Ideas, Concepts, Scripts and Stories – Protecting Ideas in the Entertainment Industry Part III

In continuation to our previous discussion on how to protect ideas in the entertainment industry, the upcoming posts in the series will discuss landmark cases and analyse how Courts consider Breach of Confidentiality claims. Previous posts in the series may be accessed here and here.

The first of these cases is Zee Telefilms Limited and Another vs. Sundial Communications Private Limited and Others:

This suit was brought by the Plaintiffs alleging Breach of Confidence in the original concept developed by the Plaintiffs and the misuse of confidential information. The Plaintiff’s was a company engaged in the business of television programming, video programming, multimedia programming, feature films, television serial production etc. They were primarily involved in coming up with various creative concepts for television programmes, which were registered with the Film Writers’ Association. Going by this trend, the Plaintiffs worked on various concepts and came up with a concept titled ‘Kanhaiyya’.

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USPTO refuses Apple’s Trademark Application

The US Patent and Trademark Office refused Apple’s application for trademark “Touch ID”. The USPTO ruled in May, that Apple’s intended trademark could be confused with an earlier Touch ID trademark, assigned to the biometric timekeeping firm, Kronos, first released in 2005. In its rejection letter the USPTO stated that Apple’s intended Trademark was very similar to the term “Kronos Touch ID” (US Registration number 2735480), issued in 2003.

The letter further informed that Apple’s requested trademark “does not create a distinct commercial impression because it contains the same common wording as the registered mark, and there is no other wording to distinguish it from the registered mark. In this case, applicant’s mark merely deletes ‘KRONOS’ from the registered mark.”

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Crossing the Rubicon: A fork in the road – go Right or Left?

Case Analysis of Dr. Aloys Wobben and another vs. Yogesh Mehra and others.


Facts: Dr. Aloys Wobben (Appellant) owns approximately 2,700 patents in more than 60 countries of which 100 patents are in India in the field of wind turbine generators and wind energy converters. Appellant was carrying out the manufacturing process in India through a joint venture partnership with the Yogesh Mehra and Ajay Mehra (Enercon India Limited) (Respondents).

Intellectual Property licence agreements to use the technical know-how of the inventions, was granted to Enercon India Ltd. by the Appellant and further terminated due to the non-fulfillment of the obligations contained in the IP licence agreement. Respondents continued to use the Appellant’s patents without authorization and also filed 19 revocation petitions before the Intellectual Property Appellate Board. Thereafter, the Appellant filed a few infringement suits before the High Court for which the Respondents filed their counter claim. Further, four other revocation petitions were filed by the Respondents before the IPAB. On January 20, 2012, the Delhi High Court held that both counter claim and revocation petition could be explored simultaneously against the same patent.

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Now Apple is being trolled; or is it HTC?

Anything that comes out of Apple gets scrutinized, and even sued, now and again. Let us look at what is “happening” in the Apple scene now.

Who is suing Apple this time?

Cedatech Holdings, a Texas based company, filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple alleging that Apple had violated their rights covered by patent titled “Integration of Audio or Video Program with Application (US 7707591)“, granted in 2010. The lawsuit focuses on Apple’s use of speech recognition software products such as the iPhone and the iPad.

Cedatech Holdings is a patent trolling company that acquires patents from various companies/inventors and use them for the sole purpose of generating revenue through licensing and litigation, a strategy also known as ‘patent assertion’.

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Parents responsible for Dolly’s ineligibility to a Patent

It was back in 1996, on one of those school days that I first heard about Dolly, a little sheep that headlined in all newspapers. That was the first time many of us heard of the term cloning. One of those days I wished to have a clone of my own, so I wouldn’t need to go to school anymore.

Dolly was the first mammal to be cloned from an adult somatic cell using the process of nuclear transfer, by Keith Henry Stockman Campbell and Ian Wilmut of the Roslin Institute – part of University of Edinburg. In a recent verdict, earlier in May, it was held by the US Federal Circuit that cloned animals like Dolly were not patentable. This ruling was in further affirmation to USPTO’s appeal board who had earlier ruled in favor of USPTO’s patent rejection on the ground that cloned animals were patent ineligible under section 35 USC § 101.

