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BY MUSKAN LALWANI

A 18
EXPLANATION

an act that is technically an infringement can be called de


minimis if it is thought to be outside the purpose of the
law to catch it; the claim can then be dismissed with costs.
This decision involves a value judgment that the complaint
should either have been resolved without taking up the
time of a court or is a minor irritant that, like the
unintentional jostle in a crowded street, the complainant
should have borne with equanimity.
This maxim protects a trivial wrong though infringes legal right
of other . But the maxim does not protect a wrongdoer when
the wrong is not trivial in nature and a harm is caused or a
legal right is infringed .
X walks on through the Ys land , without Ys permission , only
for first time , without causing damage to the land of Y . If for
once , then it is trivial matter ,and the maxim would protect
him , but if X repeats again and again to establish his right of
way upon the Ys land then it does not remain a trivial matter
and it becomes a tort and the maxim would not then protect X
.
SUBJECT

In legal system in India, where the de minimis theory is


applicable only to Copyright law, in the U.S. it is actively used
as defence against Copyright and Trademark infringement
both.
The concept of de minimis is applicable when a sample of a
musical work, an excerpt from a literary work, a photograph
or any artistic Copyrighted work is used unauthorisedly but
the use of which is so small or inconsequential that it is likely
to cause no significant harm to the Copyright holder.
CASE LAW`S

In the leading case of Coward Vs. Baddeley , a by-stander


touched a fireman on the arm to attract his attention to
another part of a building where a fire was raging . On a
suit filed by the fireman for battery , the Court held that
the by-stander was not liable for battery on the basis of
maxim de minimis non curat lex .
ENGLISH CASE
In Newton v. Diamond , the Beastie Boys, a
famous hip-hop band, used a three-note segment
from a musical composition by avant-garde jazz
composer James Newton. The court found that
this copying was de minimis. The sequence,
which the Beastie Boys had digitally looped into
the background of its recording Pass the Mic,
was a simple, minimal, and insignificant part of
Newtons musical composition and lacked any
distinctive elements.
Raj Kumar Makhija and others Vs. M/s. S.K. and Co. and
others 2012 (9) ADJ 337 (DB). The Division Bench explaining
the principle observed that where the shortfall in deposit is
of a negligible amount the aforesaid principle can be applied
and the shortfall may be ignored. What would be a
negligible amount would depend upon the facts of each
case. In the above case before the Division Bench the
tenants were required to deposit pendente lite and future
damages at the rate of `.1,000/- per month but
they deposited only at the rate of `.700/- per month. The
Court refused to apply the above principle as the shortfall
was not held to be of trivial amount.
One of the land mark case;
India TV independent news v. Yashraj telefilms Pvt Ltd ., Where
the Delhi high court have used this doctrine as a defence and
mentioned that minimum amount of sample copied may not lead
to copyright infringement.

Saregama India Ltd v. Viacom 18 Motion Pictures the Calcutta High


Court also dealt with copyright infringement. A few words of a
famous song from an old film had been used in a recently
released film. In a prima facie opinion, the court held that as the
few words were segregated from the rest of the song, no
copyright claim could be made, as these words were used in
common parlance