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News Updates: November 2023

Google Sues Copyright Scammers

Google has filed a lawsuit against two Vietnamese scammers, Nguyen Van Duc and Pham Van Thien, who created at least 65 Google accounts and submitted thousands of fraudulent notices under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The scammers submitted complaints against more than 117,000 third-party website URLs to harm their business competitors. Google highlighted that "these fraudulent claims resulted in the removal of over 100,000 businesses’ websites, costing them millions of dollars and thousands of hours in lost employee time."

Gujarat HC: Duplicate Spare Parts of Computer Hardware are not Literary, Musical, or Artistic works

The Gujarat High Court has recently held that the sale of duplicate spare parts of computer hardware does not warrant criminal prosecution under the Copyright Act, 1957. Sections 51 and 63 of the Copyright Act lay down the criminal sanctions for copyright infringement. In a case where an FIR was filed for the sale of duplicate computer spare parts, the Gujarat High Court clarified that “...even if, the FIR is taken at its face value, it refers to items, which do not fall within the artistic work as defined under Section 2(c) of the Copyright Act, 1957. It cannot be said that the spare-part is literal work or musical work.”

The Delhi High Court Issues Injunctions Against 45 Rogue Websites

Six American studios, including Universal, Warner Bros, Columbia, Netflix, Paramount, and Disney had moved the Delhi High Court for injunctive relief against 45 websites. These “rogue” websites illegally streamed online shows and films including Stranger Things, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Batman, Spider-Man: No Way Home, Top Gun: Maverick, and The Jungle Book. Justice Pratibha Singh restrained these websites from making public the Hollywood studios’ copyrighted content.

The Government of Cyprus Protects Its ‘Halloumi’ Trademark

Halloumi, a trademark owned by the government of Cyprus, pertains to Cypriot cheese having unique characteristics. Ahmedabad-based Flavi Dairy Solutions (“Flavi”) filed for registration of the figurative trademark containing the expression “Halloumi” in 2021 at the Indian Trademark Registry. The Cyprus Government objected to the application and argued that Halloumi was a well-known mark that was inextricably associated with Cyprus. Since Flavi did not contest the opposition, the Trade Marks Registry on 20 November 2023 passed an order treating the application as abandoned.

MakeMyTrip wins the Trademark Battle Against Dialmytrip

In response to a suit filed by MakeMyTrip, the Delhi High Court has imposed a restraining order against Dialmytrip, preventing the use of its name in travel services. According to the Court, MakeMyTrip and Dialmytrip, have "confusingly similar" names, especially when it comes to online travel businesses. The Court also ordered the company to cease using the domain name for travel-related services, including tours, hospitality, hotel cabs, and other relevant offerings.

US Jury Asks TCS to Pay $ 210 Million in a Trade Secret Misappropriation Suit

The jury in the Texas Federal Court has ordered Tata Consultancy Services (“TCS”) to pay $210 million for allegedly misappropriating DXC's source code to create TCS Bancs, a software platform. The jury concluded that TCS had violated CSC's proprietary systems to get access to a trade secret. This follows an order for TCS to pay $140 million related to the Epic Systems case. TCS is not in agreement with the jury's decision and has filed an appeal where the Court will determine its fate.

Lenovo Files Patent Infringement Action Against ASUS

Lenovo USA, a subsidiary of the worldwide technology corporation, Lenovo Group, filed a patent infringement case with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) against ASUS Computer Inc. (“ASUS”) and other ASUS subsidiaries for infringement of several Lenovo patents relating to software, hardware, and connectivity across various ASUS products. The application was filed in response to ASUS' August 2023 submissions in the Regional Court (Munich) relating to cellular technologies, in which Lenovo had proposed a cross-license agreement as a solution.

Kashmir’s Kishtwar Saffron Receives GI Tag

Saffron from the mountainous Kishtwar region of Jammu and Kashmir, has been granted a Geographical Indication (GI) tag by the GI Registry. The spice is grown in Kishtwar district of Jammu as well as other parts of Kashmir. This highest quality saffron, also known as Kumkum, is legendarily the most expensive, and also an important cash crop in Kishtwar. The area where the saffron is produced is called the “Mandal” and growing saffron has represented the cultural heritage of freshness and purity in those areas. 

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