The Copyright Board, the pertinent forum to answer appeals filed
under the Copyright Act, 1957 as per Section 72(1) of the Act, was
witness to proceedings against the order of the Registrar of
Copyrights. The appeal initiated by Enercon Systems Pvt. Ltd.
[Enercon Systems Pvt. Ltd. v. Registrar of Copyrights 2008
(37) PTC 599 (CB)], pleaded against the order of the Registrar
whereby he refused to register the literary works of Enercon.
On account of a delay in filling the proceedings, which as per
S. 72, were to be initiated within three months of the order, the
Board in the absence of any stating to the effect in the Act stated
that the general provisions governing Civil Procedure would apply
and in the event of a lack of opposition to the condonement plea of
Enercon, decided to allow the appeal.
Enercon desirous of obtaining copyrights on its literary works
titled "Contents of Corporate Campaign" and
"Contents of Enercon Advertisement" had proceeded to the
Copyright Office. The works comprise of text, design as well as
illustration and original literary work and the copyright to the
same vests in the company. However, Enercon had published the works
prior to registration and had put the subject matter to use in
continuum since then. The Registrar rejected to register the
literary work on the ground the same contained advertisement
slogans and general instructions only, which were not the subject
matter of Copyright. Such a ruling was made on the basis of an
earlier decision in a matter relating to M/s Overnite Express. The
Registrar relying upon the decision of PepsiCo Inc. v. M/s
Hindustan Coca Cola and Ors. 2001 (21) PTC 699 was ignorant of
the same having been overruled by the Division Bench of the Delhi
High Court PepsiCo Inc. v. M/s Hindustan Coca Cola and
Ors. 2003 (27) PTC 305, in effect oblivious of the established
dicta that slogans qualified copyright protection as literary
works. Enercon asserted this dictum vide several precedents and
asserted their right to copyright protection.
The Board taking note of the decision of the Registrar opined
that the test of originality as laid under the University of London
Press Ltd. v. University Tutorial Press Ltd. (1916) 2 Ch. 601 was
sufficient. They noted that the judgment had been consistently
followed in India, in the context of Copyright legislations,
including the 1957 Act. Further, the Board opined that the works
submitted for registration were an amalgam of text, design and
illustrations and that nothing contained therein to depict any lack
of originality. The Board further reiterated that copyrightability
was not measured on the yardstick of excellence or merit; the
moment a doubt as to the work having been copied was non-existent,
copyrightability followed ipso facto. In this light, the
Registrar was asked to proceed with the registration of the works
as per the provisions of the 1957 Act.
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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