CTH, the exclusive holder of English Premier League (EPL) football broadcasting rights in Thailand, yesterday sued US-based Apple Inc and its local office for allegedly violating the Thai cable-TV operator's rights, and sought Bt100 million in damages.
Suratchai Mansrithaworn, representing CTH, filed a petition with the Central Intellectual Property and International Trade Court against Apple Inc, Apple South Asia (Thailand) and Gene D Levoff, the authorised director of Apple South Asia (Thailand).
They were accused of violating intellectual property rights for commercial purposes and counterfeiting or altering a registered trademark. The legal action was brought against Apple after its online computer-application store made available for download an app called “Sport Channel” that allows users to view live broadcasts of EPL matches, according to Suratchai. The application costs US$20 (Bt635) for iPhone and $20.99 for iPad, he said.
CTH – the licensee for EPL broadcasting rights in Thailand, Cambodia and Laos for three seasons from 2013-2015 – gained nothing from the app downloads or any fees from Apple, according to the lawsuit. CTH won the bid for the rights with an estimated offer of Bt9 billion. The company has not disclosed the exact figure.