DELHI HIGH COURT BANS MP-BASED LIQUOR COMPANY FROM USING MIRINDA MARK
PepsiCo, the plaintiff, had filed a trademark infringement suit against Indian company Jagpin Breweries, which sold country liquor using the transliteration of the mark ‘Mirinda’. The plaintiff sought the grant of permanent injunction against the defendant for infringement of their exclusive right to use the registered trademarks under Section 28(1) of the Trade Marks Act, 1999, as they contended that the transliteration was causing confusion among the purchasers, causing damage to the goodwill of Mirinda.
The defendant contended that their consumer base and trade channels were different since liquor was only sold in specific shops, and that the marks were not similar, having different color schemes, logos, style of writing, and the entire get-up of the bottles, and details like MRP, address, and FSSAI mark.
The Court, however, held that the mark MIRINDA had acquired huge goodwill and reputation, and the use of the mark which was a transliteration with phonetic identity could not be counterbalanced by using the defense that an honest and concurrent user could differentiate between the marks. Therefore, the Court restrained the defendant from using the mark ‘MIRINDA’ and its Hindi transliteration.
(1) PepsiCo Inc. & Anr. v. Jagpin Breweries Limited & Anr. CS(COMM) 288/2022
TACO BELL CONTESTS TACO TUESDAY TRADEMARK
A Wyoming-based fast-food restaurant “Taco John’s” owns the trademark for the phrase “Taco Tuesday” in all the states of the U.S. except New Jersey. In New Jersey, the trademark for the same phrase is owned by Gregory’s Restaurant & Bar of Somers Point. However, on May 16th, Taco Bell filed a petition with the Trademark Office in the U.S. seeking cancellation of the two trademarks, and started their campaign for “liberating” Taco Tuesday. It is Taco Bell’s contention that no single restaurant should have the exclusive rights to use the phrase so that all restaurants and taco vendors may use it without fearing a lawsuit.
As part of their campaign, Taco Bell has even partnered with LeBron James, who himself tried to trademark the phrase in 2019 through shell company LBJ Trademarks LLC, but was denied by the Trademark Office on the grounds that the phrase was a “commonplace term, message or expression widely used by a variety of sources that merely conveys an ordinary, familiar, well-recognized concept or sentiment.”
(1) Taco Bell IP Holder, LLC v. Spicy Seasonings, LLC
INDIAN CRICKETERS APPROACH DELHI HC TO STOP FANTASY SPORTS PLATFORMS FROM USING NFTS
Rario, a digital cricket collectible platform, and cricketers Mohammed Siraj and Harshal Patel filed an appeal against the Single Judge’s decision in favour of the defendants, which held using information about celebrities available in the public domain was allowed and the same did not infringe the right to publicity. The Single Judge held that as the right to publicity was a statutory right, it was subservient to the right to free speech, including commercial speech. Therefore, using a celebrity’s name, image, and other information present in the public domain was protected under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India.
Now, the appellants have moved the Division Bench of the Delhi High Court, seeking the defendant’s online fantasy sports platforms to be restrained from distributing and minting NFTs with the images of the cricketers. The appellants contend that while OFS platforms may use player information for team-building on the platform if they create NFTs of tradable cards, such NFT is a property over which the respective players would have rights, as the same is based not on their performance, but over their persona. They also submitted that the OFS platforms cannot trade such NFTs and earn profit from them without the player’s consent.
(1) Digital Collectibles v. Galactus Funware Technology Pvt Ltd. CS(COMM) 108/2023
TWITTER DIRECTED TO PROVIDE DETAILS OF “JAWAN” MOVIE CLIP LEAKERS
Red Chillies Entertainment Pvt. Ltd, the production company and copyright holder of the film “Jawan” found that clips and still images from the film were available on various platforms on the internet, despite no license to broadcast or transmit any part of the film having been issued by them to any entity.
Thus, the plaintiff approached the Delhi High Court, seeking an Ashok Kumar (John Doe) order to restrain any rogue websites, Internet Service Providers, and platform providers from broadcasting or airing any part of the film.
The High Court has therefore, in response to an interlocutory application, directed Twitter to furnish the basic subscriber info of specific accounts stated to be involved in leaking the clips from the movie.
(1) Red Chillies Entertainments Pvt Ltd v. Ashok Kumar/John Doe & Ors. I.A. 9598/2023 in CS(COMM) 240/2023
APPLE INC. LOSES THE COPYRIGHT CLAIM AGAINST CORELLIUM INC.
Apple Inc. had sued the startup company Corellium Inc for copyright infringement before the district court, claiming that the security startup had violated its copyright by simulating the iOS operating system to test for security flaws in Apple devices. The district court had issued a summary judgment dismissing the suit for copyright infringement. Apple Inc. filed an appeal against the ruling in the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals, however, the Appeals Court upheld the district court’s ruling, observing that the Corellium had recreated the iOS system for aiding security research and furthering scientific progress, which brought the use under the doctrine of fair use as per the US Copyright Law.
(1) Apple Inc. v. Corellium Inc.
UP NOW THE 2nd STATE WITH HIGHEST NUMBER OF GI-TAGGED GOODS
Three more of Uttar Pradesh’s ODOP (One District, One Product) crafts, namely Mainpuri tarkashi, Mahoba Gaura Stone Craft, and Sambhal horn craft, have been granted the Geographical Indication tags with technical assistance from Varanasi-based NGO Human Welfare Association (HWA), Uttar Pradesh.
Uttar Pradesh is now the second state with the highest number of GI-tagged products, having surpassed Karnataka with its 48 goods in total. Tamil Nadu continues to stand at the top with 55 GI-tagged goods. However, Uttar Pradesh has the highest number of GI tags in handicrafts.
(1) State Wise Registration Details of G.I Applications 2023, Intellectual Property Office, IN
DEPARTMENT OF PHARMACEUTICALS TO FIX PRICES OF DRUGS THAT GO OFF PATENT TO 50% OF CURRENT CEILING PRICE
In a notification dated May 11, the Department of Pharmaceuticals announced a formula that fixes the ceiling prices of the drugs going off patent, intending to curb profiteering by pharmaceutical companies and provide relief to patients. The notification states that the retail price of a patented drug or a drug containing any patented molecule, component, or ingredient will be reduced to 50% of the current ceiling price upon the expiration of the patent. After one year, the ceiling price will be changed according to the market data. The innovator brand or any of its licensee partner brands will be excluded while fixing the ceiling price.
(1) Drug (Prices Control) Amendment Order, 2023 – Gazette Notification S.O. 2165(E) dated 11th May, 2023