Decided on May 14,2004



Brij Kishore Sharma, Chairman - (1.)THIS is an application under Section 50 of the Copyright Act, 1957 for rectification of the register of Copyrights. The applicant is engaged in the business of manufacturing and marketing of Bidis. He claims to be the originator and proprietor of an original artistic work entitled "No. 206 Super Shiv Bidi Label and Wrapper". He claims to have adopted the said artistic work in the year 1999 and that he has been continuously using the same. He further states his "goods bearing the said trademark I artistic work I labels command huge demand in the market on account of standard quality". The applicant applied for the registration of trademark under the Trade and Merchandise Marks Act, 1958 in which he mentions 10.4.1995 as the date of the user of the trademark. Later on, he applied to the Trademark Office for amendment so that the user would read "since the year 1991".
(2.)The applicant also claims to be the owner and proprietor of the artistic work "No. 206 Super Shiv Bidi". it is stated in the plaint that he is the owner and proprietor of the artistic work and that he has made an application for registration of copyright before the Registrar of Copyrights.
His grievance is that the respondents are using a label "No. 203 Special Shiv Bidi" which according to the applicant is a slavish copy of his label. It is stated that the label of the respondent is identical with and deceptively similar to the label of the applicant. The respondent obtained the registration of the said label (hereinafter No. 203) under the Copyright Act, 1957. The applicant pleads that the registration was obtained dishonestly and by suppressing material facts. It is further stated that the respondents are not the owners or authors of the said artistic work No. 203. The respondents' label No. 203 according to the applicant is a slavish imitation of his label "No. 206 Super Shiv Bidi" (hereinafter No. 206). According to the applicant the respondents are guilty of passing of their goods and business as that of the petitioners. It is further stated that civil and criminal cases are pending between the two parties in different Courts. The applicant claims to be an aggrieved party because the work No. 203 is not original and is a slavish copy of the work of the applicant which is referred in this Order as No. 206.

(3.)THE respondent in his written reply starts by giving the background of the facts in chronological Order most of which are completely irrelevant to the present proceedings. According to the respondent, the present respondent a private limited company was constituted in 1992 which is successor to a partnership founded in 1990 which itself is a successor to a proprietorship which commenced business in 1987. In the written statement the respondents have questioned that the applicant could not have used the artistic work because he obtained the excise licence to manufacture bidis in the year 1996 and without a valid excise licence he could not have manufactured Bidis. In the written statement extensive quotations are given from the pleadings in various Courts including a suit at a Civil Court in Jhajjar (Haryana) and another at Murshidabad (West Bengal). In the written statement it is repeatedly stated that the respondent used and advertised No. 203 continuously since 1992 [Para G(i) of the written statement.] Details of the proceedings in various Civil and Criminal Courts also form part of the written statement.

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