The Indian Parliament on August 6th 2015 passed the Delhi High Court (Amendment) Act, 2015 which was published on August 10, 2015. The Act is rather short and contains two changes – a) that the pecuniary jurisdiction of the Delhi High Court would be raised from 20 Lakhs (approx. USD 30,000) to 2 crores (approx. USD 300,000) and b) that cases which were already pending with the Delhi High Court may be sent down to the subordinate Courts. This tenfold increase in the pecuniary jurisdiction was brought about to reduce the work load of the Delhi High Court and given the rising costs, help those aggrieved to reach out to their nearest District Court.
Intellectual property laws provide protection for some works under both copyright and design law. At the face of it, the law on this point seems rather clear. However, interpretation of Section 15 of the Copyright Act in conjunction with the definition of “Design” under the Design Act makes it slightly tricky. A recent case decided by the Delhi High Court has tried to differentiate between a copyright and a design on the basis of the nature of the work and its industrial application. The Judge has explained the basic concepts in great detail and has even provided examples, however, at the end of it there are still many issues to ponder upon.
The respondent, Malhotra Book Depot was a partnership firm which registered the mark MBD on November 23, 1970. The registration was subsequently renewed once in 1977. Over the years the partnership changed twice and when the most recent partners applied for a legal use certificate of the trademark registration (certified information of the mark from the Trademark Office). They were informed that there was no information of the trademark registration on the records of the trademark office (something that TM lawyers in India are quite used to hearing). Upon further investigation the Officials informed the Respondents that the mark had not been renewed and so it was removed from the records of the trademark office. The Responded then filed an application to restore the mark on 17 October 2010 which was not accepted on the ground that it was filed over one year after the expiry of the trademark.
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