MANU/DE/0784/2016

True Court CopyTMMIPR

IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI

CS(OS) No. 182/2011

Decided On: 23.03.2016

Appellants: Ritika Private Limited
Vs.
Respondent: Biba Apparels Private Limited

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:
Valmiki J. Mehta

JUDGMENT

Valmiki J. Mehta, J.

IA No. 13045/2011 (under Order VII Rule 11 CPC filed by the defendant) & CS (OS) No. 182/2011

1. Though this application is titled under Order VII Rule 11 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (CPC), counsel for the defendant states that this application actually is under Order XII Rule 6 CPC for dismissing the suit on the admitted facts and legal position, and since the heading of the application will not change the substance, the subject application be treated as an application under Order XII Rule 6 CPC. Ordered accordingly.

2. Plaintiff has filed the present suit claiming copyright in various drawings and sketches which are created by the plaintiff for dresses being sold under the trade name/brand RITU KUMAR. It is pleaded that the drawings and sketches are distinctive, exclusive and identifiable with the brand RITU KUMAR of the plaintiff and the brand enjoys goodwill and reputation. It is pleaded that there is originality in the garment prints and sketches created by the plaintiff for the dresses/garments. It is pleaded that ensembles of the plaintiff are so designed that each component, such as sleeves, front and back panels etc are delineated and are coordinated with unique features. The plaintiff is stated to be maintaining digital records of the creation of each drawing and print by giving it identification code and name which is also shown in the invoices issued by the plaintiff. The claim of the plaintiff with respect to its copyright work is set out in the form of process adopted by the plaintiff as detailed in paras 10, 11 and 12 of the plaint and which paras read as under:-

"10. The initial stage of the Plaintiffs creative process in general may be summarized as follows:

(a) A drawing or sketch is created by Mrs. Ritu Kumar and/or other designers employed by the Plaintiff. The same is an original derivative artistic work.

(b) The drawing is put in digital form and completed on a computer assigning colours. The same is independently a derivative artistic work.

These first stages result in the creation of independent artistic works which can be enjoyed for their own sake or used for various purposes including different garments.

11. The artistic works so created are then suitably adapted for different garments and different parts of garment ensembles, as described below. Each such variation is a further, derivative work, which does not affect the Plaintiff's separate rights in the original.

(a) Screens are prepared for each colour facilitation an initial printing ("switching") to test the design on different fabrics.

(b) The artistic work so created is then available for use in connection with different products.

(c) According to requirement and market assessment, but artistic work is then customized for use on different garments with appropriate variations.

12. Further, in some cases embroidery of an artistic character is done on each garment individually, by hand or using a machine, by a skilled craftsman. Such garments are works of artistic craftsmanship".

3. Plaintiff claims to be the first owner of the copyright in all the products of the plaintiff's company created from the sketches, drawings, designs etc.

4. Plaintiff also pleads violation of its trade secrets by the defendant inasmuch as defendant is employing erstwhile employees of the plaintiff. The said employees are Ms. Neelam Arora and Ms. Reshu Singbal. It is stated that these employees are in k........