Annual Newsletter 2023

Annual Newsletter- SSRANA’s Yearly Round up 2023

As we bid farewell to 2023, a year as dazzling as Chandrayaan-3’s lunar touch yet as complex as a nation at a crossroads, it’s time to reflect!

We soared with triumphs that stretched our dreams – from conquering the lunar South Pole to hosting G20’s Summit of 2023. Thrill of Chandrayaan-3’s success wasn’t just a scientific triumph; it ignited the imaginations of a billion young minds, whispering promises of endless possibilities and innovative technologies. And who can forget the G20, where under the banner of “One Earth, One Health, One Future,” India led the world in tackling shared challenges, paving the way for a more resilient future.

But 2023 wasn’t just about global headlines. As the world re-embraced physical connections, S.S. Rana & Co. led the charge. Pixelated conference calls faded into the background and was replaced by the buzzing energy of roundtables and gatherings, both in-person and online. This rekindled human connection injected a fresh vibrancy into our work and lives. From global summits to reunions with colleagues across the globe, our shared experiences were a breath of fresh air. They reminded us that even as we face contradictions and chase distant stars, it’s the connections we forge and the human spirit we celebrate that truly define us.

We represent herein below, glimpses from our year-round journey which showcases our triumphs, accolades, engagements, deals, celebrations.

Conferences and Seminars

Seminar on New Age Risks

Our Managing Partner, Vikrant Rana was invited by FICCI as a Keynote Speaker for its Seminar on New Age Risks on April 19, 2023, at FICCI, New Delhi. During the Seminar, he presented on the topic “Mitigating Risks Associated with IP Infringement”, wherein he highlighted the risks to brand owners and ways in which such risks can be mitigated by brand owners.

Session on Artificial Intelligence & Intellectual Property

Mr. Vikrant Rana was invited as a Panelist for Session on “The Challenge of Frontier Technologies: Artificial Intelligence & Intellectual Property” March 13th, 2023, organized by the National Law University, Delhi in collaboration with Centre for Innovation Intellectual Property & Competition (CIIPC) and University of New Hampshire.

VDMA – 6th North Members Meet

VDMA North Members Meet

The Firm was invited as a Legal Partner for the VDMA – 6th North Members Meet scheduled on June 16th, 2023. During the Meet, Mr. Vikrant Rana presented on the intriguing topic of “Anti-Counterfeiting and Brand Protection in India”.

CII’s Session on Awareness of IPR

Mr. Vikrant Rana was invited by the Confederation of Indian Industry to speak at a Virtual Awareness Session on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). Mr. Rana during the Session discussed the essence of IP licensing, IP Audit, IP Valuation, IP commercialization, Technology Transfer, and licensing.

SSRANA at CSIR’s E-Workshop

Renu Bala Rampal, Associate Partner (Patent), was invited as one of the speakers for National e-Workshop on Innovation & Intellectual Property Rights (NeW IPR-2023) on June 14, 2023 organized by Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)- Institute of Minerals & Materials Technology, Bhubaneswar, India, for an online session on the topic, “Patentability – Criteria, Commonality & Conclusion (3C).

SSRANA & Co. at Innovation-Technology Transfer Office Foundation

SSRana Innovation Technology Transfer Office Foundation

The Firm had the privilege of attending an interactive Intellectual Property (IP) session organized by the Innovation-Technology Transfer Office Foundation for Innovation Technology Transfer. Ms. Pooja Thakur, Associate Partner, and Ms. Aastha Suri, Patent Agent, were invited as IP experts to enrich the knowledge of innovators and start-ups in various aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).

S.S. Rana & Co at FICPI – International Federation of Intellectual Property Attorneys

SSRana International Federation Intellectual Property Attorneys

The FICPI – International Federation of Intellectual Property Attorneys ExCo & 21st Open Forum in London from October 4th to 7th, witnessed a captivating session on one of the intense subjects of our times i.e. a deliberation of the possible impact of Artificial Intelligence on IP and the Legal profession.

The Members of FICPI’s CET and PMC, Vikrant Rana and Brett Slaney, Founding Partner at CPST Intellectual Property Inc., presented the captivating session, which comprised numerous questions that would help in ascertaining the global perspective about AI’s impact in the legal profession.

SSRANA & Co as a partner at CSO Conclave, FICCI

SSrana partner CSO Conclave

FICCI organized The CSO Conclave on October 20, 2023, with an objective to provide opportunity to physical, data & cyber security companies to learn from SOs about their requirements for technological solutions in view of changing risk landscape and invited SSRANA & Co as a partner at FICCI, Federation House, New Delhi.

SSRANA & Co. at INNOVATERESOLVE ADR conference

SSRana Innovateresolve ADR conference

Nihit Nagpal, Associate Partner at SSRANA & Co., was invited to moderate a panel discussion on Alternate Dispute Resolution in resolving IP disputes. Mr. Nagpal along with other co-panelists’ elucidated about various IP rights followed by infringement of the IP rights and resolving such disputes by ADR techniques.

SSRANA & Co. conducted IPR session for Advanced Training Course on IPR

SSrana IPR session Advanced Training Course IPR

Mr. Vikrant Rana was invited for conducting an IPR session for Advanced Training Course on IPR, organized by TIFAC, DST, Ministry of Science & Technology Aeronautical Research & Development Board (AR&DB) Defence Research & Development Organization, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi & Sharda University.

POSH Workshop at MEIT, Jammu

POSH Workshop MEIT Jammu

S.S. Rana & Co. had the privilege of conducting a training and sensitization programme on “The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013” also known as the POSH Act” at the prestigious Model Institute of Engineering and Technology (MIET) in Jammu. The workshop was organized by FICCI FLO-Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, in collaboration with MIET, Jammu.

SSRANA & Co. conducted workshop at Tarraqi I Foundation (TiF), New Delhi

SSRana Workshop Tarraqi I Foundation

Anuradha Gandhi, Managing Associate accompanied by Isha Sharma, Associate Advocate at SSRANA & Co., had the honor of leading a captivating workshop on POSH law for the bright and enthusiastic students of the Tarraqi I Foundation (TiF), New Delhi on November 28, 2023.

Training Sessions at SSRANA

Mental Health Training Session

The Firm organized a training session on “Tips and techniques to manage depression and anxiety” on June 12th, 2023 for its members conducted by Brahma Kumari Sister Rama.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and Women Health Training

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation and Women health Training

The Firm understands that it is imperative that its employees are trained with Basic lifesaving skills and accordingly organized health centric trainings on Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and also on Women Health on May 16th and 17th.

