Cases clarify jurisdiction in composite IP suits

By Abhai Pandey,Lex Orbis IP Practice

The jurisdiction of a court to try a suit in the case of copyright or trademark infringement is an important matter. Section 20 of the Civil Procedure Code (CPC) states that the jurisdiction of a civil suit would be where each defendant or one of the defendants (when there are more than one) resides or has a place of business, or personally works for gain, or where the cause of action arises wholly or in part.

However, the Copyright Act under section 62, as well as the Trade Marks Act, 1999, under section 134, state that the suit for copyright infringement would lie in a district court where the plaintiff resides, or undertakes his/her business or personally works for gain.

This proposition has been interpreted in various judgments of the high courts and it has been established that sections 62 of the Copyright Act and 134 of the Trade Marks Act, only provide an additional forum for the institution of suit; they do not supercede the requirements of the CPC (see Exphar SA and Anr v Eupharma Laboratories Ltd and Anr [AIR 2004 SC1682], and Ford Motor Company and Anr v CR Borman and Anr [FAO (OS) 9/2008]).

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Abhai Pandey is a lawyer with Lex Orbis IP Practice, a law firm specializing in intellectual property issues.


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