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Delhi HC refuses to entertain Archie's plea over copyright

Last updated: 14 September, 2010
New Delhi, Sep 14 (PTI): 19:03 IST

The Delhi High Court has refused to entertain New York-based Archie Comic's petition over copyright violations in the country, citing lack of jurisdiction as the company does not have an office in India.

A bench headed by Justices Vikramajit Sen and Mukta Gupta, while rejecting the plea of the international company, said that the court has no jurisdiction to entertain the plea of the firm.

"On merits in the present case, as discussed above, even taking the pleadings and documents annexed thereto by way of amendment, this Court has no territorial jurisdiction to entertain the plaint," the court said.

The order of the court came over a petition of Archie Comic Publications challenging the use of mark 'ARCHIES' by Mumbai based Purple Creations.
The US firm submitted that this court has jurisdiction to try and entertain its plea as it is carrying on business in Delhi since 1979 and its comics are imported by Variety Book Depot in the city.

The company also submitted that cause of action also arose as Purple Creations's mark has been published in a journal Mid-Day, which was circulated in Delhi.
However, the above allegation was denied by the Indian company, saying that it has neither published the mark 'ARCHIE' in the said journal in Delhi nor does it have distributor in city.

The court while rejecting the contention of the US company said that Variety Book Store is not the agent of the firm as it has no control over the working of the book store and therefore it cannot be said it was involved in any kind of business activity in Delhi.

"It cannot be said that the Plaintiff carries on business or was personally working at Delhi thus, vesting a jurisdiction in this Court to entertain the plaint," the court said.

Archie Comics is an American comic book publisher with headquarters in New York, known for its many series featuring the 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.

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