Book releases

The Landscape in India – Risks, Regulations and Results

SSRana Book Releases Landscape India Risks regulations Results

The German Engineering Federation (VDMA India) organized 12th Mechanical Engineering Summit on October 13, 2023, in Bengaluru. The Summit, a one-day brought together participants from 24 states of India from German mechanical industries and invited SSRANA & Co., as its Legal Partner.

During the session, VDMA India released the book “The Landscape in India – Risks, Regulations and Results” written by SSRANA & Co. The Book is a compendium of IPR laws and protection strategies in India with a special focus on issues of counterfeiting and Brand enforcement. It provides an insight to brand owners on the Intellectual Property Landscape in India, the impact of Counterfeiting on different Stakeholders, anti-counterfeiting laws and remedies, laws applicable on Counterfeiting, penalties and remedies along with cases and remedial measures in cases of infringement of IPR.

Book release on “Women Safety at Workplace” in collaboration with FICCI

Book Release Women Safety Workplace

S.S. Rana & Co., being the Knowledge Partner in collaboration with FICCI, launched a Report on “Women Safety at Workplace”, which is a compendium about the laws and issues pertaining to sexual harassment at workplace and the POSH Law in India. Considering the dearth of existing literature on the subject, the Report addresses myriad critical concerns emerging from sexual harassment at workplace.

Awards and Achievements

Vikrant Rana appointed as Professor of Practice

Vikrant Rana appointed Professor Practice

Mr. Vikrant Rana, Managing Partner at S.S. Rana & Co., was appointed as the Professor of Practice by Law College Dehradun – India, Uttaranchal University on June 09, 2023. The appointment is in pursuance of a resolution passed by the Academic Council of the University to appoint eminent lawyers and retired judicial officers as ‘Professor of Practice’.

The objective of introducing Professor of Practice in India is to enhance the quality of higher education by bringing practitioners, policymakers, skilled professionals etc. into higher education system.

The initiative is a commendable one and it is expected that this academia and industry tie-up will prove to be immensely beneficial for law students and prepare them for their legal accomplishments in a holistic manner.

SSRANA recognized as India’s Best WorkplacesTM for Women 2023

The Firm was bestowed with India’s Best Workplaces for Women (Mid-size) as one of the Top 50 companies. The Award reaffirms our core values of diversity and inclusion and our commitment to provide a workplace where women can thrive, excel, and reach exemplary heights in their careers.

SSRANA recognized as a Great Place to Work

SSRana Great Place to work

The Firm has also been certified as a Great Place to work from the period June, 2023 to June, 2024.

SSRana Awards

Triumphs at the Bench!

Events and Celebrations at SSRANA

Events and celebrations are an intrinsic part of S.S. Rana. Celebrating festivals not only defines our cultural inclinations but also blends us with the flavours of diversity and inclusion. Several interesting activities are organized to make the festivity engaging and extraordinary for the members of the Firm. Few glimpses from our celebrations….

Holi Celebration at SSRANA

SSRana Holi Celebration

SSRANA & Co. transformed into a kaleidoscope of colour for this year’s Holi festivities. The HR team had woven a tapestry of fun-filled activities, ensuring every moment pulsed with the vibrant spirit of the festival.

World Environment Day Celebration

SSRana World Environment Day

The environment day serves as a reminder to all to stop harming our nature as every individual’s intent and actions towards safeguarding the environment hold significance. The Member of the Firm celebrated the Day by planting saplings and also wishes everyone a very happy environment day!!

International Yoga Day

SSRana International Yoga Day

With high fervor and enthusiasm, International Yoga Day was celebrated at SSRANA & Co. Yoga is something that is deeply ingrained in the reins of SSRANA and the Firm every year celebrates this day by involving in the activity and making it memorable for one and all. The Firm conducted an enriching yoga session in the office for its employees.

Diwali Celebration at SSRANA

SSRana Diwali Celebration

As the spirit of Diwali danced in the air, Team SSRANA & Co. transformed their office into a vibrant tapestry of festivity. Sparkling diya lights cast a warm glow, illuminated by the radiant hues of rangoli designs that blossomed across the floor. Smiling faces, adorned in the colours of celebration, radiated joy as laughter and cheer echoed through the halls. The HR team had meticulously planned a day brimming with merriment and engagement.

34 Glorious Years of SSRANA

Thirty-four years ago, a visionary seed was planted. In 1989, SSRANA & Co. embarked on a remarkable journey, guided by the unwavering spirit of its founders. Today, that seed has blossomed into a towering oak, its branches reaching for the sky, its roots firmly anchored in the fertile ground of dedication and teamwork. As we mark this momentous milestone, a wave of pride washes over us. Pride in the extraordinary exuberance displayed by our leaders, colleagues, and clients, each playing their part in weaving this incredible success story.

 Christmas Celebration at SSRANA

SSRana Christmas Celebration

Festive Cheer Fills S.S. Rana & Co. as Christmas Delights Staff. As the crisp December air swirled with snowflakes, a joyous spirit descended upon S.S. Rana & Co. The Members of the Firm had holly jolly fun and celebrated 5 days of Cake Baking Competition, Scavenger Hunt, Ugly Sweater Day, Flash mob, followed by Games, activities, food, and dancing galore – this is where the employees’ spirit truly takes flight! And they Dive into exciting competitions like Lucky Dip, and exciting prizes.

SSRANA & Co. at the 2023 Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon on October 15!

Team SSRANA & Co. with immense enthusiasm and vigor participated in the 2023 Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon on October 15, 2023. In all 57 SSRians participated in various race categories including, Open 21K, 10K Half Marathon, Senior Citizen run of 3 KM and Great Delhi Run. The members of the Firm have been participating in the Marathon for more than a decade now. Running with ultimate dedication is vital stress buster that rejuvenates the spirit and ignites the motivation within SSRians sportsmen.

IMPORTANT IPR UPDATES OF 2023

New Endorsement Guidelines for Social Media Influencers- India

The Department of Consumer Affairs under the Ministry of consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution released a guideline named, ‘Endorsement Know-hows!’ for celebrities, influencers and virtual influencers on social media platforms on January 20, 2023 with the aim to ensure that the celebrities and influencers do not mislead their audiences when endorsing products or services and the endorsements are in compliance with the Consumer Protection Act and associated rules.

