Rai Toys Industries and Ors. v. Munir Printing Press, Delhi

Rai Toys Industries and Ors. v. Munir Printing Press, Delhi

1982 PTC 85


Plaintiff filed a suit for infringement of Copyright in it’s Tambola tickets which were copied by the Defendant. The Plaintiff was also the registered owner of the Copyright.

The Learned Single Judge granted a decree of permanent injunction in favour of the Plaintiff along with a decree for rendition of accounts. Against the said order, the Defendant filed an appeal

Defendant’s/Appellant’s Contentions:

There was no copyright in the book and also in law no copyright could exist in tambola tickets as it was mere filling up of numbers.

Court’s Observations:

(i) On Copyrightability of Tambola Tickets

Preparing the tickets obviously require quite a deal of skill and awareness of placing the numbers correctly. Each ticket must have different arrangement of numbers so as not to be confusing and mixed up with others. If tickets contain the same numbers it will all get mixed up and spoil the fun of the game. Preparation of 1500 tickets and placing them in one book form would require good deal of skill and labour and thus would satisfy the test of being original literary work. It should also be noted that compilation is included in the definition of literary work. Tambola ticket book cannot be called some easily available information which is bodily lifted and put in the compilation for which no skill was necessary.

The arrangement of numbers in tickets is the individual work of the person who prepares it, it bears his individuality and long hours of labour. It is not information which could be picked up by all and sundry. The preparation of tickets is an individualized contribution and the compilation eminently satisfies the test of being an original literary work.

(ii) On Rendition of Accounts in a Copyright Matter

In law, once the infringement of copyright has been proved the decree for rendition of account is an inevitable consequential relief.

The Appeal was dismissed with costs.

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