Case BriefsDistrict Court

Tis Hazari Court, Delhi: In a case relating to the unauthorized printing/binding/manufacturing/storing/advertising for sale and selling of counterfeit books published by EBC, Siddharth Malik, J. has directed SHO to provide an action taken report before the next date of hearing.

Background of the case:

The Complainants, EBC Publishing Pvt. Ltd. and its sister Firm Eastern Book Company, are companies engaged in the business of publishing legal commentaries, law reports, digests, student texts, etc under their registered trademark. The complainants were made aware of the fact that a few of their published books were being sold without their knowledge or permission on Amazon and Flipkart by the accused, Mackhingee Publisher.

The complainants bought some books from the accused and realized that the accused had been illegally selling inferior quality counterfeit books for a lesser price, and the complainant was receiving negative online reviews for the same. Consequently, a complaint was filed against the accused for illegally selling counterfeit books online. The complainant also included Amazon Ltd. & Flipkart Private Limited in its complaint since they are providing a platform to the accused to commit such offences. In fact, their policy frameworks are designed to safeguard the sale of counterfeit products and there appears to be a deliberate overlook on the sale of such illegal books/items.

Directions:

The Court has directed the SHO of Darya Ganj Police Station to file an action taken report, before the next date of hearing, stating the following:

1. Whether any complaint has been made/ received by the complainant in the police station.

2. If yes, whether any action has been taken on the complaint.

3. Whether as a result of investigation/ inquiry, any cognizable offence has been made out against the accused person and whether any action has been taken by the police.

4. If yes, whether any FIR has been registered & status of investigation.

5. If no cognizable offence has been made out, whether the complainant has been informed accordingly.

The next hearing will take place on 02-09-2022.

[EBC Publishing Pvt. Ltd. v. Mackhingee Publishers, 2022 SCC OnLine Dis Crt (Del) 29, decided on July 28, 2022]


Order by :

Siddhartha Malik, CMM (Central) Tis Hazari Court, Delhi

Counsel(s):

Complainant: Mr. Sanjay Vashishtha

New releasesNews

A panel discussion on  “4 Years of IBC – The Revolution Witnessed and the Promise for Future” was held on 12th December, 2020.  The event also marked the release of Mr Akaant Kumar Mittal’s book on Insolvency and Bankruptcy: Law and Practice. It had several prominent personalities in attendance such as Justice AB Singh, Judicial Member, NCLAT, Dr MS Sahoo, President of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India, Ms Mamta Binani, ex- Chairman, ICSI and others. This discussion was moderated by Ms Haripriya Padmanabhan, Advocate, Supreme Court of India.

 

After a brief introduction, Ms Padmanabhan proceeded to ask Justice Singh whether in his extensive experience as a judge of the High Court where he would have had an occasion to decide winding up cases, compared to his present office as Member of the NCLAT, does he think, that the IBC has made the process of insolvency more efficient? Listen to his answer below

To Dr Sahoo, Ms Padmanabhan asked whether that as new cases are time bound as they come under the new code, shouldn’t we consider transferring the existing winding up cases from HC to NCLT and NCLAT? She also asked his opinion on the fact that  the Code was brought in to save businesses, however it has been found that more than half the cases which are closed under the Code ended up in Liquidation and only 14.93% of the cases ended up with a Resolution Plan. Why does he think this is the case? Dr Sahoo’s reply to the question can be seen below. Kindly pardon Dr Sahoo’s video quality because of connectivity issues.

Next Ms Padmanabhan asked Dr Binani that by the time companies reach NCLT they are very sick, the amount of time available for resolution should increase or decrease depending on what is at stake? Also, What does she think are some of the biggest challenges that a Resolution Professional  faces under the Code? To see Dr Binani’s reply, watch the video below.

Ms Padmanabhan next addressed the author, Mr Mittal and asked him his opinion on the recent Supreme Court’s judgment with respect to the limitation act being applied to IBC. His answer can be seen below.

In the second round, Ms Padmanabhan proceeded to ask each panelist what measures can be introduced to make IBC more effective. See the video below for Justice Singh’s reply.

Listen to Dr Sahoo answer Justice AB Singh’s question on prepackaged insolvency and Ms Padmanabhan’s question on group insolvency and how to make IBC better. Kindly pardon the bad audio because of connectivity issues.

