AMITABH BACHCHAN V. RAJAT NAGI & ORS.
In 2012 vide order Titan Industries Ltd. v. M/s. Ramkumar Jewellers, 2012 SCC OnLine Del 2382; the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi recognized the ‘publicity rights as a celebrity’ of Mr. Amitabh Bachchan. The present plaint was filed by Mr. Bachchan against the defendants to restrict and stop the unauthorized use of his celebrity status in promoting their own goods and services, without his permission or authorization. The Hon’ble High Court granted an ad-interim ex-parte injunction being convinced that Mr. Bachchan made out a good prima facie case, and was likely to suffer grave irreparable harm and injury to his reputation if the injunction was not granted. The Court by this order restrained the defendants from infringing Mr. Bachchan’s personality rights by misusing his name “Amitabh Bachchan/ Bachchan/ BigB / AB”; his voice, image, his likeness, and/or any other attribute, which is exclusively identifiable with him, for any commercial or personal gain.
AMAZON SELLER SERVICES PVT LTD v/s DISH TV INDIA LTD & ANR
In the present case, the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi on 25th November 2022 upheld the order of the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal. Amazon Seller Services Pvt. Ltd. entered into an agreement with the New Zealand Cricket Board on 24th October 2022, which granted them exclusive media rights to broadcast and international cricket match series organized by the board for the Indian Territory, until 30th April 2026. Amazon also entered into an agreement with Prasar Bharti giving them limited rights to re-transmit the matches, restricted to their DTH platform, and DD Free Dish. However, Amazon contended that no right to re-transmit or re-broadcast the matches on any private or DTH platforms was granted via the agreement. On finding out that the matches were also being broadcast on the platform owned by Dish TV, Amazon issued a cease and desist notice, pursuant to which Prasar Bharti encrypted the content related to the matches broadcast on DD Sports. Dish TV approached the TDSAT opposing the actions of Prasar Bharti, which held that DD Sports was a Free-To-Air channel, which must mandatorily be carried by cable operators as part of their cable services, as directed by the Union Government. Thus, the contents of the channel cannot be encrypted as long as DD Sports is listed as an FTA Channel under the notification. The impugned order directed Dish TV to supply DD Sports in an unencrypted mode during the pendency of the petition. Aggrieved by the same, Amazon approached the Court via the instant writ petition here, and the Court held that the restriction on retransmission of content by Prasar Bharti can only be obtained on its terrestrial and DTH networks, however, this restriction will only be applicable if the content had been expropriated under S. 3 of the 2007 Act. The writ petition and pending applications were dismissed.
(3) Citation: W.P.(C) 16307/2022 & CM APPL. 51085/2022, CM APPL. 51086/2022, CM APPL. 51087/2022
TATA SIA AIRLINES LIMITED V/S VISTARA MEDIA PRIVATE LIMITED
In the present case, the Hon’ble Delhi High Court passed an interim order restraining Vistara Media Pvt. Ltd. from using the registered trademark “Vistara” of Tata Sia Airlines Ltd. Tata Sia Airlines Ltd is seeking a permanent injunction restraining the infringement of its registered and well-known trademark. Their mark “Vistara” had been determined to be a well-known trademark under S. 2 (1) (zg) of the Trademarks Act 1999, in the case of Tata Sia Airlines Pvt. Ltd. V. Pilot18 Aviation Book Store (2019). In 2022, Tata Sia found out that Vistara Media, which engaged in news broadcasting services, was using its trademark. They alleged that Vistara Media clearly has the intention to confuse customers and gain undue benefit from the reputation of Tata Sia, which would result in a loss to their reputation and goodwill, and thus, this was a prima facie case of infringement under S. 29. The Court held that a prima facie case for the grant of an ex-parte ad interim injunction was made out and further that the balance of convenience lies with Tata Sia. The Court also held that Vistara Media be restrained from using the mark, including the use of any variations to the mark. They were also directed to take down their website and domain name.
(2) Citation: CS (COMM) 807 of 2022
ITC LTD. V/S CENTRAL PARK ESTATES PVT. LTD.
In the present case, the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi on 14th Nov’22 has held that the “BUKHARA” mark held by ITC Ltd. is a well-known mark. ITC had filed a suit against Central Park Estates Pvt. Ltd and St. Jerome Hospitality Services Pvt. Ltd. alleging infringement and seeking trademark protection in regards to their “BUKHARA” trademark, utilized in their restaurant and hospitality services. The defendants started using the trademark of “BALKH BUKHARA” in the same stylized manner for their restaurant and even obtained registrations for their mark and logo. Further, it was also alleged that they had copied the interior design and other unique features as well. Thus, ITC Ltd. prayed for a permanent injunction restraining the defendants from using such marks along with damages and other reliefs. The parties eventually reached an amicable agreement with one another, which included the defendants agreeing to no longer use of their mark and making relevant changes, so as to avoid infringement. And lastly, the Court held that ITC Ltd.’s “BUKHARA” mark was a well-known mark under S. 2(zg) read with S. 11(2) of the Trade Marks Act 1999.
