiple classes. On coming across a similar chain of restaurants under the name of “Kareems” ( in Maharashtra, Karims sought IPAB’s intervention in 2014. Due to inordinate delay, Kareems had opened 41 different franchises. The Delhi High Court, with the intention to strike a balance between both the parties, allowed Kareems to function with a certain set of restrictions and conditions. A gist of the conditions reveals that Kareem's are not allowed to expand further and they are to make it abundantly clear that they are not associated with Karims, Delhi in any form or manner through newspaper posting and advertisement.