Ms Padmanabhan asked Dr Binani whether foreign portfolio investors are permitted to rescue companies under current IBC, the need to create a fund to facilitate the process and how to make the IBC better.

Ms Padmanabhan commented that Mr Mittal’s book contains many reports on the basis of which IBC was evolved. She asked him whether he thinks there are any lacunas in the law which can be addressed. See the video below for Mr Mittal’s reply.

Dr Padmanabhan finally ended the panel discussion by stating that the new law on insolvency has been a resounding success both in terms of reduction of time and recovery of dues and that she is very optimistic about the future of IBC. The webinar concluded with a vote of thanks to all panelists and all the people who contributed to the book in any small or big way.

The book can be bought here.


Nilufer Bhateja, Associate Editor has put this story together 

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: In an appeal filed by LexisNexis against the injunction granted by the Allahabad High Court on 1.4.2014 in favour of Eastern Book Company, a Bench of Ranjan Gogoi and R.V. Ramana, JJ disposed of the appeal by a short order in the following manner:

The appellants will be at liberty to publish, sell and distribute the raw judgments of the Supreme Court of India and other Courts obtained from whichever source along with their own head-notes, editorial notes, paraphrasing, explanatory notes, etc. as laid down in Eastern Book Company v. D.B. Modak, (2008) 1 SCC 1. [Relx India Pvt. Ltd. v. Eastern Book Company, (2017) 1 SCC 1.]

Pratibha M. Singh, Sr. Adv. and Mr. Vikas Mehta, Adv. appeared for the appellants  and K.V. Viswanathan, Sr. Adv., Anitha Shenoy, Adv., Mr. Harshavardhan Reddy, Adv. Ms. Srishti Agnihotri, Adv. Mr. Dhananjay Bhaskar Roy, Adv. Mr. Rajshekhar Rao, Adv. appeared for the Respondents.

The Supreme Court in Eastern Book Company v. D.B. Modak, (2008) 1 SCC 1 had granted copyright protection to Supreme Court Cases (SCC) in the following manner:

This extract is taken from Eastern Book Company v. D.B. Modak, (2008) 1 SCC 1 at pages 114-15

“61. However, the inputs put in the original text by the appellants in (i) segregating the existing paragraphs in the original text by breaking them into separate paragraphs; (ii) adding internal paragraph numbering within a judgment after providing uniform paragraph numbering to the multiple judgments; and (iii) indicating in the judgment the Judges who have dissented or concurred by introducing the phrases like “concurring”, “partly concurring”, “partly dissenting”, “dissenting”, “supplementing”, “majority expressing no opinion”, etc., have to be viewed in a different light. The task of paragraph numbering and internal referencing requires skill and judgment in great measure. The editor who inserts para numbering must know how legal argumentation and legal discourse is conducted and how a judgment of a court of law must read. Often legal arguments or conclusions are either clubbed into one paragraph in the original judgment or parts of the same argument are given in separate paragraphs. It requires judgment and the capacity for discernment for determining whether to carve out a separate paragraph from an existing paragraph in the original judgment or to club together separate paragraphs in the original judgment of the Court. Setting of paragraphs by the appellants of their own in the judgment entailed the exercise of the brain work, reading and understanding of subject of disputes, different issues involved, statutory provisions applicable and interpretation of the same and then dividing them in different paragraphs so that chain of thoughts and process of statement of facts and the application of law relevant to the topic discussed is not disturbed, would require full understanding of the entire subject of the judgment. Making paragraphs in a judgment could not be called a mechanical process. It requires careful consideration, discernment and choice and thus it can be called as a work of an author. Creation of paragraphs would obviously require extensive reading, careful study of subject and the exercise of judgment to make paragraph which has dealt with particular aspect of the case, and separating intermixing of a different subject. Creation of paragraphs by separating them from the passage would require knowledge, sound judgment and legal skill. In our opinion, this exercise and creation thereof has a flavour of minimum amount of creativity.

62. The said principle would also apply when the editor has put an input whereby different Judges’ opinion has been shown to have been dissenting or partly dissenting or concurring, etc. It also requires reading of the whole judgment and understanding the questions involved and thereafter finding out whether the Judges have disagreed or have the dissenting opinion or they are partially disagreeing and partially agreeing to the view on a particular law point or even on facts. In these inputs put in by the appellants in the judgments reported in SCC, the appellants have a copyright and nobody is permitted to utilise the same.

