Friday, September 11, 2015

Reddy on Punitive Damages for IP Infringement in India

Prashant Reddy published an interesting post earlier this week on SpicyIP critiquing a recent Delhi High Court decision (Sholay Media & Entertainment v. Sanghavi)  awarding punitive damages in the amount of 10 Lakh in a case involving allegations of trademark, copyright, and moral rights infringement.  (A lakh is equal to 100,000 rupees, and a rupee is at present worth 0.015 U.S. dollars, so 10 Lakh would equal 1,000,000 rupees or U.S.$15,000.) Mr. Reddy is critical of the decision, given the court's failure to explain how it arrived at the figure of 10 Lakhs, and the fact that the plaintiff had not proved its actual damages (see para. 41 of the opinion).  For a previous write-up on the Sholay decision on SpicyIP by Spadika Jayaraj, see here.  As Ms. Jayaraj notes, the case was heard ex parte, which I assume means it was a default judgment.

As I mention in my book (p.376), according to Raj Bhola Indian courts have awarded punitive damages for trademark infringement (as mentioned by Mr. Reddy as well), and might be open to the possibility of doing so in an appropriate patent case.

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In other news, interesting post yesterday on the ChinaIPR Blog ("Asking the “Better Questions”: Lessons for the AML … from a Nobel Physics Laureate") concerning the antitrust/IP interface in China.

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