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IPR weekly Highlights (34)

8 (Demo)
TRADEMARK
DELHI HIGH COURT SAFEGUARDS RAJAT SHARMA’S PERSONALITY RIGHTS

Recently, journalist Rajat Sharma (hereinafter referred ‘Plaintiff’), editor-in-chief of India TV, initiated a lawsuit against “Jhandiya TV” (hereinafter referred ‘Defendant’) for trademark infringement of the logos resembling “India TV” and “Aap Ki Adalat”. The Defendant adopted a strikingly similar logo and name i.e. “Baap ki Adalat’. The Plaintiff sought a permanent injunction against the Defendant for protection of the logo and the unauthorized use of any photos and videos of Plaintiff on various social media platforms.
Consequently, the Delhi HC issued an interim order against Defendant, and it is now barred from using the logo “Baap ki Adalat” and any content involving Plaintiff. Additionally, the Internet platforms, X (formerly Twitter), YouTube, and Facebook, have been directed to remove all the content pertaining to the disputed matter.

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TRADEMARK
KARAN JOHAR FILES A TRADEMARK INFRINGEMENT SUIT AGAINST A FILM TITLE

In an interesting development, producer Karan Johar filed a suit against the makers of an upcoming film titled ‘Shaadi Ke Director Karan Aur Johar’. The film was scheduled to release on 14th June, 2024. However, the title of the film violates Karan Johar’s personality rights as he has acquired a “distinctive identity” due to his popularity.

The Complaint alleges that the makers intend to capitalise on Johar’s reputation, brand, and goodwill as the title of the film includes his name as well as his surname.
Consequently, the Mumbai HC held that the makers of the film were creating confusion in the public and suspended the release of the film in theatres/OTT until the necessary deletions were made. Additionally, the makers are prevented from using Johar’s name in promotional activities directly or indirectly.

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TRADEMARK
ALASKA AIRLINES LOSES AN APPEAL FOR $160 MILLION TRADEMARK DISPUTE

In 2014 trademark license agreement was signed between Virgin and Virgin America Inc., (acquired by Alaska’s parent company in 2016), which required an annual payment to Virgin Aviation even if Alaska stopped using its brand name. Last year, Virgin Units successfully argued before the London Court that Alaska is liable to pay them approximately $8 million “minimum royalty” payment every year until 2039, Alaska counter-argued that it had no intention of using this trademark and hence the payment of royalty would be absurd.

The London Court held that Alaska was required to pay the royalty even though the US airline no longer uses the Virgin brand. Recently, an appeal was filed against this decision. However, Alaska Airlines lost the appeal and is now bound to pay the royalties.

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PATENT
DELHI HC REJECTS PATENT APPLICATION FOR PORTABLE VEHICLE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

Recently, the Assistant Controller of Patents & Designs refused the patent registration for “Portable Vehicle Management System”. The claimant asserted novel features like Real-time Monitoring of vehicles & Assistance, utilizing a front camera in the tracker, which captures traffic and path data, such as road conditions, street signs, and potholes, Anomaly Detection, etc.

A plea against the rejection was filed before the Delhi HC. The Hon’ble Court rejected the patent application stating that the techniques involved in the patent were already known and thus did not meet the requirements of an “inventive step” under Section 2(1) (ja) of the Indian Patent Act, 1970.

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COPYRIGHT
POCKET FM SUES DISNEY+ HOTSTAR OVER ALLEGED COPYRIGHT VIOLATION

In an interesting, Audio OTT platform Pocket FM has initiated a copyright infringement lawsuit against Novi Digital Entertainment (parent company of Disney+ Hotstar). The video streaming giant has recently released the promo of the Telegu web series titled ‘Yakshini’. However, Pocket FM in its plea dated June 11, has claimed that it owns the copyright to ‘Yakshini’, which has already been available on its platform since May 2021. It further claims that the Telegu web series is similar to its audio series. Further, they stated that the character ‘Yakshini’s’ entry from another world in the series is also a common element in both the shows.
The Court is yet to hear this matter and as of now, there is no delay in the release of the series on Disney+ Hotstar.

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COPYRIGHT
YOUTUBE REMOVES VIRAL TRACK ‘BADO BADI’ OVER COPYRIGHT ISSUES

In April, Pakistani Singer Chahat Fateh Ali Khan released the song “Bado Badi” on YouTube. The song acquired 28 million-plus views and went viral across several social platforms. However, the track was a recreation of the classic song “Akh Lari Bado Badi” by legendary singer Noor Jehan from the 1973 film “Banarsi Thug. This similarity caused copyright claims and hence the track was removed by Youtube.

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