Thursday, January 1, 2015

Overlapping of Intellectual Property Rights

In the case of Mukul Goyal v. Union of India and Ors., Section 15(2) of the Copyright Act has been brought under the scanner and has been contended by the petitioner to be ultra vires. As per Section 15(2), any artistic piece that is capable of being registered as a design, but has not so been registered, will lose its copyright protection the moment it has been reproduced more than 50 times. The petitioner has contended that S. 15(2) and 2(d) infringes his right to carry out his trade under Article 19(1)(g). Also Article 14 is violated as S. 15 imposes arbitrary restriction and the number of reproductions-50, is without any rationality.

As per Microfibres v. Giridhar, copyrighted artistic works simpliciter would not be hit by S. 15)2) while design works would be hit. This results in ambiguity due to overlapping Intellectual Rights. 

One solution can be to protect the original designs as artistic works under copyright law and amending the Copyright Act to ensure that any artistic work produced industrially more than 50 times is granted protection for only 15 years.

-Shambhavi Mishra