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News Update (April 2021)

1. Dance moves can now be protected under the Copyright Law

JaQuel Knight, a well-known dancer, and choreographer became the first person in United States of America to receive copyright protection over dance moves. This unprecedented event took place when he successfully got copyright protection over his choreography for the Single Ladies song by Beyoncé. This has opened doors for other choreographers, dancers, and entertainers to protect their creative outcomes and monetize their choreographies.

2. Who is the owner of the indigenous Covid-19 Vaccine- Covaxin?

In a press conference held earlier in April, the Director-General of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) informed that the Intellectual Property Rights over the indigenous Covid-19 vaccine- Covaxin is held by both the ICMR and Bharat Biotech (the inventor). It was revealed that the rights are held through a Public-Private Partnership executed through a formal Memorandum of Understanding among the two entities. The agreement has elements discussing packaging, cost, distribution, and royalties.

3. Britannia’s plea against ITC’s Sunfeast

Britannia claimed for the relief of injunction in a suit against ITC’s Sunfeast. It was contested that the ITC’s Sunfeast Farmlite Digestive Biscuit was deceptively similar to that of Britannia's NutriChoice Digestive Biscuits. They claimed that ITC was passing off on the goodwill of Britannia. The Delhi High Court rejected Britannia’s injunction plea by stating that the average mind would not find the packaging deceptively similar or confusing as to its origin.

4. Government Ordinance scraps the Intellectual Property Appellant Board

On April 4th, the government promulgated an ordinance called The Tribunal Reforms (Rationalisation and Conditions of Services) Ordinance 2021. This ordinance dismantles five appellant tribunals including the Intellectual Property Appellant Board. All the appeals relating to patens, geographical indications and trademarks will lie with the High Court, whereas appeals relating to copyright law will be entertained by commercial courts. The legislative body was against this decision when a proposal for the same was made earlier as it would increase the burden on High Courts and the dispute settling time.

5. Netflix and Sony Ink Film enter into an exclusive licensing deal

Netflix and Sony entered into a licensing deal for a period of 5 years. The license is for the movies that are either produced by or licensed by Sony in the year 2022. Netflix gets an option of first-look for these movies for the purpose of streaming. This option is made available for 18 months. In addition, Netflix also gets the license of older Sony movies for the purpose of streaming. The exact terms of the agreement were not made public, but the licensing deal is revolutionary for increasing the amount of content on online streaming platforms.

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