24 Aug 2023 8:41 AM GMT
Times Group has withdrawn from the Delhi High Court its application seeking initiation of contempt of court proceedings against Republic TV and its Managing Director Arnab Goswami for violating an order passed in 2020 over the use of “Nation Wants To Know” tagline.The application was listed yesterday before Justice C Hari Shankar in a suit filed in 2017 by Bennett Coleman, a flagship...
Times Group has withdrawn from the Delhi High Court its application seeking initiation of contempt of court proceedings against Republic TV and its Managing Director Arnab Goswami for violating an order passed in 2020 over the use of “Nation Wants To Know” tagline.
The application was listed yesterday before Justice C Hari Shankar in a suit filed in 2017 by Bennett Coleman, a flagship company of Times Group which owns Times Now news channel, alleging infringement of its trademark ‘News Hour’ by Republic TV and Goswami. The suit also sought to restrain the news channel from adopting the tagline “Nation Wants To Know”.
A coordinate bench in October 2020 had granted interim relief to Times Now by restraining Republic TV from using the tagline 'News Hour' or any other mark that may be deceptively similar to it for its primetime debate show. However, it had refused to restrain Arnab Goswami and ARG Outlier Media Pvt Ltd. from using the tagline "NATION WANTS TO KNOW".
The court had held that Republic TV channel was free to use the tagline as part of its speech or presentation of any news but in case it chooses to use the same as a trade mark with respect to any of their goods, services, then the channel will have to maintain accounts for such usage.
Bennett Coleman moved a fresh application against Republic TV seeking contempt action alleging that the news channel violated the earlier order by using “Nation Wants To Know” tagline as a trademark and not maintaining and filing the accounts of such usage as directed by the coordinate bench.
However, Advocate Manish Kumar Mishra appearing for Times Group sought leave to withdraw the application by submitting that he will take alternate remedies in law.
“The application is accordingly disposed of as withdrawn,” the court said.
About the Suit
Goswami had claimed that the tagline was used by him when he was employed at Times Now as a "common speech" for which there was no intellectual property.
He had submitted that the expression was "spontaneous and creative" and pleaded that none of the documents adduced by Bennett Coleman indicated a connection of the mark to any of its goods or services.
The Times Group, on the other hand, claimed that the tagline was coined and developed by the then editorial and marketing team of its company as keywords to be used during the discussions and debates conducted on the “News Hour” programme.
It had also submitted that Goswami was trying to take "undue advantage" of his past services at the Times Group, where he was privy to the company’s utmost confidential information during his tenure as its Editor-in-Chief.
Advocates Manish Kumar Mishra, Pragya Jain and Soumya Khandelwal appeared for Times Group. Republic TV was represented by Senior Advocate Malvika Trivedi and Advocates Rahul Tyagi and Diya Dutta.
Case Title: Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd. v. ARG Outlier Media Pvt Ltd & Ors.
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