In or around March 2020, JA Entertainment Pvt Ltd, had entered into discussions with Gold Coin Motion Picture Company, for obtaining Hindi remake rights in respect of the Malayalam language film titled "Ayyappanum Koshiyum"originally released on 7th February 2020, and which was considered a commercial success in the South-Indian Film Industry. As a consequence, Hindi remake rights for the film was assigned by Gold Coin Motion Picture Company in favour of JA Entertainment Pvt Ltd., making it the sole and absolute owner of the Remake and Dubbing rights in Hindi language of the Malayalam film titled "AyyappanumKoshiyum" entitling them to exploit those rights to the exclusion of everyone else.
On 4th March 2022, the Hindi dubbed trailer of the film titled "Bheemla Nayak" was released on Youtube which is the Telugu remake of the Malayalam language film titled "Ayyappanum Koshiyum" produced by M/s. SitharaEntertainment. As per the trailer it was informed that the Telugu remake film's Hindi dubbed version would be released soon in theatres and other platforms soon without any specific date being assigned. In view of the release of the trailer, Gold Coin Motion Picture Company had published a public notice in the Indian Express newspaper on 12th March 2022, informing that M/s. Sithara Entertainment conduct to release the Telugu film in Hindi dubbed language was beyond the scope arrangement entered into between them originally, it was further informed that the right to dub and remake the Malayalam film in Hindi language vested with JA Entertainment Pvt Ltd.
Commercial Suit was instituted before the Delhi High Court by JA Entertainment Pvt Ltd, against M/s. SitharaEntertainment and others. It was argued before the Court that in light of the Assignment of Hindi remake right in favour of JA Entertainment Pvt Ltd, by the original Malayalam film's producer the exclusivity to exploit the same would vest with JA Entertainment Pvt Ltd, alone and any attempt by M/s. Sithara Entertainment would infringe upon the copyright and commercial rights of JA Entertainment Pvt Ltd. The court was further informed that the nature of rights granted by Gold Coin Motion Picture Company in favor of M/s. SitharaEntertainment was only restricted to remake and dubbing of the original Malayalam film in Telugu language alone, hence, copyright vested in favour of M/s. Sithara Entertainmentwould be restricted in Telugu language. This contention was supported with the Madras High Court Division Bench case of Thiagarajan Kumararaja v.Capital Film Works (India) Pvt. Ltd. & Anr.
In view of the above facts and arguments the Hon'ble Justice Jyoti Singh of the Hon'ble Delh High Court was pleased to grant an Ex-parte Ad-interim injunction against Defendants till next date of the hearing for the Hindi dubbed version of the Telugu film titled "Bheemla Nayak" in the matter from releasing the same theatrically and/or on any platform or from distributing the same in any capacity. The matter is scheduled to be listed on 11th July 2022 before the Registrar and on 1stAugust 2022 before the Delhi High Court.
This is the first for the newly formed Anand & Naik, which represented the JA Entertainment. Anand & Anand and Naik Naik& Company had announced their collaboration in November last year. The new vehicle is expected to be a powerhouse of cross border, integrated and multi-disciplinary practice.
Appearing on behalf of the petitioners were Ameet Naik, Pravin Anand and Madhu Gadodia. Sr. Counsel was Praveen Anand and advising/inputs was given by Ameet Naik and Madhu Gadodia.
Madhu Gadodia, Deputy Managing Partner, Naik Naik & Co.
Ameet B.Naik, Founder & Managing Partner, Naik Naik & Co.
Safir Anand, Senior Partner and Head of Department (Trademarks, Contractual and Commercial IP), Anand and Anand
Praveen Anand, Managing Partner, Anand and Anand
Title: JA Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. v. M/s Sithara Entertainment & Ors.
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Del) 264