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Cartoon Network conducts raids in Delhi, seizes counterfeit merchandising

MUMBAI: Piracy is surely a menace that needs to be dealt with aggressively. While Shemaroo has been on the forefront to end piracy as far as the music industry is concerned, Cartoon Network has now rolled up its sleeves to deal with this epidemic. The channel is in overdrive mode as it conducted the first of its raids in retail and wholesale markets in Delhi.

In May this year, the channel's licensing division - Cartoon Network Enterprises - had launched a range of merchandising for Powerpuff Girls, Dexter's Laboratory and Johnny Bravo. No sooner were the new goodies launched, that the cheap duplicate version of the merchandising spread its in the market.

 

In this massive counter attack against piracy and counterfeiting of its products, Cartoon Network has initiated a civil suit in the Delhi High Court against the miscreants and has obtained far reaching search and seizure orders against the defendants.

Merchandising is a significant source of additional revenue for the channel's business and the merchandising varies from from toys, stationery, accessories, publications and music, domestics and house ware, edibles and beverages, entertainment, video games and computer software, stationery and paper goods, toys and games, gifts and novelties to personal care, sporting goods and pet products.

Prior to the launch of the products in India, intensive investigations were conducted at the behest of Cartoon Network and 11 wholesalers, distributors and retail outlets were found to be indulging with merchandise related to Cartoon Network's characters of The Powerpuff Girls, Dexter's Laboratory and Johnny Bravo and counterfeiting the same without obtaining the consent or license from Cartoon Network.

These parties have thus violated its exclusive right in these trade marks. The defendants are located in Sadar Bazaar, Greater Kailash, Lajpat Nagar, Sarojini Market and Hauz Khas areas of Delhi.

While speaking to Indiantelevision.com, a Turner official informed that these raids were conducted under the supervision of the network's Hong Kong office. The official said, "Cartoon Network Enterprisers is committed to protect its partners. We are serious players in the business and we have invested a lot in our properties and also in finding ways to combat piracy. This is just the first phase of the raids. More such raids will follow in order to nab the people who are using our products illegally."

A letter, Indiantelevision.com received from advocate Chander Lall and Pankaj Monga, stated, "Cartoon Network has filed civil action against these 11 people who are manufacturing, distributing and marketing the counterfeit products in the market, in which the Cartoon Network owns all rights, title and interest in and to and holds exclusive right to develop, manufacture, market and sell product bearing the trade marks, trade names, service marks, artwork, characters and other distinctive elements for and incorporating the Cartoon Network Characters."

The letter further added, "Hon’ble Mr Justice Swatanter Kumar of Delhi High Court in Civil Suit No. CS(OS) No. 874 of 2005 on 4 July, 2005 while granting order of ex-pate temporary injunction against the Defendants restraining them from using the name or likeness of the characters in the television series entitled The Powerpuff Girls, Dexter's Laboratory and / or Johnny Bravo in relation to any goods imported, marketed or sold in India which are not duly licensed for importation, marketing or sale in India or in any other manner whatsoever violating the rights of the Plaintiff or passing off their goods as and for the goods of the Plaintiff and from importing, marketing, selling or offering for sale any goods or products bearing the name or likeness of the characters in the television series entitled The Powerpuff Girls, Dexter's Laboratory and Johnny Bravo, which are not duly licensed for importation, marketing or sale in India or in any other manner whatsoever infringing the copyright of works which vest with the plaintiff and/or to make out the goods in that manner and style."

The judge also appointed the above mentioned advocates as Local Commissioners to visit and search the premises of all 11 defendants and seize any or all the goods bearing the mark of Cartoon Network available with the defendants.

Raids and seizure operations were then conducted at the premises of the defendants and the search led to recovery of huge quantity of merchandising material bearing the mark of the Cartoon Network characters.

The product range sold by the defendants included merchandise and products of a varied nature such as bags, plates, coffee-mugs, CD games, puzzle games, water bottles etc. bearing the Cartoon Network characters. The materials was seized and sealed.

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