In the case of Castrol Limited
v. Union of India and Anr; Castrol Limited (Petitioner), a
company incorporated under the laws of England and involved in the
business of manufacturing, processing and marketing high grade
lubricating oil products in the United Kingdom and other countries
challenged an Order of the Deputy Registrar of Copyrights (DROC)
dated 30th September, 2009, by which the
Petitioner's applications for two artistic works in respect of
the Castrol logo under the Copyright Act, 1957, were recorded with
liberty to the Petitioner to submit fresh applications.
A brief outline of the sequence of
events is as follows:
2nd August, 2004 - The aforementioned applications
were filed by the Petitioner as per the requirement under Section
45, Copyright Act.
15th February, 2005- An examination report of the
DROC was issued, containing the following objections:
That the firm cannot be the author of the work, therefore,
details of the author were to be furnished.
That the "No Objection Certificate (NOC)" in original
from the author should be submitted.
That the "Power of Attorney (POA)" duly accepted by
the Attorney/ signed by the Applicant should be submitted.
18th February, 2005- The Petitioner, on their part,
vide a letter furnished details of the author of the artistic work
with respect to each of the two applications, a notarized copy of
the NOC from the original author and the POA in original.
9th April, 2005- A second letter was sent by the
Petitioner to the Registrar of Copyrights (ROC) enclosing a Form IV
duly signed by the authorized person along with the POA in original
11th/14th July, 2008- the Petitioner
received a letter from the DROC asking for further documents to be
NOC from the original author(s), clearly indicating that he/she
has no objection if the copyright in the work(s) is registered in
the name of the Applicant.
The POA, duly signed by the applicant and accepted by the
attorney in original on stamp paper.
14th October, 2008- The Petitioners submitted the
NOC in original and the duly stamped POA.
25th February 2009/3rd March, 2009-
DROC's letter reiterating the same discrepancies mentioned
above was received by the Petitioner.
21st May, 2009- The Petitioner requested for time
till 28th June, 2009 to file the said documents.
22nd June, 2009- Petitioner sought further time till
28th July, 2009 for submitting the documents.
7th August, 2009- DROC granted a final extension of
three weeks time to file the requisite documents on or before
18th August, 2009.
17th August, 2009- The Petitioner sought further
extension of time till 18th September, 2009.
Finally, on 30th September, 2009, the DROC passed
the impugned order which stated that owing to the fact that in
spite of numerous extension of time for submission of documents,
the Petitioner had failed to do so and as such no further
communication with regard to the matter would be entertained
further. However, the Petitioner was given the liberty to file the
application(s) afresh, if they ever so desired.
The Petitioner, aggrieved by the
aforementioned order came before the High Court. They contended
that their applications could not be deemed to be abandoned and
recorded without affording them the opportunity of being heard. It
was further submitted that the required documents had already been
submitted by the Petitioners despite which the DROC repeatedly
asked for the same information. The Respondents were not
represented despite one pass over.
The Court, observed that the
impugned order had clearly been passed without giving the
Petitioner the opportunity of being heard. It was evident to the
Court from the narration of the facts that the Petitioners had
replied to the letters of the DROC. The Court further noted that
the impugned order did not refer to the contention of the
Petitioner that once the author of the artistic work, had assigned
the copyright in such work in the name of the Petitioner, then the
Petitioner becomes the owner of the copyright, as such, the
question of the author giving a NOC for the registration of the
copyright in such work in favour of the Petitioner does not arise.
Further, the order did not refer to the fact that the Petitioner
had submitted the POA and the deed of assignment. The Court
therefore felt that in light of such circumstances the DROC, ought
to have given the Petitioner an opportunity of being heard before
deciding to close the application as "recorded".
Consequently, the Court set aside
the impugned order and restored the Petitioner's applications
to the file of the DROC to be decided by the DROC in accordance
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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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