IPR NEWS – WEEKLY UPDATES FROM 6th NOV – 11th NOV
CONDE NAST v. DRAKE
Conde Nast, the owner of Vogue magazine, on November 7 has filed a lawsuit against Drake and 21 Savage for using the Vogue trademark without authorization to promote their new album “Her Loss.” Conde Nast claimed that the rappers’ promotional campaign was “entirely” based on the unauthorized use of Vogue trademarks and false claims that they would appear on the magazine’s upcoming cover with the “love and support” of longtime editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, including to their more than 135 million social media followers. Conde Nast said that the defendants also produced a fake issue of Vogue that was distributed in significant urban areas along with posters that closely resembled the layout of the magazine. The end consequence, according to the report, was “unmistakable” public misunderstanding, particularly in the media, which hailed Drake and 21 Savage as Vogue’s “new cover stars.”
ASMA FARID NOORANI v. HAJI ALI FRESH FRUIT JUICES & ORS.
In a trade mark infringement case involving Haji Ali Fresh Fruit Juices, a business in Vijaywada, Andhra Pradesh, the Bombay High Court on November 11 declined to reverse the ex-parte interim relief given to Asma Farid Noorani (plaintiff), who owns Haji Ali Juice Centre in Mumbai. In the years 2001 and 2010, respectively, the word mark Haji Ali Juice Centre and the label mark Haji Ali Juice Centre with the device of an apple were registered as trademarks. According to the complaint, the turnover reached roughly 6.05 crores Rs in 2019–20. According to Noorani, other organisations have illegally exploited the marks’ goodwill by copying them. After learning that the defendants intended to open an outlet using the mark “Haji Ali,” Noorani initiated the current lawsuit. After investigation, it was discovered that the defendants were using the name and mark “Haji Ali fresh fruit drinks” with the symbol of a red apple in a store in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh.
MRT MUSIC v. INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS & ORS.
The Indian National Congress (INC) and its mass movement, Bharat Jodo Yatra, were ordered by a commercial court in Bengaluru on November 07 to have their Twitter accounts temporarily blocked following a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by MRT Music (the plaintiff), who claimed that the handles had improperly used the sound files from the movie “KGF-Chapter 2.” The plaintiff would suffer an irreparable loss if the claimed unauthorized use of sound discs was encouraged, the court determined, and the same would also encourage piracy more broadly. Additionally, it ordered Twitter to remove three links from its website and to block INC and Bharat Jodo Yatra’s twitter accounts.
PIDILITE INDUSTRIES LIMITED v. RIYA CHEMY
The Bombay High Court on November 11 has prohibited Riya Chemy from using the mark “R-Seal” or any other mark that is similar to Pidilite’s “M-Seal” mark in a trademark and copyright infringement lawsuit, providing temporary relief to Pidilite Industries Limited. By hiding the plaintiff’s earlier registered marks from the Registrar of Trade Marks, the defendant, according to Justice R. I. Chagla, illegally obtained the registration of the mark “R-Seal.” According to the plaint, Pidilite discovered the defendant’s goods being sold under the mark “R-Seal” in December 2020. The defendant’s product is the same as the plaintiff’s product, and the defendant’s product labels have taglines and other characteristics with the plaintiff’s M-Seal.
DR. REDDYS LABORATORIES LIMITED & ANR V. THE CONTROLLER OF PATENTS & ORS.
The Delhi Court on November 10 decided that after the Tribunal Reforms Act of 2021 is passed, appeals challenging a Patent Office decision would be heard by the relevant High Courts with territorial jurisdiction over the “appropriate office” from which the patent application originates, which is also known as the “situs of the said application.” In such appeals, the idea of cause of action cannot be pled to grant jurisdiction to other High Courts, i.e., courts other than the one in the geographical jurisdiction of which the competent office is located, the court remarked. “Any challenge to such order or direction would, therefore, generally lie before the High Court in whose jurisdiction such relevant office is located,” the court stated. “Once orders are granted by the Patent Office on an application.” The court stated that after reading the pertinent provisions of the Patent Act and the Rules made thereunder, it was clear that the term “appropriate office” had a significant impact on how Indian patent applications are prosecuted and granted.
LT FOODS LIMITED v. SARASWATI TRADING COMPANY
The Delhi High Court on November 11 has granted Rs. 25 lakhs as damages and costs in favour of the well-known basmati rice brand maker LT Foods Limited in a trademark infringement case, permanently barring a Raipur-based vendor from producing and selling imitation “DAAWAT” branded goods. The court noted that Saraswati Trading Company, situated in Raipur, Chattisgarh, is selling Jawaphool rice while misrepresenting it as Basmati rice by utilizing “counterfeit packaging” that is identical to Daawat brand. “These products are meant for use by people. The case is likely to be decided given the Plaintiff’s standing and the fact that “DAAWAT” is a recognized trademark in India “the court stated. According to Justice Singh, there is “no basis” for producing and marketing rice in counterfeit “DAAWAT” brand packaging, and the Raipur-based company intentionally and dishonestly mislead consumers.
