Television

Delhi high court rules Republic TV cannot use ‘News Hour’

The court however allowed the use of the tagline ‘Nation Wants to Know’ pending further examinatio

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2020/10/23/arnab.png?itok=FuoEcZi_

New Delhi: The fight for who holds the rights to the words ‘News Hour’ and ‘nation wants to know’ between Benett Coleman & Co’s Times Now and ARG Media Outlier’s Republic TV has been on for a very long time. Earlier, BCCL had moved the high court seeking a permanent injunction against Arnab Goswami's ARG Media Outlier from using the abovementioned branding or any other derivatives or combinations of the same.

On Friday, the case moved forward. The Delhi high court  granted interim relief to Times Now while restraining Republic TV from using the trademark ‘News Hour’ or any other mark that may be deceptively similar to it.

The single-judge bench of justice Jayant Nath however did not grant any relief to Times Now regarding the use of the catchphrase ‘The nation wants to know’, informing the plaintiff that a detailed examination of the issue is required.

Read more news on Republic TV

The court found no merit in the defendant's argument against distinctiveness of the2014  registered trademark ‘News Hour"  which was prima facie in use since 2006. 

As such, the defendant's use of prefix or suffix against the registered mark would also be viewed as being deceptively similar and the plaintiff would be entitled to relief in this regard. Observing the same, the court granted an interim injunction against the use of "News Hour" or anything deceptively similar to it. 

The second trademark in dispute is not a registered mark and is a tagline that both parties stake claim to giving rise to the question of whether the defendant was indulging in passing off. While the plaintiff claimed proprietary right, the defendant said that the tagline was never associated with the plaintiff but always with Goswami. 

The court, however, opined that this issue needs further examination of documents adduced by both sides and can be done when the parties lay their evidence. The court said, "The date of use of the tagline NWTK can only be decided appropriately after the parties have laid their evidence."  

"In these facts and circumstances, prima facie it is not possible, at this stage without leading of evidence, to come to a conclusion that the defendants seek to mislead the consumers of the news channel or that the action of the defendants in using the said tagline would cause damage to the plaintiff as claimed," it added.

The dispute between the Times Group and Republic Media dates  back to 2016 when Arnab Goswami (then anchor and editor) exited Times Now to set up his own venture ARG Outlier Media that owns Republic Network. Times Now started airing News Hour in 2006 and the show emerged as one of the flagship programs of the channel with Goswami leading it.

The trademark, according to reports,  ‘News Hour’ was registered by the Times Group under Classes 16, 35 and 38 in 2014 and the mark itself has been in use since 2006. Therefore, the plaintiff claimed statutory right over this trademark.

 As for the phrase 'nation wants to know', Times Group claimed that the tagline was a product of the efforts of the editorial and marketing team' during the creative efforts undertaken for and on their behalf.

The tagline was to be used during debates and discussions conducted during the primetime program News Hour, which was anchored by Arnab Goswami up until his acrimonious exit from Times Now.

The plaintiff  has also alleged that Goswami took "undue advantage" of the popularity of the program he anchored at Times Now. Despite his employment agreement with Times Group vesting all rights to intellectual property exclusively with the plaintiff company, Goswami proceeded to use the disputed marks, the Times Group averred.

Republic countered the claim saying that viewers of the two news channels are “informed and literate” and cannot confuse the programmes aired on the two channels especially since the animosity between the two is a matter of public knowledge.

The defendant mentioned that the Times Group initiated the present proceedings "in the form of vendetta litigation" merely with the intention to "attempt to harass and arm twist."

Republic has argued that the words ‘News Hour’ are generic, widely used and as such Times Group cannot claim a proprietary right on the same. In fact, it has even questioned the granting of trademark in favour of plaintiff terming the same as erroneous on the grounds that the term lacks distinctiveness and ought not have been granted as a trademark.

After listening to both parties, the court granted partial relief, in the form of an interim injunction against the use of 'News Hour' while allowing Republic TV to keep using 'nation wants to know' pending further investigation of documents.

Latest Reads

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/01/23/img_23012021_134655_800_x_800_pixel.jpg?itok=qkboorCF
Barc week 2: Star Plus, Colors & Sony Sab continue to remain top three channels on pay platform

MUMBAI: Star Plus, Colors, and Sony Sab have continued to remain in the list of top three channels on pay platform in week two (Saturday 9 January 2021 to Friday 15 January 2021) of Broadcast Audience Research Council of India (BARC) data. &TV, too, has retained its hold on the number 10 slot...

Television TV Channels Viewership
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/01/23/img_23012021_134006_800_x_800_pixel.jpg?itok=yynQywJc
TRP scam: Bombay HC refuses to transfer Partho Dasgupta to private hospital

NEW DELHI: Taking cognisance of Taloja jail’s medical officers assurance that they would continue treating alleged TRP scam accused former BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta in accordance with the JJ Hospital discharge note, the Bombay HC has refused to intervene in his transfer to the prison. 

Television TV Channels Viewership
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/01/23/img_23012021_124242_800_x_800_pixel.jpg?itok=VCcl3_U0
BARC week 2: Dettol Antiseptic continues to lead the brand list

MUMBAI: The Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) of India has released its data for top advertisers and brands for the period between 9 January and 15 January 2021. The data reflects the top 10 advertisers and brands across genres on India’s television, 2+ Individuals, NCCS. All demonstrating...

Television TV Channels Viewership
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/01/23/vfx.jpg?itok=c2_0UpDf
The small screen's growing romance with VFX

Visual effects-laden shows have always captured audience interest on television, be it mythological serials like Ramayana or Jai Shree Krishna or the earliest superheroes shows like Shaktimaan.

Television Production House Fiction
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/01/22/times.jpg?itok=A9ctmwZB
TRP scam: Times Network to take legal action against BARC

L'affaire TV ratings continues. In yet another sudden turn in the TRP manipulation case, the Times Network is gearing up to take legal action against the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) for allegedly colluding with Republic TV to misreport viewership ratings and giving the channel "undue...

Television TV Channels Viewership
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/01/22/republic.jpg?itok=uLV0POyu
Republic Media to run exclusive series on forces ‘India's Bravehearts’ around Repubic Day

Mumbai: As India gears up for the celebration of its 72nd Republic Day, Republic Media Network brings to you an exclusive broadcast series from the valley of Kashmir.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/01/22/od.jpg?itok=HdTxb6Uz
Odisha leaps ahead with India’s first Women’s T20 tournament

BHUBANESHWAR: With the resumption of live sports in the country, Indians are lining up for a shot of cricket. And what better way to energise the nation in these Covid times than with the most dynamic and exhilarating format of the game – the T20. Leading the way in this direction is the inaugural...

Television TV Channels Sports
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/01/22/sare.jpg?itok=jmQawFZl
Saregama PAT triples in third quarter of FY 2021

BENGALURU: Indian music label and movie studio Saregama India Ltd (Saregama) reported more than 200 per cent (201.5 per cent) Y-o-Y (year-on-year) growth in consolidated net profit after tax (PAT) for the quarter ended 31 December 2020 (Q3 2021, quarter or period under review) as compared to the...

Television TV Channels Music and Youth
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/01/22/isl.jpg?itok=8guOnyQh
Hero ISL sees uptick in viewership, fans keep the momentum high

MUMBAI : Cricket is indeed big in India. Globally, however, it’s football and football all the way, and the willow game has a long way to go before it catches up with it.  In India, in times of Coronavirus and cricket, soccer has been holding its own, especially with the seventh India Super League...

Television TV Channels Sports

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories

* indicates required