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IPR case: HC issues summons to Republic TV, hearing on 26 May

MUMBAI: "Times Now” Channel owner Bennett Coleman and Company Limited (BCCL), owner of, on Thursday, filed a suit against Arnab Goswami’s “Republic TV” in the Delhi High Court for infringement of intellectual property and violation of contract of employment. After a hearing, the matter was scheduled for next hearing on 26 May.

The court however questioned BCCL as to why, for over two years, they had not telecast these stories themselves even though they had the information, now allegedly used by Republic TV. Justice Manmohan stated that these stories were of national interest and public disclosure of such stories was important, Bar and Bench reported.

BCCL said that Arnab and his team were using intellectual property at Republic TV, which they had acquired during the course of their employment with Times Now. BCCL showed the court a few clippings of “Republic TV” telecast regarding the circumstances of Sunanda Pushkar’s death.

BCCL advocate Rajiv Nayyar stated that Republic TV must not act contrary to the clauses of the contract of employment. He also mentioned that BCCL had already filed a police complaint in Mumbai under sections 378, 379, 403, 405, with sections 406, 409, 411, 414 and 418 of the IPC, besides Section 66-B, 72 and 72-A of the IT Act, alleging theft, criminal breach of trust, misappropriation of property and infringement of intellectual property.

High Court justice Manmohan issued summons to the defendants Republic TV and observed that it was well settled that an employee had to maintain confidentiality after he left the employment. He also observed that misuse and misappropriation of trade information would amount to infringement.

However, stating that it was a preliminary stage, and he could not proceed against Republic TV without hearing them, Justice Manmohan questioned BCCL as to why they had not given a notice to Republic TV before marching to court. He also observed that the evidence produced before the court was insufficient, the Bar and Bench report added.

Justice Manmohan maintained that if it was proved later that there was a misuse of data by Republic TV, appropriate relief would be granted.

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