The Guidelines require that the celebrities, influencers and virtual influencers (fictional computer generated characters having features and personalities of humans) who have access to audience and the power to affect their purchasing decisions and opinions shall display disclosures about the ‘material connection’ between the advertiser and celebrity/influencer that is likely to affect the weight or credibility of the endorsements made by them. Read More

Public Notice on Abandonment of Trademarks- India

The Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks (CGPDTM), issued a Public Notice dated February 06, 2023, stating that trademark applications in respect of which no reply to the examination report has been received by the Registry within the prescribed time shall be treated as ‘Abandoned’ under Section 132 of the Trade Marks Act, 1999 and Rule 33(4) of the Trade Marks Rules, 2017. Read More

Public notice on Disposal of Trademark Opposition matters- India

The Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks (CGPDTM), issued a Public Notice dated February 06, 2023, which stated that applications in which trademark opposition have been filed and notice of oppositions have also been served by the Trade Marks Registry (TMR) to the Applicant and, no counter statement is received within the prescribed time in respect of the trademark opposition filed and in support of the application as prescribed by the Act and Rules, the same shall be ‘deemed to have abandoned’ as per the provision of Section 21(2) of the Trade Marks Act.  Read More

Union Budget 2023: Budget Allocation for IPR Ecosystem

The most touted Union Budget of 2023-24 was announced by the Finance Minister, Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman on February 01, 2023. While the Budget has provided several reliefs to the Aam Aadmi, it also grants several reliefs and exemptions for enhanced manufacturing, providing impetus to green technology and mobility and also increased budget allocation for IPR ecosystem in India. Read More

SEBI on Use of brand name/trade name by Investment Advisers and Research Analysts

The Security and Exchange Board of India (“SEBI”) vide its circular dated April 06, 2023 had observed the usage of brand name/ trade name/ logo by few investment advisers and research analysts following prior publication of a comprehensive set of guidelines for advertisements for investor advisers and research analysts released by the SEBI. Read More

Geographical Indication Registry Showers GI Certifications

On March 31, 2023, Geographical Indication Registry, Chennai awarded certification to more than 30 Geographical Indication (herein after referred to as “GI”) tags. For a general understanding, a GI tag represents a geographical indication and indicates the source of the product and provides legal protection to the products and prevents unauthorized use of a GI tag product by others. Read More

International Recognition of Himachal’s Kangra Tea

Himachal Pradesh’s unique Kangra Tea has recently been granted Geographical Indication (GI) registration in European Union, which is considered to be a significant milestone for the tea industry in India. This registration will pave the way for commercialization of Kangra Tea in European countries. Read More

Pirates Beware! Government tightens noose with Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, 2023

The Lok Sabha passed the Cinematograph (amendment) Bill, 2023 on July 31, 2023 after the Bill was approved by the Rajya Sabha on July 27, 2023. The last amendment to the Cinematograph Act, 1952 was made in the year 1984, almost 40 years ago. Read More

Marriage melodies without royalties”- DPIIT issues Public notice

In a recent development, the Department for Promotion of Industry an Internal Trade (DPIIT) has issued a public notice dated July 24, 2023, clarifying that the definition of the term “Religious Ceremony” includes “marriage procession and other social festivities associated with marriage”. Playing music or songs at marriage occasions has been a common practice from a long time. Over the years, copyright societies have been sending notices to people for payment of royalties for playing music or songs at marriage occasions. These notices often claim that playing copyrighted musical work without obtaining the necessary licenses or paying royalties is not permissible. Read More 

DPIIT Notifies Proposed Amendments to Patent Rules, 2003- India

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry (Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade) vide notification dated August 22, 2023, has proposed amendments to the Patents Rules, 2003 which shall be taken into consideration by the Central Government after the expiry of a period of thirty days. The DPIIT has invited objections or suggestions from all persons likely to be affected and any such objections or suggestions. Read More

Ministry Proposes to reduce Fees for filing Geographical Indication Application by 80%

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry (Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade) on October 17th, 2023, has notified the Draft rules to further amend the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Rules, 2002. The Ministry in the draft Rules has proposed to amend the First Schedule of the Geographical Indications Rules, which provides for the Form and Fees for filing, registration, prosecution, renewal of Geographical Indications applications in India.

It is noteworthy to mention here that the official fees for an application for the registration of a geographical indication has been reduced by 80% and huge rebate in official fees has also been proposed for other processes, such as, renewal of geographical indication registration. Read More

Calcutta High Court Notifies Proposed Intellectual Property Rights Division Rules, 2023

In a much-anticipated development, after Delhi and Madras High Courts, the Hon’ble Calcutta High Court has also notified its proposed draft Rules for Intellectual Property Rights Division Rules Of The High Court At Calcuttavide notification dated December 19, 2023. The proposed IP Rules are meant to govern pending cases before Calcutta’s Courts Intellectual Property Rights Division (hereinafter referred to as the IPRD)and Intellectual Property Rights Appellate Division (hereinafter referred to as the IPRAD). Read More

NOTEWORTHY IPR CASES OF 2022

Trademark cases

We All Scream, ‘Natural’ Ice-Cream- Interim Arrangement between ‘NATURAL’ & ‘NIC’

Both Natural Ice Cream and NIC Natural Ice-creams are available for sale not only on physical outlets spread across India but also on Online Food Delivery Platforms i.e. Zomato and Swiggy.

Since both the ice cream brands were using the mark ‘NATURAL’ prominently and are dealing with identical goods and services, the questions of infringement, misrepresentation, consumer confusion, etc. arose and were brought before the Delhi High Court. Vide an order of the High Court, the parties arrived upon an interim arrangement to conduct their business, without any prejudice upon the merits of the suit deciding their respective rights. Read More

ITC Bukhara taking Indian Cuisine to “Well-Known” Status

Hon’ble Justice Prathiba M. Singh has recently declared ITC Limited’s famous trade mark BUKHARA used in respect of its restaurant at Chanakyapuri, New Delhi, as “well-known” in a suit filed by ITC Limited (i.e., the Plaintiff) against Central Park Estates Pvt. Ltd. and St. Jerome Hospitality Management Services Pvt. Ltd (i.e., the Defendants) for infringing their rights by adopting the trade mark BALKH BUKHARA for its restaurant.

The Hon’ble Court traced the history of recognition of well-known trade marks in India and placed reliance on judicial precedents wherein marks such as APPLE , WHIRLPOOL , BENZ etc., were recognized as well-known trade marks by courts even before they were actually used on a commercial basis in India. The Hon’ble Court reiterated statutory provisions with respect to ‘well-known marks’ incorporated in the Trade Marks Act, 1999 under Section 2(zg), Section 11(2) and (6), Section 29(4) and Rule 124 of the Trade Marks Rules 2017. Read More

IP Division in Madras- Directions issued by Madras High Court

The Hon’ble Madras High Court in its recent decision in Galatea Ltd. v. Registrar General of Madras High Court & Ors.[1] has directed the State Government to notify the Madras High Court Intellectual Property Rights Division Rules, 2022 with the exception of the Rule relating to court fees, within one week of receipt of the order, much to the relief of IP practitioners and litigants.

