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Role of Trademark Registrations in Copyright Disputes

The subject matter of this legal analysis revolves around a petition seeking rectification of copyright MYA, with the petitioner contending that Respondent No. 1 is not the original creator of the copyright. The petitioner alleges that a third party located outside of India holds the true authorship of the artwork MYA. However, the court dismissed the petition, highlighting the petitioner's reliance on trademark registrations by the third party as unsustainable due to procedural and evidentiary inadequacies.

Rectification of Copyright and the Burden of Proof:
Rectification of copyright involves the correction of errors or inaccuracies in the copyright register, typically concerning ownership or authorship. In the present case, the petitioner seeks rectification based on the assertion that the copyright in MYA belongs to a third party outside of India, challenging the claim of Respondent No. 1 as the originator. However, the burden rests on the petitioner to substantiate their claim with compelling evidence demonstrating the inaccuracy of the existing copyright registration.

Importance of Originator Identity and Evidence:
Central to the dispute is the identity of the true originator of the copyrighted artwork MYA. The petitioner contends that the third party, situated outside of India, holds rightful ownership of the copyright. However, the court emphasizes the necessity of incontrovertible evidence to support such claims, particularly in the absence of the third party's participation in the proceedings. The petitioner's reliance solely on trademark registrations obtained by the third party in Australia and other countries is deemed insufficient to conclusively establish their ownership of the copyright.

Role of Trademark Registrations in Copyright Disputes:
Trademark registrations serve as valuable indicators of intellectual property rights but are not inherently determinative of copyright ownership. While trademark registrations by a third party may suggest a connection to the artwork MYA, they do not inherently prove authorship or legitimate ownership of the copyright. The court rightly cautions against basing copyright rectification solely on extraneous and unverified evidence, such as trademark registrations, without corroborating evidence directly addressing copyright ownership.

The Case Discussed:
Case Title: Mohd. Shakir Vs Gopal Traders and another
Judgment/Order Date: 08.04.2024
Case No: Co Comm IPD CR 699 OF 2022
Neutral Citation: NA
Name of Court: High Court of Delhi
Name of Hon'ble Judge:Anish Dayal, H.J.

Ideas, thoughts, views, information, discussions and interpretation expressed herein are being shared in the public Interest. Readers' discretion is advised as these are subject to my subjectivity and may contain human errors in perception, interpretation and presentation of the fact and issue involved herein.

Written By: Advocate Ajay Amitabh Suman, IP Adjutor - Patent and Trademark Attorney
Email: [email protected], Ph no: 9990389539

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