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May 16, 2018

No Copyright In Film Titles Like KARU

Author: Dishti Titus

On February 22, 2018 in the matter of M/s Lyca Productions v J. Manimaran and Ors., the Madras High Court Division Bench set aside the Single Bench’s ad interim injunction order against Lyca Productions’ use of KARU as part of its original motion film title.

J. Manimaran registered its film title KARU in 2011 with a film association in Chennai, and Lyca Productions later registered its film title LYCAVIN KARU in 2017 with another film association in Chennai. J. Manimaran filed a suit of copyright infringement seeking an injunction restraining Lyca Productions from using ‘KARU’ as part of its film title.

The Division Bench observed that “The title, which may be a commonly used word, cannot be protected under the law of copyright.” It further observed that “…it is not in dispute that there is no originality in adoption of the title “KARU”, which is a common Tamil word, which means ‘foetus’ and figuratively ‘concept’…” The Division Bench held that the earlier registration of the film title ‘KARU’ with a film association does not confer the right to exclusive use of such title, to the exclusion of other producers.

Disclaimer: Views, opinions, interpretations are solely those of the author, not of the firm (ALG India Law Offices LLP) nor reflective thereof. Author submissions are not checked for plagiarism or any other aspect before being posted.

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