Lawstreet Journal

Bombay HC dismisses the FIR against Newslaundry, States, "mere use of a trademark in an article does not amount to false use"

Lawstreet Journal 25 Apr 2021 12:03am

Image courtesy: Lawstreet Journal Judiciary Bombay HC dismisses the FIR against Newslaundry, States, "mere use of a trademark in an article does not amount to false use"

On Wednesday (September 16, 2020) a case was registered at Vishrambaug Police Station by the Sakal Times against a Newslaundary journalist Prateek Chandragupt Goyal claiming that he had used the trademark of the Sakal Times in his stories published on Newslaundary website for an offense u/s 103 of Trademark Act. 

On Tuesday (April 20, 2021) the FIR lodged by the Pune Police Station against Newslaundary journalist Prateek Chandragupt Goyal was rejected and quashed by the Bombay High Court.

According to the FIR, Goyal committed an offense by using the Sakal Group's trademark incorrectly in two articles he wrote and released on the news portal "Newslaundry." 

The two papers were written on March 27, 2020, and June 11, 2020, respectively. The registered trademarks of the Sakal Media Group and Sakal Times were prominently displayed at the top of the posts. The headline of an article published on March 27, 2020 read, 'The future is bleak: Sakal Times staffers say they were fired in violation of Maharashtra order.' 

‘They decided to get rid of us: over 50 employees laid off as Sakal Times shuts down,' read the headline in the article published on June 11, 2020. 

These were highly defamatory articles against the Sakal Media Group, according to complainant Mahendra Pisal (54), Chief Administrative Officer of Sakal Media Group, and the use of the official logos/trademarks of the Sakal Media Group and Sakal Times on these articles clearly amounted to falsely applying for the said trademark, resulting in an offence under Section 103 of the aforementioned Act. 

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Tagged: Bombay High Court  
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