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Shark Tank India's Legal Notices to Startups: Is the Claim Valid?

Updated: Jun 28


Recently, several founders who appeared on 'Shark Tank India' have reported receiving legal notices from the show for using clips from their appearances on their own social media to promote their products. According to the notices, the show claims that these reposts infringe on its intellectual property (‘IP’). This move has sparked significant debate within the startup community.


Appearing on 'Shark Tank India' can propel startups to new heights, attracting substantial traffic and business opportunities. Naturally, participants wish to leverage these pivotal moments by sharing them on social media. However, conflicts arise due to the show's claims of intellectual property infringement and the potential for trademark infringement if the show's logo is used without consent.


Here's the tricky part: Most networks usually have terms that require participants to assign all rights to the content created to the network. This means whether the startups' use of these snippets amounts to infringement is not always clear-cut. It depends on the specific terms the startups have agreed to with the network. The devil is in the details, and understanding these terms is crucial.


To avoid such situations, it’s essential for startups to ensure they carve out the right to use snippets of their appearances to promote their own businesses. It’s also reasonable for networks to want to approve such promotional content in writing, but they should not unreasonably withhold their approval. This balance can help protect the interests of both parties and prevent unnecessary legal disputes. Additionally, remember that using the show's logo without consent could amount to trademark infringement, so it's crucial to obtain permission for that as well.


For those in the service industry, a similar principle applies: if you use the logos of your clients to promote and advertise your business, ensure you obtain their consent to avoid potential legal issues.


Need more help understanding how to structure these agreements? Reach out to us, and we will help you navigate the technical bits so you can avoid these challenges!





DISCLAIMER

This publication is intended to be circulated for informational purposes only and does not amount to legal advice/opinion provided by us.We shall not be liable for any loss or damage that may be attributed to the content of this publication.

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