Star Vijay has landed itself in a troubled legal muddle by designing its award statuette as a look-alike of the Oscar awarded by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the United States.
The Academy has approached the Delhi High Court claiming infringement of their trademark. It has stated that Vijay TV was awarding a trophy which is similar to the Oscar. Apart from a permanent injunction, the Academy has sought damages of Rs two million. Justice G P Mittal has referred the case for mediation and observed that in case the parties failed to resolve the issue, the Academy would produce prototype of the Oscar trophy on the next date of hearing – 13 July. Vijay TV and Star TV are alleged to be using the trophy for entertainment services, the same nature of services as the petitioner. The petition further submitted that “impugned statuette is holding a shield at its chest, as opposed to the statuette of the plaintiff which is holding a sword at its chest. It is pertinent to note here that a sword and shield are complimentary to each other.” Vijay TV is organising an award function on 25 June for presenting the trophies. The Court refused to grant any stay of the event, as demanded byAcademy counsel Sanjay Jain and Praveen Anand who said they would not insist on a stay if necessary changes are made in the award statuette before the award ceremony. Senior advocate Rajiv Nayyar, appearing for Star Vijay, produced the trophy of Vijay awards in the court and asked the petitioner to produce the Oscar trophy so that differences and similarities can be identified. However, advocate Jain opposed the respondent’s demand of producing the trophy. He said “the statuette is of pure solid gold and it is not possible to bring it to India for a legal battle.” During the course of hearing, the judge observed: “As it is going to have global ramifications, you must produce the trophy to the court. Otherwise it would be difficult for me to issue any order.”