No Interim Injunction For Copyright Infringement In The Absence Of Prima Facie Case

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The Hon’ble Delhi High Court in a copyright infringement case i.e., GE Power India Limited Vs.Nhpc Limited has refused to grant an interim injunction on the ground that the plaintiff did not have a prima facie case.
In the present case, the plaintiff’s predecessor (Alstom) entered into a contract with Lanco Infratech Limited (LIL) for the supply of engineering drawings which were covered by the copyrights owned by the plaintiff. However, in 2018, LIL went into liquidation and in 2019, the defendant acquired the Teesta VI Project from LIL. In 2020, the defendant opened a single vendor tender to the plaintiff for a project but the same was rejected on the ground of high price, and thereafter, an open tender was issued for the project. Subsequently, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant had published and disclosed to third parties six copyrighted and highly confidential drawings of the plaintiff and that it was also published in the World Wide Web without their permission. Therefore, being aggrieved by the copyright infringement, the plaintiff filed a suit.
The plaintiff contended that the drawings were confidential and copyright protected and that without a proper license the same could not have been used by the defendant for publication. Plaintiff also submitted that the defendant did not get vested with the license/right to use the drawings merely because of the rejection of their tender. Defendant contended that the suit was not maintainable before a civil court and any remedy prayed, was to be sought only from NCLT. Defendant took the plea of fair dealing U/s. 52(1)(a) of the Copyright Act and submitted that by virtue of Section 52 (1)(w) of the Copyright Act, fair use of copyright in a contract of technical drawings for industrial application was permissible. Defendant further submitted that the plaintiff failed to show how the copyrights are vested with them and that in view of the failure to disclose it, the plaintiff cannot claim any copyright on the pretext of being a successor to Alstom.
The Hon’ble Delhi Court observed that the plaintiff did not have a prima facie case and no irreparable loss was shown, plus the balance of convenience lied in favor of the defendant. Thus, the court, dismissing the suit and the application, ruled that no interim injunction would begranted in favor of the Plaintiff.

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