Bangkok Broadcasting & T.V. Co., Thailand's foremost broadcasting corporation – popularly known as "Channel 7" – announced that on July 8, 2010, the United States District Court in the Central District of California entered a final judgment in favor of BBTV, awarding BBTV $8.3 million in damages for willful copyright and trademark infringement by IPTV Corporation (ThaiTV.tv
), BKT Group and its management.
The judgment followed a five-day jury trial in the middle of May 2010 during which the jury unanimously found all the defendants, IPTV Corporation
, BKT Group, IPTV Chief Executive Officer – Mr. Ron Petcha, IPTV Owner – Mrs. Tip Petcha and IPTV President – Mr. Noppadon Wongchaiwat, liable for willful copyright infringement and trademark infringement.
BBTV initiated formal legal proceedings against the defendants on May 28, 2009 when it filed a Complaint in the United States District Court in the Central District of California alleging that the defendants illegally and willfully copied, sold and re-broadcast BBTV's copyrighted programs bearing BBTV's federally trademarked logo.
Specifically, BBTV sought an injunction and damages against IPTV for advertising, marketing, selling and re-broadcasting copies of BBTV's copyrighted materials via IPTV's website, ThaiTV.tv, its satellite television service, and a distribution network that fed Thai and Asian storefronts throughout the U.S. and elsewhere, including Europe.
Prior to the trial, on May 11, 2010, the Court granted partial judgment for BBTV, finding IPTV and Mr. Petcha liable for copyright infringement. During the trial, BKT Group admitted liability for copyright infringement. Following the five-day trial in the middle of May 2010, the jury returned a unanimous verdict finding all of the defendants liable for willful copyright infringement and trademark infringement.
On July 8, 2010, the court affirmed the jury verdict and entered a final judgment awarding BBTV $8.3 million in damages and permanently barring the defendants from commencing, either directly or indirectly, any activities which could infringe BBTV's rights in the future.
This case was presided over by the Honorable William D. Keller of the U.S. District Court, Central District of California under the Case No. CV 09-03803 WDK (SSx).
Position & Policy:
The judgment and the unanimous decision by the jury are interpreted as clear confirmation that the defendants' actions were deliberate and conducted without regard to U.S. copyright or trademark law.
As one of Thailand's most recognized news and entertainment broadcasters, BBTV has a policy of taking strong legal action against any person or business entity that willfully and deliberately infringes upon its copyrighted content. BBTV established this policy under the premise that when its material is used without consent, not only is BBTV's business impacted, but its image and reputation is also potentially sullied because its work is marketed in a manner that does not conform to the high standards for which the channel is recognized.
BBTV will not tolerate infringement of its intellectual property, and will aggressively pursue legal action against any person or business entity that infringes its rights, in Thailand, the United States, or anywhere else in the world.
The case was successfully prosecuted by Baker & McKenzie – a global law firm. The litigation team for the action in the U.S. was led by Howard Wisnia and Sanjay Bhandari of the San Diego Office in cooperation with Nont Horayangura of the Bangkok Office, who is also heading a similar action against the defendants and their team in Thailand.