The decision came in a batch of petitions of Writ of Mandamus, under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, wherein the Petitioners inter-alia prayed that direction to be issued to the Registrar General of the High Court to consider the Petitioner’s representation dated July 28, 2022, and seeking directions against the Registrar General as well as the State Government to frame and implement appropriate Rules to transfer pending cases from the erstwhile Intellectual Property Appellate Board, Chennai (IPAB). Read More 

Heated Trademark Battle Over Gas Stoves:  Whose ‘prestige’ Is This?

Hon’ble Mr. Justice Amit Bansal, IP Division, Delhi High Court vide his judgement dated February 20, 2023, provided protection to TTK Prestige’s registered trademark ‘PRESTIGE’ in a trademark infringement and passing off suit filed against an entity named K.K. and Company for using the device mark for selling gas stoves. The Hon’ble Court prima-facie upheld the goodwill and reputation earned by the Plaintiff in its trade mark ‘PRESTIGE’ in respect of ‘pressure cookers’. Read More

Patent Evergreening- Not so green after all!

The Indian Patent Office vide order of the Controller dated March 23, 2023, refused a patent grant to application no: 1220/MUMNP/2009 titled “Fumerate Salt of (Alpha S, Beta R) -6-bromo-alpha-[2-(dimethylamino)-ethyl]-2-methoxy-alpha-1-naphthalenyl-beta-phenyl-3-quinolineethanol” [The Salt Of TMC 207] which is also known as Bedaquiline.

The significance of this order is that it will prevent extending the monopoly of the applicant on the anti-Tuberculosis (TB) drug Bedaquiline as the applicant was already awarded the Indian Patent Number: 236811 for a similar compound in 2009. This will allow generic companies to launch their products containing Bedaquiline as the patent expired in July, 2023. The use of Bedaquiline is generally found to be highly effective when the normal treatment plan for TB fails. Read More

A New Trade Dress And Tagline Saga, Decided By The Hon’ble Delhi High Court

Recently, a single judge bench of the Hon’ble Delhi High Court, while rejecting Plaintiff’s application for ad-interim injunction in M/s M.L. Brothers LLP v. Uma Impact Private Limited & Anr, alleging infringement of trade dress reiterated the three essential elements for establishing an action of passing off, i.e., goodwill/reputation; misrepresentation caused by the Defendants; and the resulting irreparable loss to Plaintiff.

The Court also observed that granting a ‘blanket’ injunction against all the products produced by the Defendants in absence of specific averments in respect of each infringing product is impermissible in law. Read More

Critique Or Advertisement Disparagement? Rathee Crossed The Lakshmanrekha

Recently, Dabur India Ltd., a well-known FMCG Company, which sells packaged fruit juices under the brand ‘REAL’, being aggrieved with a YouTube video uploaded by a famous YouTuber Dhruv Rathee, which allegedly led to advertisement disparagement and denigrated packaged fruit products and specifically targets Plaintiff’s brand REAL, approached the Hon’ble Calcutta High Court for protection of its intellectual property rights.

The Hon’ble Court passed an ad-interim order in Dabur’s favour, directing the intermediaries to delete/block access/remove the said video. Read More

Flipkart Gets ‘cover’ under Safe Harbour Clause- India

The Hon’ble Delhi High Court in a recent order in Samridhi Enterprises v. Flipkart Internet Pvt. Ltd. & Ors., while granting an interlocutory injunction to the Plaintiff against the sellers on Flipkart, held that under Rule 3 of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, an intermediary is not under any obligation to take action merely on a complaint of the victim/user regarding infringement of IPR.

With regard to Flipkart’s infringement policy, the learned Judge held that when the statutory provision does not envisage action being taken by intermediary on being informed by the right holder against an IPR violation, the Court cannot, by placing reliance on an internal policy of a particular intermediary, read into Clause 3 any such requirement, which doesn’t exist in the 2021 Rules. Read More

Ground for rejection of Patent divisional application: Section 16 Controversy

In a recent case of Syngenta Limited vs Controller Of Patents And Designs, an Appeal was filed before the Hon’ble Delhi High Court under Section 117(A) of the Patents Act, 1970 by Syngenta Limited against the impugned order passed by the Deputy Controller of Patents and Designs vide order dated October 11, 2017, wherein the Deputy Controller had rejected the grant of divisional application filed by the Appellant.

The divisional application in the case was filed by the Appellant under Section 16(1) of the Indian Patents Act, 1970 in respect of the parent application number 6114/DELNP/2005 dated December 28, 2005 titled “Agrochemical concentrate comprising an adjuvant and hydrotrope”. Read More

Can “I.N.D.I.A.” be registered as name of Political Party / Alliance?

While the formation of political alliance of opposition parties “I.N.D.I.A.” (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance)* has stirred politics and political landscape in India, it has also opened the pandora’s box and created a furore about the registrability or use of name of a political alliance as I.N.D.I.A.The whole cacophonous debate compels to ponder whether the 26 political parties while deliberating on the united strategy overlooked laws pertaining to improper use of certain names in India.

Article 1 of the Constitution of India, 1950, declares that the name of the Union is “India” or Bharat. The Constitution does not expressly prohibit use of the name India for any purposes. However, naming anything identical to the name of the nation is an unusual occurrence and is bound to lead to obscurity. There are numerous parties across the world where the name of the country is a part of the name of political party, however having a name identical to name of country is a rarity and indicates an intentional branding strategy. Read More 

Patent Act needs to be Re-Examined- says Delhi High Court

The Delhi High Court has recently observed that there is a need to re-look Section 3(k) of the Indian Patent Act, 1970, as a large number of inventions in evolving technologies including by SMEs, start-ups and educational institutions could be in the field of business methods or application of computing and digital technologies. Section 3(k) of the Indian Patents Act excludes patentability of inventions relating to mathematical or business methods or computer program per se or algorithms. Read More

Train Accidents: Adopting Patents and Innovations in Train Safety

India has witnessed a significant increase in train accidents by 37% in the year 2022-2023, thereby posing a threat to the safety and lives of passengers. Such accidents not only result in loss of lives but also cause severe injuries and damage to property. The recent Balasore train accident, which claimed the lives of 288 individuals and injured over 1000 people, serves as a critical warning sign for the Indian Railways. Such devastating train accidents highlight the urgent need for adopting innovative patent technologies to enhance train safety and prevent the occurrence of such accidents in the future. Read More

Mechanism for IP Valuation and Financing in India: An Opportunity for Economic Growth?