DFINITY FOUNDATION v. META PLATFORMS INC, U.S. DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
On November 10, Meta Platforms Inc. prevailed in a trademark dispute with block chain nonprofit Dfinity Foundation, which had accused the organization of copying its infinity-symbol logo. Given the disparities in their designs and target markets, a federal court in San Francisco dismissed Dfinity’s claim, concluding that Meta’s logo was not likely to lead consumers to confuse it with Dfinity’s. Dfinity was granted permission by U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer to modify its complaint. Requests for comments regarding the decision from representatives of Meta and Dfinity were not immediately returned. In May, Dfinity filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Meta, alleging that the latter’s logo was confusingly similar to its own. Additionally, it stated that a Meta executive had outlined plans for the organization to incorporate block chain technologies into its operations in an internal memo, raising the possibility of consumer confusion
JAZZ PHARMACEUTICALS v. AVADEL CNS PHARMACEUTICALS
The Federal Trade Commission on November 10 submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware. The Brief emphasizes the serious harm done to customers when a brand firm incorrectly puts a patent on a distribution system in the Food and Drug Administration’s “Orange Book” of approved products and so prevents the entry of less expensive generic drugs or other follow-on competition. The FDA’s Orange Book is a list of medications that have been deemed both safe and effective by the organisation. A legal stay that prevents the release of competitive copies for up to 30 months is automatically triggered when a brand-name pharmaceutical corporation enters a drug patent in the book. The Commission voted 4-0 to file the amicus brief.
METAMORFOZA D.O.O, v. BIG FUNNY, LLC
On November 8, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the decision that Big Funny had violated Metamorfoza’s trademark rights and engaged in unfair competition by using the phrase “Museum of Illusions” in its trademark. Big Funny also cross-appealed the district court’s denial of its petition for attorneys’ fees, but the Court of Appeals sided with the district court, concluding that because the case was not “extraordinary,” the district court had acted within its discretion in so doing. Both Big Funny and Metamorfoza run numerous “Museum of Illusions” museums in the United States. While Metamorfoza runs museums in New York, Missouri, and Texas, Big Funny manages museums in California and Florida.
SOCLEAN, INC. v. SUNSET HEALTHCARE SOLUTIONS, INC.
In its landmark ruling in., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on November 9 upheld the District of Massachusetts’ preliminary injunction order requiring Sunset to explicitly link its online advertising and sales of filters for continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines with the Sunset brand. The Federal Circuit ruled that SoClean’s federal registration for its trade dress constituted prima facie proof of its validity, and that this, together with evidence of alternative designs, supported SoClean’s likelihood of success with respect to the merits of its trademark claims. The CAFC upheld the preliminary injunctions’ grant because the Trademark Modernization Act of 2020 grants SoClean a rebuttable presumption of irreparable harm upon a finding of a likelihood of success on the merits, the balance of the interests favours SoClean, and the injunction is narrowly tailored.
WIPO’S FIRST EDITION OF GREEN TECHNOLOGY BOOK
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) released the first edition of its Green Technology Book on Thursday, November 10. The book, which was created in collaboration with the Climate Technology Center and Network (CTCN) and the Egyptian Academy of Scientific Research and Technology, examines technological trends and workable solutions for addressing the impact of climate change on agriculture, forestry, and other sectors (ASTR). The inaugural edition of the Green Technology Book focuses on three sectors: agriculture and forestry, water and coastal regions, and cities, where mitigating climate consequences are of particular urgency. It is a useful manual that highlights 200 cutting-edge technologies that are both now in use and still being developed. This “living publication” expands on the work of the WIPO GREEN platform, which links people looking for environmentally friendly solutions with global green technology providers.
APPLE INC v. SIMON LANCASTER
Simon Lancaster, a former design architect who Apple claimed had stolen trade secrets and disclosed them to a journalist, has been the subject of a settlement agreement. The business filed its lawsuit in March 2021, and on November 11 a judge accepted the settlement agreement. Despite working for Apple for more than ten years, Lancaster “abused his position and trust within the organisation to systematically leak Apple’s sensitive trade secret information in order to earn personal benefits,” according to the company’s initial lawsuit. He gave Apple’s trade secrets to his outside media reporter by using his position of authority to acquire access to internal meetings and documents that were outside the purview of his work duties. In accordance with the terms of the agreement, Lancaster will pay Apple an undisclosed sum and is forbidden from “disclosing, sharing, transferring, discussing, or using any Confidential Information, in any manner, without Apple’s express prior written authority.” An inquiry for comments from Apple received no response right away.
SHOSH YONAY v. PARAMOUNT PICTURES CORPORATION
On November 9, U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson determined that there are sufficient parallels between the movie and the 1983 magazine article that served as the inspiration for the first “Top Gun” for the author’s heirs to proceed with the copyright violation complaint. The ruling states: “The Court disagrees with Defendant’s major contention in its Motion to Dismiss that Plaintiffs have not claimed in their [suit] that the Article and the Sequel are substantially identical’.” For those who don’t know, the author Ehud Yonay’s son and widow brought the lawsuit in June, alleging that Paramount neglected to renew the rights to Yonay’s piece about the Navy Fighter Weapons School, which was printed in California magazine. In contrast, Anderson ruled in the most recent decision that the lawsuit had enough parallels to withstand a move to dismiss. According to Anderson, “the Court finds that there are sufficient asserted parallels between the Article and the Sequel, including the filtering out of unprotected parts, for reasonable minds to dispute on the issue of substantial similarity.”