4 July 2023 12:25 PM GMT
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday observed that prima facie, there is no likelihood of confusion between News 18’s “Bhaiyaji Kahin” and Times Now Navbharat’s “Bhaiya Ji Superhit” television shows. Justice Amit Bansal dismissed the interim injunction application moved by TV 18 Broadcast Limited, which is part of the Network18 group, in its suit against Bennett Coleman and...
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday observed that prima facie, there is no likelihood of confusion between News 18’s “Bhaiyaji Kahin” and Times Now Navbharat’s “Bhaiya Ji Superhit” television shows.
Justice Amit Bansal dismissed the interim injunction application moved by TV 18 Broadcast Limited, which is part of the Network18 group, in its suit against Bennett Coleman and Company Limited alleging infringement of its trademark “Bhaiyaji Kahin” which is the name of its Hindi news show.
News 18 told the court that it first aired its show in December 2016 and has broadcasted over 1,200 episodes. The suit was filed after News 18 came to know that Times Now Navbharat was launching a show titled “Bhaiya Ji Superhit” using a similar mark where "newsworthy issues" are to be brought to light through humour and satire.
Refusing interim relief to News 18, Justice Bansal said that the term “Bhaiyaji” is a word of common use in certain State like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar which translates to “brother” and therefore, the word is of a non-distinctive character.
“Therefore in my prima facie view, the term “Bhaiyaji” is a generic term of widespread use and nobody can claim exclusive right to use such generic words. Having regard to the aforesaid, the plaintiff is not entitled to exclusive rights over the mark “Bhaiyaji” in terms of Section 17 of the Trade Marks Act, 1999,” the court said.
Observing that there is no similarity between the term “Kahin” used by the News 18 and the term “Superhit” used by Times Now Navbharat, the court said:
“In view of the disclaimer with regard to the term “Bhaiyaji” under class 41, the plaintiff cannot restrict the defendant from using the said term. This is also made clear by Section 28(2) of the Trade Marks Act, which provides that the exclusive right to use of a trademark shall be subject to any condition and limitation that is part of the registration granted.”
The court also observed that News 18’s show is an interactive show that is not scripted whereas the show Bhaiya Ji Superhit is scripted and non- interactive.
“The defendant’s show is hosted and anchored by a standup comedian, whereas the show of the plaintiff is hosted and anchored by a news anchor/journalist. Further, the two shows are shown on different television channels. Therefore, in my prima facie view there is no likelihood of confusion between the two television shows,” the court said.
It added: “As regards the contention of the plaintiff that the mark “Bhaiyaji Kahin” has acquired distinctiveness on account of long user, in my view, this aspect can only be examined in trial and cannot be the basis for grant of an interim injunction.”
Title: TV 18 BROADCAST LIMITED v. BENNETT, COLEMAN AND COMPANY LIMITED
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Del) 552
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