First-sale argument fails in export of Indian editions

By Abhai Pandey, Lex Orbis IP Practice

In Pearson Education & Ors v Prabhat Chander Kumar Jain & Ors Delhi High Court discussed an interesting question on infringement of copyright under the Indian Copyright Act, 1957.

Abhai Pandey Lex Orbis IP Practice
Abhai Pandey
Lex Orbis IP Practice

The plaintiffs, which are foreign publishing houses, and their exclusive licensees sell low-priced editions of educational books in the Indian sub-continent. While the content of the Indian and US editions of these books are the same, the quality of paper used, the printing and the accompanying online features are notably different. With the Indian edition of some books being up to US$150 cheaper, the two editions are also priced differently.

The defendants, which are companies incorporated in India, set up a web site to sell the low-priced Indian editions to customers in the US. This triggered the present lawsuit in India that sought to shut down the defendants’ business and website.

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Abhai Pandey is an attorney-at-law with New Delhi-based Lex Orbis IP. He has extensive experience in civil and criminal enforcement of trademarks and copyrights.


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