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IPR weekly Highlights (23)

8 (Demo)
TRADEMARK
DELHI HIGH COURT GRANTS AD INTERIM INJUNCTION IN HERO INVESTCORP

The Delhi High Court has issued an ad interim injunction against Diamond Autos (“Defendants”), restraining them from manufacturing, stocking, selling, or offering for sale products bearing trademarks identical or deceptively similar to those of Hero Investcorp Private Limited (“Plaintiff”). Hero Investcorp a prominent manufacturer in the automotive sector, initiated legal action against the Defendant, for selling counterfeit auto parts, specifically Disk Clutch Friction, bearing marks identical to the plaintiffs’ trademarks, in Ludhiana, Punjab. The Court granted an ex-parte ad interim injunction and ordered the appointment of a Local Commissioner to inspect the Defendant’s premises and seize products with the Plaintiffs’ trademark.

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COPYRIGHT
“RIGHT TO USE” IS NOT “RIGHT TRANSFERRED” IN COPYRIGHT

The Delhi High Court recently decided that subscribing to a legal database does not constitute a transfer of copyright. The division bench heard this matter in the form of an appeal filed by the Income Tax Department. The appeal was filed by the department regarding the cost of LexisNexis membership, who argued that the membership fee should be considered “royalty” and therefore is subject to taxation under the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between India and the USA. They also contended that it should be taxable as “business income” under the India-USA DTAA, citing sections of the Income Tax Act that pertain to taxing non-resident income in India. However, the Court rejected these arguments, stating that access to a legal database does not fit within the scope of the tax provisions cited by the department. The Court was of the opinion that the transaction between the subscriber and the service provider does not include the transfer of copyright or the right to use technology, as outlined in the DTAA. This decision of the Delhi HC is expected to set a benchmark for similar cases and has categorically clarified the difference between royalty payments and the right to use copyrighted material.

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PATENT
RELIANCE INDUSTRIES, VIACOM18, AND DISNEY FORGE LANDMARK JOINT VENTURE REDEFINING INDIAN ENTERTAINMENT LANDSCAPE

Reliance Industries Limited, Viacom 18 Media Private Limited (Viacom18), and The Walt Disney Company have signed definitive agreements for a joint venture that is poised to revolutionize India’s entertainment landscape. Nita Ambani will chair the joint venture, supported by Uday Shankar as Vice Chairperson, offering strategic direction. Reliance Industries commits an initial investment of ₹11,500 crore to fuel the joint venture’s growth strategy. Upon completion, Reliance Industries will wield control over the joint venture, owning 16.34%, while Viacom18 and Disney will hold 46.82% and 36.84%, respectively. Additionally, Disney may infuse further media assets, pending regulatory and third-party approvals. The joint venture aspires to become a dominant force in Indian entertainment and sports content, leveraging renowned brands like Colors, StarPlus, and Star Sports, alongside digital platforms like JioCinema and Hotstar. With an audience base exceeding 750 million in India and catering to the global Indian diaspora, the venture aims to lead the digital transformation of the industry, delivering high-quality content across diverse genres.

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PATENT
TRIDENT SECURED A PATENT FOR ITS FITTED SHEET

Trident Limited has recently been granted a patent by The Patent Office, Government of India, for their invention titled “A Fitted Sheet with Improved Gripping Effect.” This innovation involves a method designed to create a fitted sheet that offers superior grip at its corners, accommodating mattresses of varying thicknesses. With this patented Technofit technology, the company aims to provide enhanced gripping, prevent seam wear, and maintain durability even after multiple washes. This patent grant by the Indian Patent Office marks a significant milestone in recognizing advanced innovations.

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PATENT
MADRAS HIGH COURT’S NUANCED APPROACH TO PATENTABILITY OF BUSINESS METHODS

In a recent legal development, the Madras High Court delivered a significant judgment in the case of Priya Randolph v/s Deputy Controller, challenging the exclusion of a patent application under section 3(k) of the Patent Act on the grounds of being a business method. The case addressed the invention functioning to selectively conceal physical address information’ aimed at safeguarding user privacy during online transactions. While the Controller argued that the invention pertained to a business activity due to its involvement in the e-commerce transaction process, the Court qualifies the finding by providing that such relation to business activity must be ‘substantial’ in nature. The Court underscored the utilization of hardware, software, and firmware for data privacy and protection, rather than focusing solely on the completion of business transactions. This nuanced approach by the Madras HC signifies a departure from previous interpretations and sets a precedent for evaluating patent applications involving technological components within business methods.

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