inox: Inox India’s Copyright Suit Over Design Rejected | Vadodara News

Vadodara: A copyright suit filed by Inox India Pvt Ltd against Cryogas Equipment Pvt Ltd (CEPL) and LNG Express India Pvt Ltd (LEIPL) over copyright infringement was rejected by the additional district court in Vadodara on Friday. The manufacturer of cryogenic liquid storage and transportation tanks had filed a suit in 2018 under The Copyright Act, 1957, accusing CEPL and LEIPL of copying their tank designs by hiring Inox’s two former employees.
The commercial court of judge Piyush Unadkat rejected the claim on the ground that the suit was barred by the law and also rejected a request for an interim injunction.
Inox had said that it developed cryogenic storage tanks and distribution systems by conducting research and development.
It further added that it is the creator of the drawings of cryogenic storage tanks and distribution system and they have sole and exclusive copyright of the said proprietary engineering drawings. They said that the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization had granted approval to the drawings in 2013.
In 2018, Inox learned that CEPL and LEIPL were venturing into the manufacturing of cryogenic semi-trailers. Inox contended in its suit that the two companies had copied their entire drawing by hiring Inox’s two former employees who too were made parties in the case. Inox claimed that through the former employees, CEPL and LEIPL obtained technical know-how, quality procedures and proprietary engineering drawings of the plaintiff. Alleging that the two firms infringed their copyright, Inox prayed that pending the hearing and disposal of the suit, they should be restrained from infringing the copyright in the engineering drawings and intellectual property. CEPL said that the drawings were fundamentally created based on the codes and standards followed by every designer and manufacturer of tanks.
CEPL further argued that its drawings were different, distinct and specially created through their investment. The other defendant, LEIPL contended that the suit of industrial drawings falls under the Classification of the Design Act and not under section 14 of the Copyright Act and hence the suit should be rejected.
“Section 15 (2) of Copyright Act says that copyright in any design, which can be registered under the Designs Act 2000, but hasn’t been registered shall cease as soon the article to which the design has been applied has been produced more than 50 times by the owner,” said advocate Avadhoot Sumant, who represented CEIPL. The plaintiff hasn’t registered their design under the Designs Act and they have sold more than 50 semi-trailer trucks. Therefore, as per section 15 (2) they don’t have the copyright on the design anymore,” Sumant added.
The court said that Inox had lost protection under the Copyright Act after manufacturing 50 trailer units. The suit is barred by the law and hence is required to be rejected. “Now that the plaint itself has been rejected, the question of considering the prayer of interim injunction sought by the plaintiff (Inox) becomes immaterial,” the court said.


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