In this mixed post, we bring to you one copyright case and two trademark cases. The copyright case relates to infringement of copyrights in lyrics and related moral rights, and the trademark cases relate to trade dress violation and trademark revocation. With respect to trade dress, the Court has recognized a particular colour of a tablet strip in a given style as protectable. In the revocation case, the ‘Diabeat’ trademark adopting a similar packaging has been revoked.
Maintain Accounts and Continue Attribution to the Lyricist, Nivedita Joshi, with respect to the Song ‘Palko Ke Palne’ from Life’s Good, orders the Delhi High Court.
Lyricist, Nivedita Joshi wrote the lyrics for the song ‘Palko Ke Palne’ in the movie ‘Life’s Good’. She wrote the lyrics for the music composer, Abhishek Ray, who later produced the song. The song was incorporated in the movie ‘Life’s Good’ without any information to Nivedita Joshi.
Aggrieved, Nivedita Joshi sued Abhishek Ray and the film producer for copyright infringement. While deciding her interim application for an injunction, the Court asked the film producer to maintain accounts and continue attributing Nivedita Joshi as the lyricist in line with her moral rights.
Citation: Nivedita Joshi vs Abhishek Ray & Anr; IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI; CS(COMM) 1/2024
Use of the Orange-Yellow Trade Dress of Practin Tablet Strip is not permitted, says the Delhi High Court.
In a case involving the trade dress of its Practin tablet strip, the Delhi High Court granted in interim injunction of Dr. Reddys Labs against SGS Pharma. The Court stated that the defendant had copied the orange-yellow packaging along with the manner in which the brand name was written as well as the red coloured statutory warning. On an overall view, the Court observed that the defendant’s packaging was deceptively and confusingly similar, and that the plaintiff was able to make out a prima facie case. The Court arrived at its conclusion though the trademark of the defendant ‘Cyproheptadine – 4′ was different from Dr. Reddys’ ‘Practin’.
Citation: Dr. Reddys Laboratories Limited vs SGS Pharmaceuticals; IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI; CS(COMM) 873/2023
The Delhi High Court removes ‘DiaBeat’ used for Diabetic Sugar from the Register of Trademarks.
In a case filed by the owner of the trademark, DiaBliss’, the Delhi High court recently removed the mark ‘DiaBeat’ from the Register of Trademarks. The trademark ‘DiaBeat’ and the trade dress of the product of the petitioner was adopted by the Respondent in the case, who was a former distributor of the plaintiff’s products. The Court stated that the adoption of trade dress proved the dishonesty of the Respondent, and felt it fit to remove the trademark from the register. The Respondent did not participate in the proceedings.
Citation: DIABLISS CONSUMER PRODUCTS PVT LTD. vs OVERRA FOODS; IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI; C.O. (COMM.IPD-TM) 307/2022
Copyrights and Trade Dress
The copyright case illustrates the need for valid, written permission to use the works of authors in movies. If there had been a written arrangement, the issue would probably have been much simpler for the movie producer.
The trademark cases elucidate the increasing importance being given to trade dress, packaging, and get-up of products. If appropriately protected, the cases indicate that copying trade dress would give rise to legal liability, and Courts are willing to give due importance to trade dress that has acquired distinctiveness or has been registered.
The case notes in this blog post have been written by IP attorneys at BananaIP Counsels based on their review and understanding of the Judgments. It may be noted that other IP attorneys and experts in the field may have different opinions about the cases, or arrive at different conclusions therefrom. It is advisable to read the Judgments before making any decisions based on the case notes.
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