India’s Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) is also eyeing to devise a system for the valuation of intellectual property in India to facilitate wealth through other financial instruments. IP valuation is a way to determine the worth and value of intellectual property such as trademarks, copyrights, patents, designs, and trade secrets. Whereas, IP Financing means using intellectual property assets to achieve credit, and financial benefits and generate income. IP Financing is becoming a common collateral for obtaining credit or loans from financial institutions. Read More

BLINKHIT and MISSED- Blinkhit Private Limited vs. Blinkit

The Hon’ble Supreme Court refused to restore the temporary injunction order passed by the additional City Civil Judge Bangalore on account of Appellant i.e. Blinkhit Private Limited having failed to establish any concrete business activity or financial transaction since its inception and further upheld the Karnataka High Court’s order of setting aside the trial court’s order on being erroneous. The High Court of Karnataka High Court time and again emphasized over the existing rights one possesses under the common law and that registration is just a mere recognition of the pre-existing rights. By virtue of the same, despite Blink Commerce Private Limited not having statutory rights of the name/mark BLINKIT, its extensive and continuous use since 2021 was given precedence over a registered mark which has next to no use. Read More

The G20 Declaration and Intellectual Property

The G20 Presidency has placed India at a phenomenal position in the international realm and has showcased the world as to how India is one of the most sought-after nations. While the whole nation is basking with the impeccable success of G20 Summit, we cannot sideline the notable G20 New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration, which in its Preamble (point no. 30) envisages to protect intellectual property and emphasizes on protection against over-commercialization and misappropriation of living heritage on the sustainability and on the livelihoods of practitioners and community bearers as well as Indigenous Peoples. Read More

Non-Submission of Evidence By Way Of Affidavit not a ground to refuse Well-Known Status of Trademark

In a recent case of Kamdhenu Ltd vs The Registrar Of Trade Marks, the Hon’ble Delhi High Court passed a noteworthy order while holding that documentary evidence without an affidavit can still establish well-known status of the mark. While allowing the Appeal in the present case, the Court held that Non-filing of the affidavit by the Appellant could not have resulted in the dismissal of the Application itself. An injunction was granted on the basis of deceptive similarity of the mark under question and the basis of engagement of the plaintiff in the same field of activities of the plaintiff. The Hon’ble court has nowhere observed or determined Kamdhenu as a well-Known trademark. Read More

Deepfakes and breach of Personal Data – A bigger picture

On November 07, 2023, a day after a licentious video of actor Rashmika Mandanna surfaced on several social media platforms, she came out decrying about its authenticity. The actor’s face unwittingly had been superimposed on the body of a British Indian influencer named Zara Patel.

This is an example of what is called a ‘Deepfake’ video because of the Artificial Intelligence tools used to manipulate the images and videos. The new images thus created are a form of disinformation and whether they are objectionable or not will depend on the context and how the same is perceived. The celebrities are an easy target and their objectionable videos most marketable commodity. Read More

How to (NOT) getaway with Deepfakes – Patents Lead The Way

As a whole, there have been a significant number of patents filed worldwide till date, which prima facie encompass elements related to deepfakes (based on a search for keywords such as ‘Deepfake’, ‘Synthetic media’, ‘Face Swapping’, ‘Neural D Network’, ‘4D Manipulation’, ‘Digital D impersonation’, Facial D Re-enactment, etc. on publicly available databases). A study in this regard reveals that the USA, China and Korea are the world leaders in such patents. Even though India only features as number 6 globally when it comes to filing of patents with respect to inventions which may encompass deepfakes, the number of patents filed (i.e. 119) is certainly not insignificant. In fact, leading Indian companies and universities (in addition to other applicants) have been filing patent applications in this domain in India. Read More

Actual commercial use trumps trans-border reputation in Princeton’s trade mark dispute

Whether a subsequent registered proprietor can restrain a prior user from using an identical/similar mark? Whether being featured in articles /news amounts to use in a certain region? Should confusion in the mind of the end consumer be considered while deciding infringement? These were some of the questions that were elaborated upon and discussed in detail by the Learned Single Judge in the case of The Trustees of Princeton University v. The Vagdevi Educational Society and Ors , while adjudicating upon an ad-interim injunction concerning the use of the mark PRINCETON.

Taking into consideration the argument of the Defendants qua section 34 of the Trade Marks Act, it was held that although the date of user declared at the time of seeking registration would be binding upon the Plaintiff, however, if the Plaintiff is able to show that there is actual user of its mark from a point of time prior to the user claim, the Court has to take into consideration the said evidence of use. Read More

Consumer Protection versus Protection of Intermediaries, what must prevail?

A listing on an e-commerce portal, an order placed with the seller, a substandard product delivered with a delay and an inconsistent grievance redressal by the seller – this cocktail was brought to court by the consumer at the North Goa District Consumer Forum, questioning the liabilities of the e-commerce website vis-a-vis the seller listed. While the relevant provisions under the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Amendment Rules, 2022 and the Information Technology Act, 2000 were barely contemplated upon over the course of the instant matter at either of the three redressal Agencies. The final verdict by the National Commission was nevertheless, sound in terms of the said provisions. Read More

Delhi High Court Division Bench Revisits Intellectual Property Litigation Directives

In a significant development likely to impact intellectual property (IP) litigation, the Hon’ble Division Bench of the Delhi High Court has overturned key directives of the Vishal Pipes Ltd. v. Bhavya Pipe Industrycase. In the recent case of Pankaj Ravjibhai Patel v. SSS Pharmachem Pvt. Ltd, the Hon’ble Division Bench disagreed with the earlier Vishal Pipes judgment, which mandated that all IP suits filed at the District Court level be automatically listed before a District Judge (Commercial), irrespective of their valuation. Read More

IMPORTANT CORPORATE UPDATES OF 2023

NCW asks States to implement POSH Act in Coaching / Educational Institutes

In its official correspondence the NCW asked all the Chief Secretaries of the respective States and Union Territories to direct the coaching/educational institutes to ensure implementation of the POSH Act for the protection of female students within their respective establishments. The NCW has also asked the States and the Union Territories to direct their respective authorities to conduct public awareness programmes and campaigns on the POSH Act among all the stakeholders to make sure that such incidences of sexual harassment at workplace are effectively reported and dealt with. Read More

Food Safety and Standards (Advertising and Claims) Second Amendment Regulations, 2022

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, FSSAI, has introduced an Amendment; Food Safety and Standards (Advertising and Claims) Second Amendment Regulations, 2022, herein referred to as, FSSA Standards (Advertising and Claims) Second Amendment Regulations, 2022.

It aims at providing fairness in claims and advertisements of food products and make food businesses accountable for such claims/advertisements so as to protect consumer interests.

