The Delhi High Court granted an interim injunction against the Defendant, CTVN Calcutta Television Pvt. Ltd., from using their ‘CN’ trademarks, particularly in relation to their news channel.
The Plaintiff, Cable News Network (popularly known as CNN) initiated the suit against the Defendant, CTVN Calcutta Television Pvt. Ltd., on the basis of their trademark CNN. The Defendant’s trademark, CN and CN NEWS, were contended by the Plaintiff as being infringing upon the rights of the Plaintiff, particularly in relation to the manner in which the Defendant’s CN and CN NEWS were represented vis-à-vis the Plaintiff’s CNN. It was further contended that until 2014, the Defendant was conducting business under the name ‘Uttar Bangla’ and it is only since 2014 that the Defendant chose to adopt such deceptively similar trademark, which would unequivocally lead to confusion and misunderstanding amongst the population. The Plaintiff further contended that the alphabets C and N in the defendant’s trademark were joined at the base, allowing it to strikingly resemble as the plaintiff’s own trademark. This would further allow the defendant to derive ‘unjust enrichment’ over the goodwill and repute of the plaintiff’s CNN trademarks.
The Defendant, while disputing the assertions of the Plaintiff, also contended that the Delhi High Court lacked territorial jurisdiction to hear the matter.
The Delhi High Court, while issuing interim injunction against the Defendant, observed that manner in which the defendant had styled its logo was deceptively similar and prima facie imitative of the manner in which the plaintiff had styled its logo. The Court further observed that both parties offer similar services and cater to the same segment of population viz. those viewing news channels and therefore, a prima facie case of infringement is made out.
The Court also took up the contention of ‘lack of territorial jurisdiction’ of the defendant. The defendant stated that the Court cannot invoke its jurisdiction, since the defendant does not have, inter alia, any registered office or place of business in Delhi. The Plaintiff stated that the defendant’s channel bearing the impugned trademark can be accessed and its contents viewed within the territorial jurisdiction of the Court and the same, therefore, amounts to ‘purposeful availment’ of the jurisdiction of the Court. The Court, while disagreeing with the contentions of the Defendant, reasoned out factors that contributed to its observation on applicability of relevant provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure along with the relevant provisions of the Trade Marks Act.
Author: Rommel Pandit