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CNN News: Delhi High Court Awards ₹3 Lacs Compensation In Trademark Infringement Suit, Grants Permanent Injunction Against Use Of Identical Marks

Nupur Thapliyal
21 May 2022 4:45 AM GMT
CNN News: Delhi High Court Awards ₹3 Lacs Compensation In Trademark Infringement Suit, Grants Permanent Injunction Against Use Of Identical Marks
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While dealing with a trademark infringement suit filed by Cable News Network (CNN) news channel, the Delhi High Court has granted permanent injunction against various entities over use of identical mark 'CNN' while providing similar news services.

Justice Pratibha M Singh also awarded Rs. 3 lakhs cost in favour of CNN news channel, observing that its rights in the mark 'CNN' were undisputed and unchallenged and that the same had been declared as a well-known mark.

"Thus, the use of an identical mark for identical services is clear infringement of the Plaintiff's rights in the 'CNN' mark. There can be no justification for the Defendants to use an identical mark," the Court said.

It was the case of the plaintiff that sometime in March, 2021, it came to know that the Defendant No.1, one Fayyaz Shaikh started running a news channel under the name 'CNN News Khabar Update Marathi'. Defendant No.2, Azhar Hussain, was shown as the Editor in Chief of the said channel. It was added that they were also using the network named 'CNN City News Network, Darwha, Yavatmal, Maharashtra.'

It was also submitted that the Defendants were also running YouTube Channels and were promoting the mark 'CNN' on their Twitter account, Instagram posts, blogs, etc. and that there was depiction of the mark 'CNN' on the YouTube Channels of the Defendants.

In view of the identical use of the mark 'CNN' by the Defendants for an identical service i.e., news service on the internet, suit was filed by the Plaintiff.

As per the Plaintiff, the use of the mark 'CNN' constituted infringement of its registered trademarks, passing off, etc. It was also alleged that the said use would constitute misrepresentation, impersonation, dilution and tarnishment.

Noting that the Defendants were using an identical mark for identical services, the Court observed thus:

"Even if the name of the Defendants' network is City News network, the use of the abbreviated form 'CNN' would be impermissible owing to the well-known nature of the Plaintiff's mark. Moreover, the mark 'CNN' is one which is globally well known in the field of news dissemination and media related business."

Accordingly, the Defendants were refrained from using, broadcasting, telecasting any news or any other program under the mark 'CNN' and using the mark 'CNN', in any manner, with or without any suffix or prefix for any goods or services which are cognate and allied to the Plaintiff's news services or other related services.

"The Defendants shall also refrain from posting any tweets or uploading any videos or putting up any content on the internet using the mark/name 'CNN'," it added.

It further ordered "The use of the mark 'CNN' is clearly with knowledge of the Plaintiff's goodwill and reputation, as also, considering that the Defendants, being journalists/identical mark for identical services is clear infringement persons in the media business, are deemed to be well aware of the reputation of the Plaintiff's mark and the rights of the Plaintiff in the said mark. Accordingly, costs of Rs.3 lakhs are awarded to the Plaintiff, in terms of the relief as sought in paragraph 44(i) of the Plaint."

Case Title: CABLE NEWS NETWORK INC v. MR FAYYAZ SHAIKH & ANR.

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Del) 480

Click Here To Read Order


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