Intellectual Property Rights Updates: January-April 2016

1. National Intellectual Property Rights Policy:

The slogan adopted by IPR which would be monitored under supervision of Department of Industrial Promotion for all IPR related issues in India- “Creative India; Innovative India: The Union Cabinet has has approved the National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy that will lay the future roadmap for intellectual property rights in India. The details of the vision document as shared on Press Information Bureau are mentioned below. The Policy recognizes that India has a well-established TRIPS-compliant legislative, administrative and judicial framework to safeguard IPRs, which meets its international obligations while utilizing the flexibilities provided in the international regime to address its developmental concerns. It reiterates India’s commitment to the Doha Development Agenda and the TRIPS agreement.

Vision Statement: An India where creativity and innovation are stimulated by Intellectual Property for the benefit of all; an India where intellectual property promotes advancement in science and technology, arts and culture, traditional knowledge and biodiversity resources; an India where knowledge is the main driver of development, and knowledge owned is transformed into knowledge shared.

Mission Statement: Stimulate a dynamic, vibrant and balanced intellectual property rights system in India to:

  • foster creativity and innovation and thereby, promote entrepreneurship and enhance socio-economic and cultural development, and
  • focus on enhancing access to healthcare, food security and environmental protection, among other sectors of vital social, economic and technological importance.

Seven Objectives

2. Infringement of the Copyright in the Title :(“Desi Boys Case” ):

In Krishika Lulla & Anr. vs. Shyam Vithalrao Dev Kutta [Cr. Appeal 258-259 of 2013]. The main issue was whether there is a copyright in the title of the synopsis of the Respondent No.1. The Respondent in this matter filed a complaint under section 63 of the Copyrights Act later amended to add section 406, 420 read with section 34 of the IPC. The four accused had approached for quashing of FIR under section 482 CrPC, for which no relief was provided and hence they were before the Hon’ble Supreme Court. Respondent No.1 had claimed copyright in the title of the synopsis in the story written with title “Desi Boys”, which was registered with Films Writer Association. A friend told him that son of David Dhawan require a story in comedy genera and the story synopsis was mailed by him. The Respondent No.1 did not receive any response from his friend but suddenly saw the promos of “Desi Boyz” replacing the s with z released. The story that the Respondent No.1 had shared had neither dialogue nor screenplay. According to Appellant, some Milap Zaveri wrote the film under the Agreement. Section 13 of the Copyright Act provide for work in which the Copyright subsist. The apex court held no copyright subsists in the title of the literary work and the Respondent No.1 is not entitled to relief on such basis. This does not mean that a title cannot be a subject of protection anywhere, as was explained in case cited Dicks vs. Yates [(1881) 18 Ch D 79] wherein it was held by Jessel MR that there might be copyright in the title where the whole page of title or something of that kind requiring invention. The court also relied on passages from Copinger and Skone James on Copyright sixteenth edition by Kevin Garnett, M.A. Gallin Davis, D.L. Ph.D and Gwylin Harbottle (B.A) Oxon at page 70 in which the learned authors observed that “The court should not rule out the possibility of such protection in appropriate circumstances although the practice in no case has gone this far. The only concrete example which has been given judicially is now archaic practice of the title page of the book consisting of an extended passages of texts ”. In relation to copyright in characters and titles the learned authors observed that “It is very difficult to protect the titles of films by an action of infringement of copyright due to the requirement of the originality and that the substantial part of the work be copied. If a well-known title is used without authority the owner’s remedy will lie in passing off. Protection in terms of registration of trademark would be available provided the title is distinctive.” The apex court in view of the above held that there was no copyright in the title hence no question of infringement arose.

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