Delhi HC Rules In Favour Of CNN News Channel In Trademark Infringement Suit Against Lucknow Based Entity, Awards ₹7 Lakh Costs
The Delhi High Court has restrained a Lucknow based news website from using the marks “CNN City News Network” or “CNN” in a trademark infringement suit filed by CNN news channel. Justice C Hari Shankar directed the defendant entity, City News Network' to remove or disband its website and three other social media pages. “Defendant 1 is directed to pay costs of ₹ 7 lakhs to...
The Delhi High Court has restrained a Lucknow based news website from using the marks “CNN City News Network” or “CNN” in a trademark infringement suit filed by CNN news channel.
Justice C Hari Shankar directed the defendant entity, City News Network' to remove or disband its website and three other social media pages.
“Defendant 1 is directed to pay costs of ₹ 7 lakhs to the plaintiff. The said costs shall be payable within a period of four weeks from today. The suit stands decreed in the aforesaid terms qua Defendant 1,” the court ordered.
Cable News Network INC filed the suit against City News Network and another entity alleging infringement of its well known trademark “CNN” by them.
While the matter was settled with the second entity, City News Network remained unrepresented in the proceedings.
CNN news channel alleged that the Lucknow based entity was using its marks for providing identical services. It claimed that it is entitled to a monopoly for use of the acronym CNN, especially where it is used in respect of a news channels or in connection with dissemination of news or for providing any other allied services.
Decreeing the suit, Justice Shankar said that the marks used by City News Network clearly infringed the registered trademarks of CNN news channel within the meaning of Section 29(2)2 of the Trade Marks Act.
“If one is to take the textual component of the marks of Defendant 1 and the plaintiff, insofar as the mark is concerned, the plaintiff may well be entitled to the statutory presumption contained in Section 29(2)(c) read with Section 29(3) of the Trade Marks Act, as the textual component of Defendant 1's mark and the plaintiff's mark, i.e. “CNN”, is identical. A viewer would clearly associate the mark “CNN” with the plaintiff,” the court said.
Furthermore, it added that for a lay viewer, there is every likelihood of him believing that there is some association between the marks of both the parties.
“The use, by the Defendant 1, of the expanded form “CITY NEWS NETWORK” would actually exacerbate the possibility of confusion. The aspect of likelihood of confusion has to be examined from the perspective of the consumer of average intelligence and imperfect recollection,” the court said.
It added: “the identity of the textual components of the plaintiff's and Defendant 1s' marks, i.e. “CNN”, when coupled with the similarity in the expanded forms of the acronyms –“CABLE NEWS NETWORK” and “CITY NEWS NETWORK” – is bound to result in confusion, howsoever momentary, in the mind of the lay viewer.”
Title: CABLE NEWS NETWORK INC v. CITY NEWS NETWORK & ORS.
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Del) 1238