PREETENDRA SINGH AULAKH V/S GREEN LIGHT FOODS PVT. LTD: MERE ADDITION OF WORDS NOT SUFFICIENT TO DISTINGUISH TWO MARKS
Monsoon Harvest Farms, the plaintiff, is in the business of selling edible oils, raw and unprocessed agricultural and horticultural products since the 1970s. He and his firm adopted the mark ‘Moonsoon Harvest Farms’ in November of 2006. However, in 2015, the defendant began using the mark ‘Monsoon Harvest’ for their business. Therefore, the plaintiff filed a suit for trademark infringement.
The Court rejected the defendant’s argument that their company had adopted a new mark ‘Wingreens Monsoon Harvest’, which created a sufficient difference between the marks of the plaintiff and the defendant and erased any question of infringement or passing off. The Court observed that merely adding a word was not sufficient to distinguish two marks when applying the test of a buyer with average intelligence and imperfect recollection. Finding a prima facie case in favor of the plaintiff, the Court passed an order of interim injunction against the defendant.
(1) Preetendra Singh Aulakh v/s Green Light Foods Pvt. Ltd; CS(COMM) 509/2020
‘FLYING EAGLE’ DECLARED TO BE WELL-KNOWN TRADEMARK
The plaintiff had filed a suit seeking a permanent injunction against the defendant to restrain them from infringing the trademark. In the judgment dated 25th April, 2023, the High Court held that the long usage of the mark by the plaintiff, along with the goodwill vested in it, entitled the plaintiff to the grant of permanent injunction and a decree against the defendant. Thus, the Court imposed damages of 3 lakhs on the defendants.
In the application filed under S. 152 read with S. 153 of the CPC, 1908 for rectification of an error in judgment, the plaintiff submitted that the Court did not record the ‘Flying Eagle’ mark as a well-known trademark in the judgment, despite having made an oral observation regarding the same. The Court after analyzing the documents and making note of the submission, declared the ‘Flying Eagle’ mark as a well-known trademark in terms of Section 2(1) (zg) and Section 11(6) of the Trade Marks Act, 1999.
(1) Retail Royalty Company & Anr. v/s Nirbhay Marg News Broadcast Private Limited; CS(COMM) 601/2022
DYNAMIC INJUNCTION ISSUED AGAINST INSTAGRAM ACCOUNTS INFRINGING COPYRIGHT OF ‘SCAM 1992’
Applause Entertainment Pvt. Ltd, the plaintiff, discovered that around 33 Instagram accounts were promoting their business activities by using substantial parts and clips of their web series ‘Scam 1992’. Instagram did not take any action despite several complaints, and thus the plaintiff filed a copyright infringement suit against both Instagram and the users, seeking an ad-interim relief against the specific users, and an Ashok Kumar order against all unknown persons who might use other accounts to further violate the plaintiff’s rights.
The Hon’ble High Court of Bombay observed that the copyright in the web series prima facie belonged to the plaintiff, and as such, any other communication made to the public would be a violation of such rights. Finding that the Instagram accounts prima facie violated the plaintiff’s proprietary rights, and continued violation would cause the plaintiff to suffer from irreparable loss, the Court granted a dynamic injunction in favor of the plaintiff.
Instagram has been directed to remove the accounts and infringing posts mentioned in the plaint, along with any infringing posts the plaintiff may share with it from now on. The Court also directed Instagram to reveal the contact details, IP addresses, and physical location/addresses of the infringing accounts to the Court and the plaintiff.
(1) Applause Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. v. Meta Platforms Inc. and Ors; I.A (Lodging) No. 10257/2023 in Commercial IP Suit (Lodging) No. 10238/2023
ED SHEERAN WINS MARVIN GAYE COPYRIGHT CASE
A case was filed in the Manhatten Federal Court against Ed Sheeran. The accusation was that Ed Sheeran had copied his song “Thinking Out Loud” from Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On”. The plaintiffs claimed that the copied elements included a stock chord progression and syncopated rhythmic pattern. These elements are generic in music, comparable to the alphabet in a language, and therefore not protected by copyright on their own. Therefore, the plaintiffs had to prove that they arranged these elements in a combination so unique that it was original enough to warrant protection.
Ultimately, however, the jury declared that the song “Thinking Out Loud” was independently created, and as it is a complete defense to copyright infringement, Ed Sheeran won the case. The jury did not entertain whether the elements claimed by the plaintiff’s warranted protection.
NEW REGULATION TO OFFER GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATION TO CRAFT AND INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTS AT A NEW LEVEL
The Council and the European Parliament reached a provisional agreement on protecting craft and industrial products as geographical indications on May 2, 2023.
So far, only foods, beverages, and other agricultural products were capable of registration at the EU level, however, upon the approval of this new regulation, craft and industrial products will be protected as geographical indications at the EU level as well.
The new regulation will promote and protect the traditional knowledge of the artisans and producers at the EU level in compliance with the EU competition laws. Also, the European Union Intellectual Property Office will gain the competence to manage the registration procedure for craft and industrial GIs.
PATENT VIFOR (INTERNATIONAL) LTD. & ANR. v/s J.B. CHEMICALS AND PHARMACEUTICALS LIMITED: DEFENDANTS RESTRAINED FROM MARKETING FERRIC CARBOZYMALTOSE
The plaintiff, Vifor (International) Ltd, filed a suit seeking a permanent injunction against the defendants, restraining them from marketing and launching a generic version of the plaintiff’s drug comprising of “Ferric Carboxymaltose”.
The Court rejected the defendant’s contention that the patent held by the plaintiffs was only a process patent, therefore no injunction should be granted against them since the products were not only manufactured using a different process but were not manufactured by them at all. The Court observed that Section 48 of the Patents Act, 1970 gave the patentees the right to prevent third parties from selling or offering for sale any infringing products without receiving the patentees’ consent. Therefore, considering the principle of balance of convenience, the court continued the interim injunction order.
(1) Vifor (International) Ltd. & Anr. v/s J.B. Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Limited; CS(COMM) 241/2023