In the case of Autodesk, Inc.
& Another v. Prashant Deshmukh & Others ( 2011 (46) PTC 38
(Del.), the Delhi High Court, granted permanent injunction and
punitive damages in favour of Autodesk, Inc. & Another(the
Plaintiffs), thereby restraining Prashant Deshmukh & Others
(the Defendants) from using the pirated/unlicensed software of the
The Plaintiffs are registered
companies in the U.S.A. Plaintiff No 1 is a design software and
digital content company which provides design software to make,
manage and market designs for hotels, motorways, office buildings
and lifts, etc to professionals all over the world including India,
and also has large resellers in India. Plaintiff No.2 owns
softwares such as Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office and
additionally produces a large range of computer peripherals. It has
a subsidiary company in India with its office in New Delhi.
The Plaintiffs became aware of the
large scale unlicensed/pirated use of its softwares by the
defendants in May 2003 , through information passed on by one Mr.
Devesh Tiwari, a software engineer for the computers of the
The Defendants chose not to contest
the suit. In this light, the Court felt that there was no reason to
disbelieve the deposition of Mr. Tiwari, according to which pirated
softwares including the Microsoft Windows 95/98 Operating System;
Microsoft Office 97/ 2000, AutoCAD Versions 12, 14 and 2000 were
installed in the defendant's computers. He also found pirated
CDs being used to install pirated softwares.
The Court further observed that a
joint reading of the affidavits of Mr. Subroto Panda (Head of the
IT departments of the legal Representatives of the Plaintiff
Companies) and Ms. Rohini Boaz (an employee of Autodesk India Pvt.
Ltd., a subsidiary of Plaintiff No.1) revealed that any information
regarding the purchase of license from the Plaintiff by the
Defendants would have been available in the data base maintained by
the Plaintiff companies. A search conducted by Ms. Boaz revealed
that the defendants did not hold any such licenses and therefore
the Plaintiffs could prove that the softwares found installed in
the computers of the defendants were not licensed by the Plaintiff
After considering the relevant
statutory remedies available, the Court felt that Section 40 of the
Copyright Act, which provides that the central Government may, by
order published in the Official Gazette, direct that all or any
provisions of the Act shall apply to work first published in any
territory outside India to which the order relates in like manner
as if they were first published in India, read with International
Copyright Order, 1999, dated 24th March, 1999, and the
provisions of Chapter XI of the Copyright Act including Section 51
which deals with infringement of copyright, would apply to the
copyright registration obtained by the Plaintiffs in respect of the
software found to be installed in the defendant's
Section 51 of the Copyright Act,
provides that copyright in a work shall be deemed to be infringed
when any person who without license does anything the right to do
which is conferred upon the owner of the copyright by the Act.
Section 14, provides that copyright means the exclusive rights,
subject to the provisions of the Act , to do or authorize the doing
of specified acts in respect of a work or any substantial part
thereof, which in the case of a computer programme would include
the reproduction of the work in any material form including the
storing of it in any medium by electronic means.
In light of the above, the Court
held that by using the pirated versions of Plaintiff's software
the defendants had infringed their copyright and accordingly
awarded punitive damages in addition to permanent injunction.
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This article enunciates the recent, much awaited, and landmark judgment delivered on September 16, 2016 by Hon'ble Delhi High Court throwing light on the important provisions of the Copyright Act, 1962.
The Patents Act 1970, along with the Patents Rules 1972, came into force on 20th April 1972, replacing the Indian Patents and Designs Act 1911. The Patents Act was largely based on the recommendations of the Ayyangar Committee Report headed by Justice N. Rajagopala Ayyangar. One of the recommendations was the allowance of only process patents with regard to inventions relating to drugs, medicines, food and chemicals.
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