Arnab Goswami gets Delhi HC’s nod to use ‘Nation Wants to Know’

In a recent development, the Delhi High Court has granted Arnab Goswami’s Republic TV permission to use ‘The Newshour’ as the programme title and ‘Nation Wants to Know’ catchphrase. 

As is known, Times Now had filed two applications with the Registrar of Trademarks to trademark the phrases “Nation wants to know” and “The nation wants to know”. These are considered to be Goswami’s signature lines, which he continued using in his prime time show on Republic TV, which was launched on May 6 this year. 

Representing Times Now, Senior Advocate Rajiv Nayyar stated that this is a clear case of passing off as Times Now has been using the phrase “Nation wants to know” since January 2013. Meanwhile, Republic TV’s legal counsel Sandeep Sethi raised an issue concerning maintainability of the application. He contended that the initial suit filed by Times Now alleging infringement of intellectual property did not have any claims regarding use of phrases like “Newshour” and “Nation Wants to Know”. 

While hearing both the parties, Justice Manmohan observed that the viewers of these channels are educated and nuanced, who understand very well that the two channels are different. 

Regarding the use of the title “Newshour”, Justice Manmohan pointed out that BBC and PBS networks had been using the said title since the 1970s. 

When Nayyar objected the use of such phrases by a former employee on another show, Justice Manmohan cited the example of Rajat Sharma, who used to host the show ‘Janta Ki Adalat’ on Zee News. After quitting Zee News to set up India TV, Sharma began hosting the show as ‘Aap Ki Adalat’. 

While maintaining that employers are supposed to be “magnanimous”, Justice Manmohan asked both the sides to “act reasonably” and “lower the temperature” and not indulge in bitter battles. 

The proceedings concluded with no interim order on the catch phrase till the final judgment is passed. Meanwhile, the Court has asked Republic TV to file its reply within four weeks pertaining to the matter. 

It may be noted here that since its launch, Republic TV has continuously led the English News Channel space. As per BARC data for Week 26 (June 24-30) of 2017 [All India (U+R) : NCCS AB : Males 22+ Individuals], the channel garnered a gross viewership of 965, followed by Times Now with a gross viewership of 868.


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