Specific guidelines are to be followed by Food Businesses in aspects of labelling, declarations, servings, display panels, schedules, nutritional values, nutrition comparative claims, additives, sodium elements, etc. This is developed to build transparency for consumers and accountability on the part of the FBOs (Food Business Operators). Read More

Competition Amendment Bill, 2022- Settlement and Commitment Scheme

The government introduced the Competition (Amendment) Bill, 2022 in the Lok Sabha to amend various provisions of the competition law and the bill has been referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance. Among the amendments proposed is the introduction of the settlement and commitment framework, which will help to reduce litigations relating to anti-competitive practices.

The new bill incorporates new sections, Section 48A and 48B, for framing Settlement and Commitment Mechanisms, covering offences of anti-competitive agreements and abuse of dominance.

The new section 48A contains the provisions related to Settlement, stating that any enterprise against whom an inquiry has been initiated for violation of the provisions of Section 3 or 4, shall be permitted to submit an application in writing to the Commission for the purpose of settlement of the proceedings for the alleged contraventions, in such form and upon payment of such fee as may be specified by the regulations. Read More

New EV Battery Rules for Enhanced Safety and Performance- India

Senior Government Officials have anonymously indicated that Government of India, would bring rules for battery Safety and performance standards next month. The officials have also commented that these rules will likely not limit the dimensions and size of EV batteries as it will create a blockade to the innovation.

The news brings relief to the EV industry and will welcome the move. Accordingly, the government indicated to bring uniformity in size and dimensions of the batteries but later retracted. This decision was made after the industry leaders met with officials from NITI AYOG on January 3, 2023, and expressed concerns against the government suggestions to unify the battery size in EV battery swapping policy. They reasoned that standardizing the dimensions will bring a halt in EV innovations. Read More

New TDS Norms on E-Gaming Bounty- Budget

With an intention to regularize and streamline the revenue generated from this growing industry the Union Minister of Finance Mrs. Nirmala Smitherman in her 5th consecutive annual Budget speech for the fiscal year starting in April 2023 provided a much needed clarity relating to taxability of winnings from online gaming.

During her 2023 budgetary address the Hon’ble Minister proposed a 30% tax on net winnings from online gaming at the time of withdrawal of such winnings by the player or at the end of the financial year along with the removal of Rs. 10,000/- threshold for levying tax deducted at source (TDS) on winnings accrued to players under section 194B of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (Act).

For effecting the aforesaid, the budget added section 115BBJ to the Act which now defines the terms “computer resource”, “Internet” and “online games” and excluded winnings from online gaming from the ambit of section 115BB. The new norms will be applicable from April 1, 2024. Read More

Amendment of E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2022- India

The Government of India, on November 2, 2022, notified the E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2022 replacing the erstwhile E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2016. The Rules will come into force from April 01, 2023.

The primary object of the rules is to bring down the use of hazardous substances (such as lead, mercury, and cadmium) in manufacturing of electrical and electronic equipment that have an adverse impact on human health and the environment. Read More

Toys Consignment Seized for not complying BIS Rules

In a recent development, the concerned authorities seized over 18,000 toys from 25 retail stores. The consumer protection regulator also issued notices to online portals like Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal for the alleged sale of toys without the BISquality mark and appropriate actions/penalties were to be taken for not following the procedure under the Act.  

In India, Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is a National Standard Body of India established under Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 2016. They have the power to oversee the quality, safety of the goods and award them with the ISI markor Quality Certification. Additionally, they have the power to issue notices and penalties to manufacturers and sellers for not following the procedure under the act. Read More

New Online Gaming Regulatory Regime Bans Wagering Apps- India

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology on April 6, 2023, notified the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Amendment Rules, 2023 in a bid to regulate the online gaming industry. This development comes in the backdrop of the Finance Act, 2023 levying a flat 30% tax on winnings accrued from online gaming platforms.

The Rules have been formulated as an extension to the already existing Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 by introducing additions, pertaining specifically to online gaming, in the existing rules. In essence, the thrust is towards introducing self-regulation and due diligence in the market. Read More

Government Notifications for POSH Compliance- India

In a recent development, the district of New Delhi issued an urgent notice to all the companies to form an Internal Complaints Committee. Furthermore, the Internal Complaints Committees of all the organizations have been directed to upload the signed copy of the Annual Report on the link provided thereunder.

In view of the foregoing, it is important to understand that the POSH Act entails within itself certain compliances that include drafting of a POSH Policy, constitution of ICC, conducting employee awareness programs along with sensitisation trainings for the members of the ICC to name a few. Read More

NCPCR Notice to Cadbury Bournvita Sheds Light on Advertisement Standards in India

In the beginning of April 2023, a social media influencer uploaded a video alleging Mondelez India-owned chocolate drink ‘ Cadbury Bournvita’ of misleading the public with disingenuous health claims and selling a product majorly made of refined sugar.

The aforesaid video, though now deleted after the influencer was served a legal notice by Mondlez, ruffled enough feathers for the people to lodge a formal complaint with the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights(NCPCR) , a statutory body established under the Commission for Protection of Child Rights (CPCR) Act, 2005, against   Cadbury Bournvita in relation to the health claims and benefits for children propounded by the said product. Read More

Government Mulls Bringing Online Gaming Under GST- India

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology notified the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Amendment Rules, 2023 vide gazette notification dated April6, 2023 introduced the provisions with an intent to regulate and provide industry led checks and balance regime for the online gaming sector.

As per the Rules an online game is any game accessible over the internet by using a computer resource or an intermediary. The intermediary here stands for online gaming intermediary defined as any intermediary which allows user to access one or more online games. Read More

MCA notifies Amendment to Removal of Names of Companies Rules

On May 10, 2023, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs vide its Notification No. GSR 354(E), issued the Companies (Removal of Names of Companies from Register of Companies) Second Amendment Rules, 2023 to further amend the Companies (Removal of Names of Companies from the Register of Companies) Rules, 2016.  The Companies (Removal of Names of Companies from the Register of Companies) Rules, 2016 provides the procedure for removing the name of a company from the register of companies. These Rules were first introduced in 2016 and they have been revised by the MCA from time to time. Read More

Hallmarking of Gold Jewellery and Artefacts (2nd Amendment) Order, 2023

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, via a press release dated March 31, 2023, issued the Hallmarking of Gold Jewellery and Gold Artefacts (Second Amendment) Order, 2023 to further amend the Hallmarking of Gold Jewellery and Gold Artefacts Order, 2020. Since gold is of such intrinsic value and is considered to be a popular investment choice by the majority of people, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) in order to safeguard consumers from adulteration and to oblige jewellers to maintain legal purity standards has taken this noteworthy step.

