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Delhi High Court awards Jackie Shroff legitimate security, bars organizations from using actor’s name and voice without permission

Introduction: Recently, Delhi High Court ruled in favor of Jackie Shroff, granting him legal protection against the unauthorized use of his name and voice. This decision came after the actor filed a lawsuit for trademark infringement and violation of his personality and publicity rights. Various defendants were found guilty of misusing Jackie Shroff’s identity for commercial purposes, including selling merchandise, creating offensive content, and using his name without consent.

FACTUAL MATRIX

Actor Jackie shroff was honoured with numerous awards for his contribution in cinema and have achieved several film fare awards, Jackie shroff approached Delhi High Court for Trademark infringement of his personality and publicity rights, he argued that his name and voice were used without consent such as Jaggu Dadda, Jackie, BHIDU and BHIDU KA KHOPCHA registered under Class 25 and Class 41, Jackie Shroff’s trademark was infringed by many defendants through selling of printed stock on e-store , creation of offensive YouTube videos titled “Jackie Shroff is savage (*) Jackie Shroff Thug Life”, opening of eatery named ‘Bhidu Shawarma & Restaurant’, and posting links which are selling stocks and certain pornographic content using the name “Jackie Shroff” without prior consent.

Similar to Jackie shroff case last year in Anil Kapoor vs. Simply Life India and Ors, actor Anil Kapoor name, image, voice was used without consent for commercial purposes, such as “JHAKAAS”, Justice Prathiba M Singh’s restricted entities for using it without actor’s consent.

ANALYSIS

On 15th may 2024, Jaikishan Kakubhai Saraf v. Peppy Store, The Single Judge Bench Justice Sanjeev Narula, Passed ad-interim order in favour of the actor in his suit seeking protection of his personality rights, held that the balance of convenience lied in his favour and against defendants no. 3-4, 6-7, 13 and 14 and had established a prima facie case for grant of an ex-parte injunction against an AI chatbot platform; Defendant selling wallpapers of the plaintiff, creators of videos which are offensive , an website selling t-shirt and posters using the plaintiffs name and photographs and “Created Mushrooms” selling autographed pictures.

Case represented by lawyer Pravin Anand objected referred to various events such as “misuse” of Jackie Shroff personality and publicity rights through the sale of stock and wallpaper as well as “annoying” memes and GIFs and lastly the use of AI, Counsel also argued on infringement of Jackie Shroff trademark rights on Marathi slang “Bhidu”.

Lawyer Pravin Anand has battled that people cannot be allowed to deceive consumers into buying products thinking they are supported by the actor, to support the case counsel also had depended on orders passed by the high court in similar lawsuits by actors “Amitabh Bachchan and Anil Kapoor”.

The Court depended on D.M. Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. v. Baby Gift House 2010, wherein it was held that right of publicity safeguards people against the unapproved use of their personality, which includes their name, image, voice, and other particular credits. The Court perceived that such unauthorized use can lead to unmerited business gain for another party, thereby infringing on individuals’ personality rights, resulting into commercial benefits through unauthorised exploitation of the plaintiff character and they had used the plaintiff’s name, picture, voice, and other novel qualities without consent, in this manner encroaching on his character and exposure privileges.

The Court limited defendants from infringing the plantiffs personality/publicity rights by misappropriating the plaintiffs

  • Voice
  • Name
  • Image

For making downloadable wallpapers, creating offensive videos of plaintiff which stains the reputation of the plaintiff and abuses his moral rights for any commercial purpose, by using an unlicensed AI chatbot that uses attributes of the plaintiff’s persona, without his authorization.

The Court issued notice to entities with respect to claimed violation of his rights, including a YouTube content creator hosting a claimed offensive video and a restaurant owner using the registered trademark “Bhidu” for his outlet.

As for the video, the court said the entertainer’s depiction presented no deceptions. Rather, it adorned his current public discernment as being considerable and it might accordingly want to hear the YouTuber prior to passing any order.

The court passed temporary injunction against several defendants for encroaching the plaintiff’s character and exposure privilege. Moreover, the court also ordered that Order XXXIX Rule 3 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 be agreed with within one week from 15-05-2024, also directed the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity) to issue fundamental bearings to telecom service providers and web access suppliers to block the encroaching URLs/joins.

The following hearing for the case will be on October 15.

Conclusion: The verdict by Delhi High Court underscores the importance of safeguarding personality and publicity rights in the entertainment industry. Through this ruling, entities have been restricted from exploiting Jackie Shroff’s name, voice, and image without proper authorization. This case sets a precedent for protecting celebrities’ intellectual property rights and serves as a warning against unauthorized use of their identities for commercial gain.

> REFERENCES

https://www.livelaw.in/high-court/delhi-high-court/jackie-shroff-personality-rights-delhi

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2024/05/21/dhc-restrains-entities-infringing-jackie-shroff-publicity-personality-rights/

https://trademarklawyermagazine.com/bhidu-battle-jackie-shroff-takes-on-trademark-infringement-in-court/

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/jackie-shroff-goes-to-court-over-his-trade-mark-rights-on-the-word-bhidu-5660128

https://spicyip.com/2024/05/after-anil-kapoor-jackie-shroff-follows-suit-taking-a-look-at-the-recent-dhc-order-from-the-perspective-of-personality-rights-right-to-livelihood.html

https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/name-photos-bhidu-consent-jackie-shroff-delhi-high-court-9328941/

https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/delhi-hc-restrains-entities-from-using-actor-jackie-shroffs-name-voice-without-permission/article68191220.ece

https://www.pinkvilla.com/entertainment/news/jackie-shroffs-personality-rights-case-delhi-hc-prohibits-use-of-actors-name-image-and-voice-without-permission-1307090

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/hindi/bollywood/news/jackie-shroff-files-suit-in-delhi-high-court-against-unauthorized-use-of-the-word-bhidu/articleshow/110106392.cms

https://www.filmcompanion.in/features/the-curious-case-of-jackie-shroff

https://indiankanoon.org/doc/77970283/

https://www.medianama.com/2024/05/223-jackie-shroff-petition-delhi-hc-unauthorised-use-personality-traits/

https://thebarristergroup.co.uk/blog/jackie-shroff-trademark-infringement

https://www.verdictum.in/court-updates/high-courts/jaikishan-kakubhai-saraf-alias-jackie-shroff-v-the-peppy-store-2024dhc4046-delhi-personality-rights-injunction-1536109

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/entertainment/jackie-shroff-moves-delhi-high-court-against-unauthorised-use-of-his-name-621143

https://salarnews.in/entertainment-news/details/35550/jackie-shroff-moves-delhi-hc-against-unauthorised-use-of-his-name

https://www.timesnownews.com/entertainment-news/bollywood/delhi-high-court-protects-jackie-shroffs-personality-rights-bars-misuse-of-name-bhidu-image-voice-without-consent-article-110231158

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