Topical Updates: To IP & Beyond
DELHI HIGH COURT
M/S ESCORTS LTD. VS SUDHIR KUMAR AND ANR.
While confirming its territorial jurisdiction to try the suit, the Court was of the view that prospective conduct of business by the Defendant in a place may also be of consideration while determining whether business is actually being carried on at the said place. The Court addressed the question – whether the act of submitting bids to the Indian Railways and making supplies would constitute carrying on business in Delhi. Held, that concept of infringement is not fixed in time and jurisdiction cannot be based solely on the situation prevalent while filing the Plaint.
NATIONAL COMPANY LAW TRIBUNAL
M/S. DESIRE RETAIL PVT. LTD. AND ORS. V/S. MR. NITIN BATRA AND ORS.
The primary objective of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (‘IBC’), is to reorganize and revive the Corporate Debtor, emphasizing resolution over liquidation. In an Application filed under Section 7 of the IBC, the necessary parties involved are solely the Financial Creditor and the Corporate Debtor. As such, the Application filed by a third-party seeking dismissal of the Sec. 7 application was dismissed by the NCLT.
The Division Bench, while allowing appeal(s) against judgement(s) whereby the Plaintiff(s)’ writ petitions were dismissed, held that Chapter XVI of the Patents Act is a complete code for issues related to unreasonable licensing conditions, patentee’s abuse of status, inquiry, and applicable remedies. The Patents Act, being a special statute, prevails over the Competition Act in matters of exercise of a patentee’s rights.
DELHI HIGH COURT
PEPSICO INDIA HOLDINGS PVT. LTD. V. KAVITHA KURUGANTI
The Court upheld revocation of PepsiCo’s registration of ‘FL 2027’ potato variety directed by the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Authority and dismissed the appeal due to, inter alia, the Applicant’s failure to rectify deficiencies in its application, providing ambiguous and incorrect information regarding the date of commercialization and the category of the variety. However, the Court observed that the Authority had erred in its public interest finding as merely filing litigations against the farmers cannot be construed as being against public interest.
COMMERCIAL COURT, BENGALURU
DIVYA SPANDANA ALIAS RAMYA V. GULMOHAR FILMS & ORS.
The Court, on the basis of the “Artiste Agreement” entered between the parties, passed an interim mandatory injunction to take down all the trailers and promotional material of the movie “Hostel Hudugaru Bekagiddare” from social media platforms depicting the Plaintiff as a part of the movie. The Court also granted temporary injunction against the Defendants from releasing the movie containing video clips, images or GIFs of the Plaintiff, a renowned film actor-Politician, since the same are likely to infringe the Plaintiff’s rights under the agreement as well as her personality/celebrity and moral rights.
GLENMARK PHARMACEUTICALS LTD. V. SUN PHARMA LABORATORIES LTD.
DELHI HIGH COURT
The Hon’ble Division Bench stayed the operation of the judgement passed by the Single Judge injuncting Glenmark’s use of the mark ‘INDAMET’ which was held to be deceptively similar to Sun Pharma’s ‘ISTAMET’. It was held that the following considerations required further examination –
- Inconsistent stands of the Respondent before the Single Judge and the Trade Mark Registry.
- Products in question are prescription drugs and used to cure distinct ailments.
- Both drugs have distinct modes of administration. Hence, the likelihood of confusion at the point of sale was remote and far-fetched.
- No evidence was provided by the Respondent to allege that consumption of the Appellant’s ‘INDAMET’ by a diabetic patient would cause any adverse effects.
- The impugned products had stark visual distinctions and their names were derived from their corresponding salt compositions which were further distinct to one another.
“While we do bear in mind the principles enunciated by the Supreme Court in Wander Ltd. & Anr. vs. Antox India P. Ltd., …the impugned judgment prima facie does give rise to substantial questions which appear to travel beyond the rubicon of a mere exercise of discretion and would thus merit further examination.”
MADRAS HIGH COURT
The Court passed an interim order restraining Google from de-listing the Disney+Hotstar App from its Play Store on Android devices for alleged non-compliance of its new Payments Policy mandating all app developers to use User Choice Billing alongside the Google Play Billing System (GPBS) for processing payments of paid app downloads or In-App purchases. In terms of this policy, Google charges the app developers a service fee ranging from 15 to 30 percent. Additionally, Google permits the app developers to offer an ‘Alternative Billing System’ on which it charges service fee between 11 to 26 percent.
The Court fashioned an interim arrangement where under the Plaintiff shall pay 4% for every download and usage to Google with effect from a given date.
In light of rejection of plaint in the prior-filed suits on the ground, inter alia, that the reliefs sought in the suits fall within CCI’s jurisdiction, Google now contends that the suit filed by Disney+Hotstar must also be dismissed as not maintainable. This is pending consideration before the Court.
DELHI HIGH COURT
The Division Bench allowed an appeal against the Single Judge order, directing the Defendant to deposit the “last paid amount” attributable to India as per the 2018 agreement between the parties, with the Court’s registry. It was held that during patent negotiations, the responsibility to provide temporary security rests with the implementers. This involves offering security, like a bank guarantee, when using Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) before a licensing agreement is executed. It was also held that Indian courts can issue pro-tem orders, even on the initial hearing, to ensure balance and prevent continued use of SEPs without payments during negotiations. It was held that normally, a pro-tem order should be directed only after prima facie finding of essentiality and validity. But prima facie infringement was made out in the facts of this case due to Oppo being an ex-licensee. Thus, the Court held that there arises a prima facie presumption that challenge to essentiality and validity is an afterthought.