Read More 

GST Council imposes 28% GST on online games in India

The GST Council, as per the 47th GST Council Meeting, reconsidered the report submitted by the Group of Ministers (GoM) on the issues pertaining to the taxation of casinos, horse racing, and online gaming. The issue before the GoM was whether to impose a 28% GST on the face value of bets, or gross gaming revenue, or just the platform fees. The GoM was convened by Meghalaya Chief Minister, Conrad Sangma, and had members from eight states including West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Gujarat and Maharashtra. Read More

Rajasthan passes Bill for Welfare of Gig Workers- India

In India, the gig workforce is expected to expand to 2.35 crore (23.5 million) workers by 2029-30 thereby having a significant contribution towards economic development. Rajasthan became the first state in India to propose a legislative framework titled “Rajasthan Platform Based Gig Workers (Registration and Welfare) Act, 2023”, which is aimed at providing social security to gig workers by establishing a welfare fee deduction mechanism that shall be integrated with the aggregator app. Read More

Supreme Court launches Handbook to Combat Gender Stereotypes

The Chief Justice of India, Hon’ble Mr. Justice DY Chandrachud announced, in his initiative to bring about a progressive change in use of Gender Stereotypes, the launch of the Handbook on Combating Gender Stereotypes,’ Supreme Court of India on August 14, 2023 highlighting the fact that each case needs to be decided on merits and reliance on stereotypes, especially about women is liable to distort the law’s applicability in harmful ways. Read More

Zee-Sony Merger: A Journey through Challenges and Triumphs

In the ever-evolving landscape of the media and entertainment industry, mergers and acquisitions are no strangers to controversy and complexity. The merger between Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEE) and Sony Group Corporation (SGC) is a recent case study that highlights the intricate dance between regulatory scrutiny, stakeholder interests, and market dynamics. This article traces the trajectory of the Zee-Sony merger, from its inception to the eventual challenge in the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) and the favorable order that paved the way for its realization. Read More

Enhancing Clarity: FSSAI Excludes Nutritional Information from Alcoholic Beverage Labels

The ever-evolving landscape of food safety regulations in India has witnessed another milestone as the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) recently unveiled a significant amendment to the Food Safety and Standards (Alcoholic Beverages) Regulations, 2018. This amendment, which was initially drafted and published in the Gazette of India on 17th May 2022, is mandated by section 92(1) of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006. Following a 60-day window for public suggestions and objections, FSSAI has now unveiled the final version of this amendment after careful consideration. Read More

Strengthening Cybersecurity Governance: SEBI’s New Disclosure Requirements

In light of the escalating threat landscape, transparency regarding cybersecurity incidents is crucial. Investors, stakeholders, and the broader financial market need to be informed about the associated risks and potential impacts on listed entities. This information is essential for making well-informed investment decisions and safeguarding the interests of the shareholders and investors. The new amendment introduces sub-clause 27(2)(ba) into the SEBI (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2013. This sub-clause mandates that listed entities disclose details of cybersecurity incidents, breaches, or loss of data or documents in their quarterly Corporate Governance Report (CGR). This regulation came into effect from July 14, 2023, and is a proactive step by SEBI to enhance transparency and safeguard the interests of investors and stakeholders. Read More

India gets its new Telecom Act

The Parliament has passed the Telecommunications Bill 2023 which aims to replace is set to replace the existing laws including the 138-year-old Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 and the Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1933. This bill was cleared by the Lok Sabha on the 20th of December 2023 and the Rajya Sabha on the December 21, 2023 respectively. After this, the bill received the President’s assent on the December 24, 2023 and has now become the Telecommunications Act, 2023. Read More

 

NOTEWORTHY CORPORATE CASES OF 2023

Right to be Forgotten- Supreme Court directs Registry to mask name of Parties in Sexual Harassment cases

The plea of one’s right to be forgotten has been discussed by various High Courts in India before, and as such is not a new point of law. In a significant order stressing on the importance of ‘right to be forgotten’ and ‘right of eraser’ being part of one’s right to privacy, the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in the case of XXXX vs. Kancherla Durga Prasad & Ors.has directed its Registry that, personal information of a Petitioner and a Respondent in a sexual harassment case be masked on the internet so that their details are not thrown up by search engines. Read More

Google fined for Anti-competitive practices: NCLAT Confirms

The Competition Commission in its order imposed a penalty of INR 13.377 billion ($161.9 million) on Google for abusing its dominant position in multiple markets in the Android mobile device ecosystem, apart from issuing cease and desist order. The Commission further directed Google to modify its conduct within a defined timeline. The Tech giant suffered a major setback with the NCLAT’s refusal to impose an interim stay on the order of the Commission and instead asked it to deposit ten (10) percent of the penalty amount. Read More

Supreme Court Of India Orders Arbitration Backlog To Be Cleared

In the Appeal of M/s Shree Vishnu Constructions v. the Engineer in Chief, Military Engineering Service & Ors, the apex court has directed the High Courts to adjudicate and clear up all the applications for the appointment of arbitrators which has been piling up and creating a huge backlog for over a year now. The judgement not only serves as an aid to the pendency of such applications but has highlighted the significance of designating an arbitral institution to overlook the cases and appoint arbitrator so to as to avoid the delay of such matters. The present appeal was filed because the application for the appointment of an Arbitrator filed by the Appellant under Section 11 (5) and (6) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996 has been pending before the High Court of Telangana since 2016. Read More

Standard Form of Insurance Contracts and Consumer Rights- India

In this recent case of M/S Texco Marketing Pvt. Ltd. v. TATA AIG General Insurance Company Ltd. & Ors., the Hon’ble Supreme Court was dealing with the issue of standard form contracts, wherein the customer has no scope of negotiating the terms and are adversely benefitted with unilateral or exclusion clauses. The Hon’ble Supreme Court, while dealing with a civil appeal, took a critical view of the exclusion clauses in standard forms of contract. Read More

Sexual harassment is Universal Problem: Says Industrial Tribunal

The Industrial Tribunal at Rouse Avenue Court, while hearing a case of sexual harassment filed by a Ph.D. student at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi against an Associate Professor at Indian Institute Technology, Delhi laid down the guidelines for the prevention of sexual harassment at Institute. The student approached the Tribunal appealing against the punishment recommended by the Internal Complaints Committee of the Institute that had found the Professor guilty of sexual harassment. The Tribunal noted that since the Institute is not a private organization, the present appeal was not at all maintainable, however, the Tribunal decided the case on merits to not let the Appellant suffer on the grounds of mere technicalities. Read More

Supreme Court issues Guidelines to Bridge the Lacuna in POSH Implementation      

the case of Aurelino Fernandes vs. State of Goaand others, remarked a crucial judgment as it resulted in passing of the much-needed guidelines which will aid in implementation of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplaces Act, 2013 also referred to as the POSH Act. While hearing an appeal filed by Aurelino Fernandes, former head of the Department of Political Science, challenging an order of the High Court of Goa imposing upon him a penalty of dismissal of services and disqualification from the future employment, the Hon’ble Supreme Court took due note of the serious lapses in the enforcement of the POSH Act even after such a long time and referred to it as a “sorry state of affairs”. Read More

Moratoriums under Insolvency and Bankruptcy Rules- India

Recently, the Hon’ble Kerala High Court held that the corporate debtors who have a moratorium issued against them are momentarily safeguarded from any further prosecution under the Negotiable Instruments Act of 1881and prosecution would thus stand deferred.

