Justice Manmohan of the Single Judge Bench observed that an action of passing off would come into the question only if the public felt that the two entities were somehow related.

Arnab vs Times Now Round One goes to Goswami in Nation Wants to Know case at Delhi HC
news Media Thursday, July 06, 2017 - 08:14

Arnab Goswami seems to have got a temporary relief on the use of the phrase 'The Nation Wants to Know' after a single judge bench of the Delhi High Court said it did not amount to passing off as per a report by Ashutosh Gambhir in BarandBench. 

Times Now on Wednesday approached the Delhi High Court against the use of the phrase “The Nation Wants to Know” by its former anchor Arnab Goswami on his new channel Republic TV.  

Senior advocate Rajiv Nayyar appearing for Bennett Coleman and Co. Ltd. (Times Now owner) said that Arnab has launched his own show called “The Nation Wants to Know” where he interviews people and his first guests were Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. 

Nayyar contended that since the phrase has been in use by Times Now since January 2013, this amounted to a clear case of passing off. 

On the other hand, Senior advocate Sandeep Sethi appearing for Republic said that the initial suit filed by Times Now alleging violation of intellectual property did not have references to use of phrases like “Newshour” and “Nation Wants to Know”. 

Justice Manmohan of the Single Judge Bench observed that an action of passing off would come into the question only if the public felt that the two entities were somehow related. 

“Passing off is impossible. Nobody would believe that Times Now and Republic are associated with each other in any way.”

The Judge also contended that it was highly improbable that Arnab would ride on the reputation of Times Now by using these phrases since there is so much animosity between the two. 

Holding that the viewers of these channels were highly educated, the Court also observed that they could very well make out the difference between these two channels. 

Concerning the title “Newshour”, Justice Manmohan cited the examples of BBC and PBS, saying that these networks have been using it since the 1970s and asked if Times Now would go after them as well. 

The Court told Nayyar to advise his client to act reasonably while contending that it would not be good for the industry and the people otherwise. 

Meanwhile, Republic has been issued notice and asked to file a reply within four weeks. 

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