Software piracy is a prevalent malpractice in today age of technology. Courts have been treating the matters seriously and granting not only injunctions but also punitive damages, in many cases. One such case is that of Siemens.
Siemens Product Lifecycle Management Software Inc. and its Indian subsidiary Siemens Industry Software (India) Pvt Ltd. (“Siemens”) are engaged in providing software solutions and services globally. Siemens is the exclusive owner of the copyright in its software. The software is licensed to customers for fair use. One such software is the NX Software in which it owns copyright.
Siemens filed a suit for infringement of copyright against Lucent Engineering Company and its director (together hereinafter referred to as “the Defendant”) at the Delhi District Court, seeking, inter alia, a. injunction, b. damages, and c. rendition of accounts against the Defendants for using the NX Software without license.
The Defendant is engaged in providing designing and automation solutions. According to Siemens, an unlicensed version of its NX Software was used by the Defendant for providing services to its clients. Siemens claimed that the Defendant was using pirated versions of its software and wrongfully earning profits from such use. An ex-parte injunction was granted in the matter and a Local Commissioner was appointed to prepare inventory and take into custody the material etc.
Siemens also submitted an estimate of the losses caused to it due to the infringement, including cost of the software (INR 15 Lac), Attorney’s fees, Local Commissioner’s fee, loss of goodwill and reputation etc. It, inter alia, claimed damages of INR 10 Lacs for copyright infringement.
A trial was conducted to decide, inter alia, whether the Defendant has infringed the copyright of the plaintiffs "SIEMENS SOFTWARE NX"?
Upon examining the witnesses, and the facts on record, the Court observed that there was indeed infringement of Siemens’s software by the Defendant. The Court granted punitive damages and compensatory damages to the tune of INR 5 Lakhs each, costs of INR 1, 92, 150, and granted a decree of permanent injunction in favour of Siemens.