Amazon Retail India Private Limited restrained from selling, publishing pirated copies of book Law of Torts
E-commerce giant Amazon Retail India Private Limited has been restrained by a Delhi court from publishing, selling, soliciting, networking and supplying pirated copies of Allahabad Law Agency’s book titled ‘Law of Torts’.
District Judge at Commercial Court, Saket Vineeta Goyal, passed an ex-parte ad-interim injunction against Amazon and others under Order XXVI Rule 9 read with Section 151 CPC on a suit filed by Allahabad Law Agency through Advocate Rounak Nayak.
It appointed Advocate Amit Kumar Gupta as the Local Commissioner to seize and take charge of the pirated copies and all such other material bearing the trademark of Allahabad Law Agency from the premises of the defendants.
The Court observed that the nature of case warranted an ex-parte order for the appointment of a Local Commissioner to prima facie ascertain the alleged acts of infringement and passing off by the defendant in respect of the products of the plaintiff.
The plaintiff sought permanent injunction against several book-sellers from infringing copyright in the books of Allahabad Law Agency, primarily the Law of Torts by Dr. R.K. Bangia.
It said that it had acquired the copyright for publishing and selling the book from the original owner of copyright, (late) RK Bangia by an agreement/assignment deed executed in August, 1968.
After the death of Dr. Bangia, the rights to receive royalty were transferred to the wife of the author and after her death to daughter Sanskriti Jawa, noted the Counsel for the plaintiff.
The Counsel said during 2021, they received several complaints with respect to the quality of book being published under the title of ‘Law of Torts’.
It added that most of the complaints received by the plaintiff were in respect of the said title purchased by the consumers through the e-commerce website of Amazon.
The plaintiff also placed orders of the infringed title, ‘Law of Torts by Dr. R.K. Bangia, 26th Edition’ on website of defendant no 1 and found to their surprise that the defendant(s) no 2, 3 and 4 were publishing and selling identical and unauthorised copies of the book.
The Counsel for the plaintiff further argued that the entire contents of the infringing books, including inner page, publication credits and preface were verbatim reproduced without the permission from the plaintiff’s current as well as preceding publication – 25th and 26th Edition.
As per the plaintiff, the preface written by Dr. Narender Kumar of the infringing book was a direct copy of the plaintiff’s book. The author and publication credits page falsely noted that the infringing book was published by the plaintiff with its contact details, typeset at Neo Software Consultants, Prayagraj and Printed at Compudata Services, New Delhi.
The Court ruled that a bare glance and perusal of the contents of the plaintiff’s product and the defendant’s infringing product made it evident that the defendant adopted deceptively produced, solicited and sold an unauthorised adaptation of Dr. Bangia’s works, the exclusive rights of which lie with the plaintiff.
It fixed September 5 as the next date of hearing.
Case title: Allahabad Law Agency v. Amazon Retail India Pvt. Ltd. & Ors