18. Assignment of copyright –
(1) The owner of the copyright in an existing work or the prospective owner of the copyright in a future work may assign to any person the copyright either wholly or partially and either generally or subject to limitations and either for the whole term of the copyright or any part thereof.
Provided that in the case of the assignment of copyright in any future work, the assignment shall take effect only when the work comes into existence.
(2) Whereas the assignee of a copyright becomes entitled to any right comprised in the copyright, the assignee as respects the rights to assigned, and the assignor as respects the rights not assigned, shall be treated for the purposes of this Act as the owner of copyright and the provisions of this Act shall have effect accordingly.
(3) In this section, the expression, “assignee” as respects the assignment of the copyright in any future work includes the legal representatives of the assignee, if the assignee dies before the work comes into existence.
(i) A mere agreement to assign does not operate to pass the property right but gives equitable rights, i.e., it operates as an equitable assignment of copyright as and when the work comes into existence; Reoti Saran Sharma v. Numero Uno International, 1995 PTR 132.
(ii) Where there is substantial similarity and the other party has no evidence to rebute the same in his favour, then there is infringement of copyright; Godrej Soaps (P) Ltd. v. Dora Cosmetics Co., 2001 PTC 407 (Del).