IP News Weekly Update – 14 Aug 2021
Last year Britannia had taken ITC to court alleging that the latter’s product packaging “Sunfeast Farmlite 5-Seed Digestive” and “Sunfeast Farmlite Veda Digestive” were deceptively similar to Britannia products. Soon after the dispute, ITC modified its packaging and Britannia expressed that it had no objection to the use of the modified packaging by ITC. However, the Delhi High Court ruled that the disputed packages “cannot be called as deceptively similar” as the name of the product on the packages are abundantly clear. Regardless, Britannia subsequently gave up its claim for rendition of accounts, damages, etc. as it was personally satisfied about the said modified package.
EasyJet Vs. EasyFly
EasyGroup – EasyJet’s had instituted a law suit against the Colombian carrier for infringing its family of 19 “Easy” trademarks. The accused was operating travel sites including Skyscanner, Kayak and Kiwi.com and profiting from the infringement by promoting fares from EasyFly through their ticket comparison services. Easy Group expanded its legal action to US District Court for the Southern District of Florida as EasyFly was accepting payments from US customers as well. After much deliberations and consideration Easy Group notified the Florida Court that, it plans to settle the feud with EasyFly outside of Court.
USPTO to protect its trademarks
The US Department of Commerce has at last filed a trademark application to officially register US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) trademarks in order to protect rights against infringers and scammers.
Ms. P. V. Sindhu, Olympian has through her counsel, taken 20 brands to court for using her image and name for moment-marketing without her consent and is further seeking damages of Rs. 5 crore from each of the brands. Multiple opinions from all stakeholders poured in, where, on one hand a few favored moment marketing, out of sheer national pride, and other few criticized the act claiming it to be unjust enrichment. The fundamental question collectively prevailing in all minds across the nation is the intention of such parties, which is subjective to each brands’ manner and duration of advertising. This is clearly a new challenging area to tread on and adopt measures that bring about a reasonable balance for future prospects.
Masks falsely sold under the popular brand “RAMRAJ”
The entrepreneur of Andreo Fashions was arrested after Regional Manager of Vennila Clothing Company and ENES Textile Mills lodged a complaint along with video evidence of manufacturing and distributing infringing masks. The officials seized a computer and other raw materials used to embroider the Ramraj logo on the substandard masks. No authorization/ permission whatsoever was sought by Andreo Fashions to produce masks under the brand name Ramraj.
Cease and Desist Notice served to Kim Kardashian
Trademarks filed by Kim Kardashian in respect of her recently launched beauty product line under the brand ‘SKKN’ has been objected by Beauty Concepts who claim to be the proprietor of ‘SKKN+’ declaring use from 2018. Beauty Concepts trademark application was filed two days before Kim Kardashian application for ‘SKKN’. Kim Kardashian’s attorney asserts that the issue will be dealt strictly in accordance with the Trademark Law.
Apple persuades US Federal Court to throw out the “iTunes’ FairPlay software” patent verdict
The USD 308.5 million jury verdict against Apple in the patent infringement suit by Personalized Media Communications LLC (PMC) was overthrown by a US Federal Court as Apple managed to establish PMC’s deliberate strategy of delay in filing the suit in order to obtain a larger payout.
South Africa grants patent to an artificial intelligence system
The inventor of a patent application titled “Food container based on fractal geometry”, which was granted patent registration in South Africa, is DABUS – an artificial intelligence system. The said invention has been filed in US, Europe, Australia and South Africa, but has been granted only in South Africa, with Australia following suit.
Indian Government bolsters IP system – Increase in Patent, Trademarks & Copyright grants in 2020-21
The number of patents granted in 2020-21 has increased from 6326 in 2015-16 to 28391. The number of trademarks granted registration has increased from 65045 in 2015-16 to 255993 in 2020-21. The number of copyrights granted has increased from 4505 to 16402.
ITC Limited strengthens its patent portfolio
ITC’s Life Sciences & Technology Centre tops the list of Indian private companies to file patents in healthcare & pharma sector during the period 2015-2020, marking its strong presence in the nutrition, health and well-being sector, with a total of 453 patent filings in the said period.
Just Dial to approach TDSAT for documents & data related to a copyright infringement case
The Bombay High Court has permitted Just Dial to approach the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) for directions to Indiamart Intermesh Ltd. to provide documents and data related to a copyright infringement case.
Fitbit fails to convince US District Judge that Philips’ patents are invalid
In the patent infringement suit instituted by Philips in a Boston Federal Court against Fitbit for infringement of its health monitoring patents, Fitbit failed to convince the Court that the patents forming the subject matter of the suit are invalid. Fitbit’s argument that the patents were of abstract ideas was rejected by the Judge as he observed that the ideas also included patent-eligible inventive concepts.
Apple sued in Texas for patent infringement
Altpass LLC has filed a patent infringement suit against Apple in a court in Texas claiming infringement of its patents relating to digital signatures used for user authentication. The features said to infringe Altpass’ patents are the user passcodes, Face ID, and biometric authentication features present in iPhones.
AI recognized as co-author of artwork by the Copyright Office, India
In what is considered as a first, the Indian Copyright Office has recognized an artificial intelligence tool as the co-author of an artistic work. The artwork granted copyright protection is titled “Suryast” and the said AI tool recognized as co-author is RAGHAV Artificial Intelligence Painting App.