Archie vs Archies: HC axes copyright violation plea
US-based Archie Comics has no office in Indiadelhi Updated: Sep 15, 2010 01:15 IST
The Delhi High court dismissed the copyright violation plea of New York-based , saying that that the company does not have any office in India.
A Division Bench of Justice Mukta Gupta and Justice Vikramkjit Sen said, "This Court has no territorial jurisdiction to entertain the plaint."
The Bench, observing that the comic company has no office of contact in the country, said, "Where a Court has no jurisdiction over the subject matter of the Suit, the order passed would be a nullity."
The Bench was hearing the petition of Archie Comic Publications that said Mumbai-based Purple Creations used its mark 'Archies' in violation of the US company's copyright. The court said: "The Appellant (Archie Comic) in this case does not have any registered office in India, much less in Delhi. The sole averment for carrying on business in Delhi is that one bookshop, that is, Variety Book Stores (in Connaught Place) has been importing books, comics etc.”
Archie Comic Publication claimed that they have been extensively using this mark in India since 1979.
The court dismissed arguments of Archie’s counsel, saying the comics were only imported to India since 1979 and sold through a bookstore.
The plaintiff company said Purple Creations first started using their trademark in June 2004, via “ARCHIES and device”, “PURPLE ARCHIE” and “ARCHIES”.
However, counsel for Purple Creations denied the allegation stating that the company has used ARCHIES trademark for advertisements in several newspapers.
Archie Comics is popular for its several series featuring fictional teenagers — Archie Andrews, Betty Cooper, Veronica Lodge, Reggie Mantle and Jughead Jones.
The characters were created by publisher/editor John L. Goldwater, written by Vic Bloom and drawn by Bob Montana.