Allahabad Law Agency (ALA) is a publishing house familiar within the legal fraternity, and the publisher of the most sought after publication on the Law of Torts in India. ALA acquired the copyright rights for publishing and selling 'Law of Torts' from the original owner of the copyright (late) Dr. RK Bangia through a deed of assignment executed in August 1968.
In late 2021, ALA received several complaints with respect to the quality of the book that was being published under the title of 'Law of Torts'. Importantly, most of the complaints pertained to books sold through the E-commerce giant Amazon Retail India Private Limited (Amazon). Upon having conducted further investigation, ALA discovered that, several websites and sellers were publishing and selling identical and unauthorized copies of the book.
ALA thereafter approached the Commercial Court, Saket, Delhi and filed a suit against Amazon and several John Doe infringers and sought a permanent injunction claiming trademark and copyright infringement, passing off, rendition of accounts, delivery up, damages, etc.
ALA claimed that it was aggrieved with the fact that Amazon, being a major e-commerce platform was allowing the sale of infringed copies of the book without any background checks as to its authenticity. ALA also placed physical copies of the infringing material on record as well as submitted that the same were available for sale on Amazon’s website.
ALA contended that, the entire contents of the infringing books, including the inner pages, publication credits and preface were reproduced verbatim without any authorization from ALA with respect to the current as well as preceding publication i.e. 25th and 26th Edition. ALA also presented several instances of infringement by the unknown infringers, such as an infringing copy which though identical in design and content, however had a prominent error in its titling which read as “Low of Torts” instead of the original and was available for sale on Amazon.
ALA contended that, the author and publication credits page falsely noted that the infringing books were published by the ALA itself with its contact details, typeset at Neo Software Consultants, Prayagraj and ultimately printed at Compudata Services, New Delhi.
The Court, considered the facts and circumstances of the case and held that, a prima facie was made out in favour of the legal publisher
The Court further held that, a bare comparison and perusal of the contents of the original product and the infringing material was evident in order to establish that the infringers had adopted, reproduced, solicited and sold unauthorised adaptations of Dr. Bangia’s works, the exclusive rights for publication and sale vested with ALA and that non-grant of a relief would not only cause an irreparable loss and injury to the publisher but also have lasting consequences in the long run.
Hence, the Court passed an ex-parte ad-interim injunction against Amazon and other John Doe infringers and restrained them from publishing, selling, soliciting, networking and supplying pirated copies of ‘Law of Torts’.
The Court also appointed a Local Commissioner to seize and take charge of all the infringing material and the pirated copies bearing the ALA’s registered mark from the premises of the infringers.
The matter is now posted in September for further hearing.


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