The 2010 Hindi film “Knock Out,”was about a businessman being held hostage in a telephone booth be a sniper. If that sounds similar to the 2003 American thriller “Phone Booth,” you are not alone. As India’s New Delhi Television Limited (NDTV) reported, “Bollywood is known for brazenly borrowing ‘inspiration’ from Western films,” but the country’s Bombay High Court recently delivered what one industry insider told NDTV could be “a landmark judgment” in the history of intellectual property litigation in India. The American studio that distributed “Phone Booth,” 20th Century Fox Film Corporation, filed its case before “Knock Out” was released in October 2010. According to NDTV, the Bombay High Court passed an injunction against the release of the Hindi film, but the producers were allowed to release the film on appeal.
Last month, the case was heard again and NDTV reported that the Bombay High Court awarded ₹ 1.25 crore to 20th Century Fox. A crore is a South Asian numbering unit that is equal to 10 million, meaning that this rupees award is roughly the equivalent of 12.5 million rupees, or about $230,000. While that verdict might sound modest to many Americans who have become accustomed to multi-million dollar damages in United States cases, it is important to keep in mind that every American dollar equals more than 54 Indian rupees. According to the World Bank, the average gross salary in India in 2011 was approximately ₹ 76,746, or about $1,410. Thus, the Bombay High Court verdict indeed has good reason to be viewed as being “a landmark judgment.”
This case is a reminder that intellectual property concerns are not limited strictly to the borders of the United States, and you can learn more about copyright infringement by visiting our website. If you another party has infringed on your copyrighted material, Los Angeles business litigation attorney Robert G. Klein has more than 25 years of experience handling a wide variety of complex copyright claims. You can enter your information in the form on this page or contact our firm at (323) 653-3900 to have our Los Angeles copyright infringement attorneyreview your case.
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