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Saturday April 20, 2024

Film-making company told to approach intellectual property tribunal

By Jamal Khurshid
April 01, 2024
The Sindh High Court building facade can be seen in this file image. — SHC Website/File
The Sindh High Court building facade can be seen in this file image. — SHC Website/File

The Sindh High Court has directed a film-making company to approach the intellectual property tribunal with regard to alleged infringement of intellectual property rights due to an unauthorised screening of its documentary film.

Plaintiff Keychain films and others had filed suit for damages with regard to copyrights in documentary film, alleging infringement on part of the Mohatta Palace Museum through an unauthorised screening.

The plaintiff claimed Rs38,990,000 as damages and sought an interim injunction restraining defendants from further screening or committing other acts violative of such rights.

A single bench headed by Justice Yousuf Ali Sayed, after hearing the arguments of the counsel, observed that a jurisdictional point arises for consideration as the provisions of the intellectual property organisation of Pakistan Act confer the exclusive jurisdiction for the trial of all suits and other civil proceedings regarding the infringement of intellectual property laws upon the intellectual property tribunals under the law.

The court observed that Section 2 (h) of IPOP Act defines that intellectual property laws as the laws specified in the schedule of the Act which includes the copyright Ordinance 1962 whereas sections 17 and 18 determine the powers and jurisdiction of the tribunals.

The court observed that it is manifest that the jurisdiction in respect of the present lawsuit vests exclusively with the intellectual property tribunal. It directed the office to return the lawsuit with the office being directed to do the needful while retaining a copy of the pleadings for the record in the court file.

The court also referred the matter of biscuit manufactures pertaining to trademark of a chocolate sandwich and a lemon sandwich to the intellectual property tribunal as jurisdiction of present lawsuit vests exclusively with the tribunal.

The plaintiffs had alleged that private defendants were infringing their trademark by selling ice cream under the marks of biscuit sandwich and brownie sandwich bearing identical features so as to be depictive and confusing.

Encroachments

The SHC has directed a private construction company to remove encroachments from a greenbelt and service roads in front of a residential project in the Super Highway area.

Petitioners, who are residents of a housing project at 17-B Scheme 33, submitted that residents of the locality were facing extreme hardships due to encroachments on the greenbelt and service lane by sand and gravel dumpers’ owners.

They submitted that the housing society residents had developed the greenbelt with their own resources, which was damaged. They said the petitioners were unable to access the main road due to the encroachments, and due to the lifting of sand and gravel by the dumpers the residents were also facing respiratory problems.

The court was requested to direct the private company engaged in construction work of M9 to restore the greenbelt and remove the encroachments from outside the petitioners’ housing society.

A division bench headed by Justice Salahuddin Panhwar directed the private construction company to ensure removal of all encroachments from the greenbelt and service lane alog the residential society. It also directed the local administration and police to provide assistance in removing the encroachments from the locality.

Separately, the Sindh High Court dismissed a petition filed by the residents’ maintenance society of a Gulshan-e-Maymar housing project for collection of maintenance charges.

The petitioners submitted that they were residents of the Gulshan-e-Maymar housing project and wanted to form an association for the purpose of collection maintenance charges. The claim of the petitioners was disputed by the Gulshan-e-Maymar housing project submitting that the petitioners did not represent all residents and most of them were property brokers and defaulters of maintenance charges.

The housing project counsel submitted that the petitioners have no locus standi to form such an association and the private company is the lessor of Gulshan-e-Maymar, which was not cooperative housing society, and the company was already maintaining the society to the satisfaction of all residents. The court after hearing the arguments of the counsel dismissed the petition as not maintainable.