(3) Citation: C.O. (COMM.IPD-TM) 763/2022 and I.A. 18332/2022, 18333/2022
SWISS BIKE VERTRJEBS GMBH SUBSIDIARY OF ACCELL GRP. V/S IMPERIAL CYCLES MEG. CO.
In the present case, the plaintiff is a manufacturer and seller of bicycles, cycles, bikes, etc., the company is over 125 years old and was founded in 1887 in Nottingham, UK under the name Raleigh Cycle Co. Ltd with the mark “RALEIGH” being used on their products, The “RALEIGH” mark was registered in 1998. In the 1920s and 30s, some products were manufactured in India by the Sen-Raleigh cycle Factory and were subsequently sold under the mark “SEN-RALEIGH”. In 1939, it adopted the use of the “RALEIGH” mark. The mark was also registered in India. The defendant is also a manufacturer and seller of bicycles, bikes, cycles, etc, and utilizes the mark “RALLIES”. This mark was registered in 1999, but later abandoned. Later, they again filed the same mark under class 12, claiming to be a user since 1999 and were granted registration. The plaintiff claims that the defendant’s usage of “RALLIES” was phonetically similar to their mark. Further, their usage of colour combinations on their bikes, other attributes and even posters were strikingly similar to the plaintiff’s. Lastly, the defendants were also claiming that their products are manufactured in the UK like the plaintiff, and this would result in confusion between the marks since both the products sold and the marks used are so similar. Thus, the plaintiff sought an ad interim injunction, however, the defendant agreed to give up the use of the “RALLIES” trademark, but would require 18 months to clear their present stock, after which they would no longer sell or manufacture cycles under that mark. The Court has given them time till the 15th of Nov’ 23 to dispose of the same.
(3) Citation: CS (COMM) 800/2022 and I.A. 19042/2022
ADOBE, INC. V/S NAMASE PATEL AND ORS.
In the present case, the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi granted an ex parte injunction against the defendant. The defendants have been accused of infringing the various trademarks registered by the plaintiff, which have also been recognized as well-known trademarks under S. 2(zg) of the Trade Marks Act 1999. The defendants are alleged to have infringed the plaintiff’s trademark “ADOBE” by using confusingly similar marks in their domain names such as www.addobe.com and www.adobee.com. The marks of “PHOTOSHOP” and “SPARK” have been infringed by the defendant’s usage of the same in the sub-domains of his websites, which are used to install malware on the computers of unaware users. Lastly, the defendants have utilized a “catch-all” email service such as Above.com, which allows the defendants to access the emails of individuals by having them sent to their own account instead of the account it was intended to be sent to. Since several of the defendants did not appear before the court, the court proceeded against them with an ex parte injunction and ordered the infringing websites to be blocked. The permanent injunction against the defendant was granted and the court held that the plaintiff is entitled to damages in the amount of Rs. 20,01,000/-.
(3) Citation: CS(COMM) 159/2022
APNATIME TECH PVT. LTD. AND ANR. V/S ANIK DEV NATH AND ORS.
In the present case, the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi granted an ex parte ad interim injunction to the plaintiff in regard to a case of passing off and copyright infringement. The plaintiff created a unique networking platform for the purpose of making better economic, networking and skill-development opportunities for blue and grey collar workers. They used the mark “APNA” as a trade name or service mark for their various endeavors, which included a website called www.apna.com, and even a mobile app for searching for jobs called “APNAJOBSEARCH”. They also used various other trademarks such as ApnaJobs, ApnaChats, ApnaCircle and so on, along with stylized fonts. The plaintiffs have filed applications to register their various marks under different classes, but the same is still pending. In regards to copyright, the plaintiffs are the owners of the copyright of the website layout and the mobile app user interface. The defendants are operating a website called www.apnajobs.org and are also utilizing the trademarks of the plaintiff. Additionally, they are also accused of copying the website layout and app interface. The plaintiff also contended that the defendants operate by calling up customers and offering them jobs and coercing them to register on their website by paying a nominal fee and later, after registration charging customers huge amounts. Further, the page does not get directed to an active page, which amounts to fraud and results in the plaintiff suffering from loss of goodwill and reputation. Further, the defendants are also violating their copyright. The court held that the plaintiff had made a prima facie case for ex parte ad interim injunction and thus, the same was granted.
(3) Citation: CS(COMM) 818/2022
M/S MRT MUSIC V/S RAHUL GANDHI AND ORS.
In the present case, the plaintiff is MRT Music, a Bangalore-based music label, which owns the music and songs of the film KGF 2. They have filed a case of copyright infringement under S. 63 of the Copyright Act 1957 amongst various other charges, against the Indian National Congress and in particular, Rahul Gandhi, Supriya Srinate, and Jairam Ramesh. The plaintiff states that the defendants have utilized the music owned by the plaintiff without their permission and used it in their promotional videos of the defendants’ “Bharat Jodo Yatra”. The Commercial Court, Bangalore has passed an ex-parte injunction, which has temporarily blocked the Twitter accounts of the INC and the Bharat Jodo Yatra. The Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka has partly allowed an appeal by agreeing to set aside the order, subject to the condition that all material infringing the copyright of the plaintiff must be removed from the social media accounts of the Congress Party.