63. For the reasons stated in the aforesaid discussion, the appeals are partly allowed. The High Court has already granted interim relief to the appellant-plaintiffs by directing that though the respondent-defendants shall be entitled to sell their CD-ROMS with the text of the judgments of the Supreme Court along with their own headnotes, editorial notes, if any, they should not in any way copy the headnotes of the appellant-plaintiffs; and that the respondent-defendants shall also not copy the footnotes and editorial notes appearing in the journal of the appellant-plaintiffs. It is further directed by us that the respondent-defendants shall not use the paragraphs made by the appellants in their copy-edited version for internal references and their editor’s judgment regarding the opinions expressed by the Judges by using phrases like “concurring”, “partly dissenting”, etc. on the basis of reported judgments in SCC. The judgment of the High Court is modified to the extent that in addition to the interim relief already granted by the High Court, we have granted the abovementioned additional relief to the appellants.”

Upon scrutiny of the judgments in the LexisNexis database, copyright protected elements were found in the versions of judgments of the Supreme Court in LexisNexis.

Eastern Book Company sued LexisNexis and the District Judge, Lucknow confirmed the ad-interim injunction in these terms:

98. The application for temporary injunction moved by the plaintiffs is allowed and during the pendency of the Suit, the defendants, their assigns and business franchisees, licensees, distributors, agents etc. are retrained from infringing the copyrights in the literary work of the plaintiffs in their law report “Supreme Court Cases” (SCC) and from selling, distributing or otherwise making available to the public, either as CD ROms or through their websites on the Internet or through any tablet or by any other means, copies of its law reports and databases which infringe the copyrights of the plaintiffs in and to the law reports titled Supreme Court Cases (SCC).” [Eastern Book Company v. Reed Elsevier Pvt. Ltd., RS No. 134/2012 dated January 1, 2014]

This injunction was confirmed by a Division Bench of the Allahabad High Court on 1.4.2014 in these terms:

“In the light of the aforesaid judgment, we arrive at conclusion that the exercise and creation of minimum amount of creativity has to be viewed in the context of journals to journals published by the parties and in order to examine it several facts have to be considered by the trial court in the light of the evidences adduced by the parties during the course of the trial. Therefore, keeping in view the ingredients which are necessary to examine the case for the purpose of temporary injunction, we are of the view that at this stage the respondents/ plaintiffs had prima facie case in their favour to issue temporary injunction against the appellants/defendants so that skill applied by their editor in editing the journals should not be misused by the appellants/ defendants.

Thus, we are of the definite opinion that the learned trial court has correctly appreciated the application for temporary injunction filed by the respondents/ plaintiffs and allowed it which do not require interference by this Court.

However, the appellants are permitted to publish, sell and distribute through their websites and C.D.Rom/ DVD the judgments pronounced by the Hon’ble Supreme Court and other Courts but along with their head notes and editorial notes with all precautions as has been cautioned by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Modak’s case ( supra).” [Reed Elsevier Pvt. Ltd. v. Eastern Book Company, FAFO 134 of 2014 decided on 1.4.2014]

Significantly, in furtherance of the above directions, the Supreme Court directed the expeditious disposal of the suit and vacated the bar against the contempt proceedings, pending against LexisNexis, before the District Court, Lucknow.

On an earlier date (25.10.2016) the Court had passed this order:

“The prayers made in IA Nos. 5 and 6 (filed by the appellants), in our considered view, ought not to be allowed at this stage inasmuch as the grounds in support of prayer ‘c’ of IA No. 5 on which notice has been issued have been urged before the learned trial Court and the appellate court. Therefore, consideration of the said grounds and any finding thereon to sustain the relief so as to prayer ‘c’ of I.A. No. 5 is concerned, was amount to pre-judging the appeal.

However, to avoid any prejudice and in view of the assurance given by the learned counsel  for both the sides that the matter can be disposed of within a short time frame, we order hearing of civil appeal on 23rd November, 2016. The trial court and the High Court of Allahabad will take into account the present order of this Court before deciding whether it should proceed with the contempt case(s) pending before it.” [Reed Elsevier India Pvt. Ltd. v. Eastern Book Company. 2016 SCC OnLine SC 1380, decided on 25.10.2016]

Read the Spicy IP story here.