Recent Copyright Cases, Entertainment Trademark News, International Copyright Updates, Entertainment and Copyright Licensing and Merchandizing, Copyright thought of the week and more, presented by the Media & Entertainment law attorneys and experts of BananaIP Counsels, India’s Premier New Age IP Firm.
Copyright Thought of the Week
“Entertainment Law is not as Entertaining as Entertainment”
Dr. Kalyan C Kankanala
Recent Copyright Cases
- Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) vs. Sony Pictures Networks India Pvt Ltd
ZEEL filed a Copyright infringement suit before the Bombay High Court claiming that it’s popular show, ‘India’s Best Dramebaaz’, a televised talent hunt for child actors in the 5-12 year age group has been illicitly copied by Sony. ZEEL says Sony has infringed its copyright in its concept note and ‘production bible’. Court dismissed the notice of motion stating that the submitted evidences fails to prove any similarities between both the shows. The court further stated that the ambit of both the shows are fairly distinct.
Entertainment Trademark News and Updates
- Beckhams gets their daughter’s name registered as a trademark
Beckhams have trademarked their 5-year-old daughter’s name Harper which is the most recent addition to the Beckham brand empire that has been estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of pounds. The name is trademarked for exclusive commercial use and for the use in the entertainment industry.
- Blac Chyna denied the trademark registration for the name Kardashian
Angela Renee White professionally known as Blac Chyna, an American model and entrepreneur had applied for a trademark registration for the name ‘Angela Renee Kardashian’ before her wedding with Rob Kardashian to gain exclusive ownership of the name for her brand related business ventures. Kardashian sisters, the trio had opposed the trademark application claiming that they will “suffer damage including irreparable injury to their reputation and goodwill” if the application is granted. The Court favoured the Kardashian sisters and rejected Blac Chyna’s trademark petition.
International Copyright Updates
- Infringement of Copyright against Ed Sheeran settled out of court
Last June, the songwriters of the song “Amazing” filed an infringement suit claiming damages to the tune of 14 million pounds against singer Ed Sheeran for copying note by note of their tune in his song “Photograph”. A California judge has confirmed that the case has been dismissed as the parties have settled the issue out of court.
- Copyright infringement lawsuit against Demi Lovato gets settled
Sleigh Bells had filed a Copyright infringement in the year 2016 before the California Federal Court alleging that Demi Lovato’s track ‘Stars’ is identical to their 2010 track “Infinity Guitars” of their debut album. Both the parties have now filed for a settlement in court and the terms of record is ongoing and hitherto undisclosed.
Entertainment Patent News and Updates
- Licensing deal of patent portfolios to enhance technology in broadcasting
TiVo Inc, a global Leader in entertainment technology, has entered in to a multi-year IP License agreement with Roku Inc, a pioneer in consumer digital media products based on california. The license covers access to patent portfolios of TiVo and additionally entitled to access high quality entertainment metadata and other products of TiVo in-order to advance power innate search and navigating the user interface.
- Blackberry wins legal battle against Qualcomm
Qualcomm, the telecommunication company, is in huge trouble after losing in an arbitration case to Blackberry for overcharging royalty payments. The networking equipment company has to pay $815 million to blackberry for overcharging patent royalties after the sum was decided in an arbitration award. It is to be noted that this is not the first time that a penalty has been charged on Qualcomm for overcharging for its chipset. Earlier Apple has also filed a lawsuit saying that the company has been overcharging for its cellular patents.
Entertainment and Copyright Licensing and Merchandizing
- Toys ‘R’ US Japan gets consolidated with their Asian Venture
Toys ‘R’ US, a leading retailer in toy and juvenile products based out of New York is consolidating its Japanese business, Toys ‘R’ US Japan with Toys ‘R’ Us Asia, their venture in Greater China under a new joint-venture agreement with Hong Kong-based Fung Retailing Limited.
Hong Kong will be the headquarters for the combined business while regional office will continue to operate in Kawasaki, Japan.
Pringles join hands with Helix
The famous tube can chips can now be found in the form of stationary also. Pringles has signed a licensing agreement with Helix, where the UK based company will design pencil boxes in the shape of the famous Pringles tube can. Pink key Consulting is the European licensing agent for the deal that is struck between the two companies.
- Gold’s Gym set to open more stores
The popular health and fitness chain is set to open five more gyms in middle Tennessee. The heath brand has signed a franchise agreement with Tennessee Fitness LLC, which is set to open the gym at convenient locations. The move comes from Gold Gym’s office in an attempt to expand their business all over the world.
- Flipkart overtakes E-bay
The popular online shopping site has overtaken the American site eBay and will handle all the South Asian operations of eBay. The American entity has invested $5oo million in Flipkart and both the companies have merged their operations, providing Flipkart with the access to eBay’s South Asian access and eBay with Flipkart’s plethora of Indian customers.
- WWE to open store in India
Indian wrestling fans are in for a surprise. WWE, World Wide Entertainment, the American entity providing wrestling matches is all set to open up stores in India. The Souled Store and WWE have agreed made a license agreement where toys, collectibles, trading cards will be exclusively available in India for the first time.
- Karl Lagerfeld goes into partnership with Swarovski
The famous jewellery designer Karl Lagerfeld has signed a licensing agreement with the jewellery brand Swarovski to launch his new line of exclusive jewellery featuring Swarovski diamonds. The designer will be collaborating with the Austrian brand to launch his new collection which will feature exclusive fashion jewellery ranging from £45-£500.
Digital and Internet Licensing
- Reserve Bank of India approves Amazon’s eWallet
Amazon’s own digital wallet, Amazon Pay Balance, has recently acquired license from the Reserve Bank of India to operate as a full-scale eWallet. It is to be noted that Amazon launched its digital wallet in December last year, in furtherance of their application for Prepaid Payment Instrument (PPI) license, primarily for transactions happening at their e-commerce portal. This development has positioned popular digital wallets such as Paytm, Freecharge, MobiKwik in direct competition with Amzon Pay Balance. It would be interesting to see if Amazon’s eWallet can be game changer in the market considering cashless transactions has taken a dip lately.
BananaIP Entertainment Suggestion of the Week
- Copyrights protection for online business
For online businesses, copyrights assume more importance than they do for other businesses from both protection and risk mitigation perspectives. Protecting copyrights in interfaces, website designs, layouts, menu structures, and other possible aspects of the business will make it difficult for competitors to replicate the business. It will also prevent slavish copying by competitors.