However, the benefits of moratorium against prosecution under Section 141 of the NI Act shall not be available to non-corporate debtors/natural persons, possibly on account of the fact that Non-Corporate debtors/natural persons are presently not covered by IBC proceedings, and the said non-corporate debtors/natural persons shall not cease to be statutory liable under Chapter XVII of the Act. Read More

IPR Claims are Operational Debts- NCLAT

In a recent judgment passed by the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), in the case of Somesh Choudhary v Knight Riders Sports Private Limited & Anr. it was held that claims arising out of Intellectual Property Rights would come within the ambit of Section 5 (21) of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016, that defines Operational Debt.

While dismissing the appeal filed by Global Fragrances Pvt. Ltd. under Section 61 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 against the order passed by the National Company Law Tribunal, has held that the claims arising out of the grant of an exclusive license to use intellectual property rights fall within the ambit of the definition of Operational Debt. Read More

Google and CCI Clash Over Alleged Circumvention of Commission’s Order

Alphabet Inc., owned Google and the Competition Commission of India (CCI) are at loggerheads once again. This time over the alleged circumvention of the CCI’s earlier order, dated October 22, 2022, wherein the anti-trust watchdog reprimanded Google for its anti-competitive billing system on the Google Play Store and imposed a hefty monetary penalty of Rs. 934 crores on the technology giant.

On May 12, 2023, in a non-public order, CCI ordered an investigation into the implementation of its October 2022 order on a complaint filed by the Match Group along with the Alliance of Digital India Foundation (AIDF). The complainants have alleged that under Google’s new billing system, an additional service fee ranging from 11% to 26% is still being levied on third-party payment processors despite CCI order to the contrary. Read More

Misuse of Section 498A of IPC-Allahabad HC Issues Guidelines

Recently, the Allahabad High Court in the criminal revision of 20221 of Mukesh Bansal v. State of UP & Anrs., reiterated the precedent of the Hon’ble Supreme Court and directed to constitute Family Welfare Committees (FWC) in pursuant to the complaints under Section 498A, so as to ensure that the innocents are not exploited at the hands of the provisions which has been enacted with the purpose to provide security to the victims of domestic violence and to avoid the violation of the judgements pronounced by the apex court, as it would lose its ultimate purpose and the legislative intent. Read More

Time Limit for Filing Written Statement under CPC- Supreme Court

In the case of Bharat Kalra v. Raj Kishan Chabra, an injunction suit was filed by the Plaintiff wherein the High Court will holding the Trial Court’s order to refuse to condone the delay of 193 days to file the Written Statement stated that there is “no plausible explanation and coherent reason” that explains such delay caused in filing of the Written Statement.

The division bench of Justice Hemant Gupta and V. Ramasubramanian on passed an order observing that the suit filed by the Plaintiff is not the one that is regulated by the Commercial Court Act 2015 and therefore the time period for filing the Written Statement under Order VIII Rule 1, CPC is not mandatory. Read More

Real Estate: Change in Layout/Usage of Project

The Hon’ble Maharashtra Real Estate Appellate Tribunal, in a landmark judgment of Dilip J Mehta vs. Akshar Developers & Ors., directed the promoter to pay interest on account of delayed delivery of possession and in absence of existence of units already booked, deliver the possession of alternative units of equal area at agreed price of total consideration as per the allotment letter after adjusting the payments already made.

In this big relief for homebuyers, it was clarified that through the present order that the promoter/developer cannot amend or alter the sanctioned plan or layout or usage of the project without the written consent of 2/3rd of the allottees which is prerequisite in terms of Section 14 of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act. Read More

FIR for sexual assault can’t be quashed on grounds of Delay: Calcutta High Court

The case of Shreekant Sharma v. State of West Bengal, is a key judgment of the Calcutta High Court that highlighted the discouragement to file an FIR that victims of sexual assault experience, often leading them to not seek justice.

Hon’ble Justice Bibek Chaudhuri highlighted the issue while declining to quash a case registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) by a minor girl, who alleges to be a victim of sexual assault. Read More

Maternity Leave not co-terminus with employment tenure: Supreme Court

Recently, the Hon’ble Supreme Court passed a noteworthy ruling in the case of Dr. Kavita Yadav vs. the Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Department & Ors, envisaging that continuation of maternity benefits is in-built in the statute itself, where the benefits would survive and continue despite the cessation of employment. This judgment highlighted the safeguarding and rights to maternity benefits that extend beyond the limitations of the employment duration.

This verdict marks a notable stride in safeguarding and advancing the well-being of women in the workforce, guaranteeing the preservation of their maternity benefits beyond the boundaries of contractual arrangements. It reaffirms the legislative purpose of extending assistance to women even post their employment tenure and establishes a forward-looking standard for forthcoming cases pertaining to maternity benefits for contractual workers. Read More

WhatsApp bans accounts of 7.4 million Indian Users

The famous free messaging application, WhatsApp, has its feet grappled with controversies since a long time now. One of such instance dates back to 2019 wherein WhatsApp was criticized for its role in upto 30 mob lynches that were said to be triggered by rumours spreading on the App. In response, WhatsApp released a White Paper titled, “Stopping Abuse” stating that it has deleted 2 million accounts per month as part of an effort to blunt the use of the world’s most popular messaging app to spread of fake news. Read More

Stamped Out or Not: Finality to the issue of Unstamped Arbitration Agreement

On December 13, 2023 a seven judge bench of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in In Re: Interplay between Arbitration Agreements under the Arbitration And Conciliation Act, 1996 and the Indian Stamp Act, 1899, unanimously ruled on the issue surrounding the admissibility of unstamped or insufficiently stamped instrument in evidence, which arose in the context of three statues – the Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996, the Indian Stamp Act 1899, and the Indian Contract Act 1872. The Court held that an instrument which is unstamped or insufficiently stamped would be inadmissible in evidence, however the same is a curable defect and that in itself does not make the agreement void or unenforceable. Read More

 

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