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You may need to Calm Down to access your own Mobile Device

Over the past few decades, mobile phones have evolved from being a mere means for communication to a user’s personal friend. In addition to providing the means for calling and messaging, mobile phones serve as trusted companions to users and store data of sensitive nature, in the form of text, image, video and audio files. As a result, for obvious reasons, theft of this device or access by an unauthorized person, may give rise to data security/privacy issues. Adding to this concern, we know that mobile device theft has become quite commonplace.

Most mobile devices offer means for locking the device using different options such as entering secret PINs, biometric authentication options etc. However, with the advancement in technology, cracking a PIN has become quite easy. Although biometric authentication systems are better in terms of security, if a user has forgotten to lock the screen, even biometric systems cannot help prevent unauthorized device/data access.

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All is Not Lost: How to Restore your Priority Right!

We are well aware of the importance of the Priority Right and therefore also know what losing a priority right can cause. It may throw even the strongest of inventions off balance. A valid priority claim would give us the priority date which is the date of filing of the first application. This date is also known as “effective date of filing” in many jurisdictions. In other words, as the name suggests, the prior art that is taken into account for examining the novelty and inventive step/non-obviousness of the claimed invention is the information available to the public before the priority date of the claimed invention, i.e., the date of filing of the first application and thus the priority date is most relevant for the examination of novelty and inventive step/non-obviousness for subsequent applications claiming the priority of the first application.

Needless to say, a priority application acts as the parent application for subsequent applications such as an international application or convention application, national phase application or divisional application. Thus, it is mandatory that priority can be claimed by adherence to deadlines as well as in the manner required under the law of the country where the subsequent applications are filed and if these conditions are not fulfilled, priority date may not be considered valid. This post elucidates how a lost priority right can be restored.

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Sherlock Holmes’ copyright (mis)adventures land him in the Public Domain

Justice Elena Kagan on Thursday dismissed the Emergency Petition filed by the Conan Doyle Estate Ltd. to block publication of a new collection of stories based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous detective, Sherlock Holmes. Doyle’s heirs claim that “Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson were not static but dynamic literary characters who changed and developed throughout the Sherlock Holmes canon”. The Doyle heirs have been successfully guarding all literary, merchandising and advertising rights of his works. Anyone wanting to use Sherlock or his friend Dr. Watson had to typically pay the estate a license fee.

But Leslie S. Klinger, a Californian Lawyer and Editor of “The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes,” successfully challenged in the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit that Doyle’s characters are in the public domain and therefore, he did not need to get the estate’s permission — or pay a fee — to publish his upcoming collection, “In the Company of Sherlock Holmes: Stories Inspired by the Holmes Canon” (Pegasus). Klinger had previously published A Study in Sherlock and paid $5,000 (£2,923) as licensing fee for the rights, by the second time he was asked to pay, he had decided to challenge this practice.

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Role of Third Parties in your Patent Grant Process

The subject of today’s topic would probably leave a patent applicant feeling a bit like the reigns are slipping. A patent is not a piece of cake to acquire. The right owner of the invention be it an inventor or an applicant has to prove themselves beyond any doubt. It is the basic right of every individual to oppose the grant of any patent, in cases where such a grant would seem detrimental to a third party. Hence, it would be a justifiable opportunity for third parties to intervene in the procedure of patent grant.


Under the Indian Patent Law, Opposition can be made twice during the life of a patent application. First is the Pre-grant representation under section 25(1) wherein any person may challenge the application for grant of a patent. Pre-grant opposition acts as a defensive shield to confirm the validity of patent applications before patents are granted. Post grant opposition under section 25(2) may be made only by any person interested at any time after the grant of patent but before the expiry of a period of one year from the date of publication of grant of patent.

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Silly Seating

How would you feel if you had to travel standing on your plane journey? Yes, a plane, not a bus. AirBus seems to be taking its name a tad too literally. At least that’s what their recently filed patent seems to say.

What does this mean?

Airbus filed a patent in December, 2013 for a new airplane seat design that would have travelers resting on bicycle-like seats for short-haul flights.

Why was this even proposed?

One guess would be to reduce costs. Airbus’ retractable bicycle seat design manages to add extra seats by reducing the width of passenger’s seating and leg room, minimizing the bulkiness of current airline seats. The smallest seat width on a short-haul flight is now 41.28 cms, while the smallest seat pitch or the distance from the same point on one seat to another, often referred to as legroom is 68.58 cms, according to Seat Guru.

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