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June 11, 2024

Delhi High Court Halts Use of ‘Baap Ki Adalat’, Rules in Favor of Rajat Sharma

In a significant legal development, the Delhi High Court has issued an interim order restraining the use of the mark ‘Baap Ki Adalat’ following a lawsuit filed by renowned journalist Rajat Sharma. Sharma, the editor-in-chief of IndiaTV, alleged that the use of this mark constituted trademark and personality rights infringement.

On May 30, Justice Anish Dayal, presiding over the single-judge bench, ruled that Ravindra Kumar Choudhary, the defendant, is prohibited from using Sharma’s photograph, video, and name in any form. This includes usage as a trademark, logo, trading style, domain name, or in social media posts and audio-video content, which could infringe upon Sharma’s personality rights.

The lawsuit was filed by Sharma and his company, Independent News Service Private Limited, which owns the IndiaTV news channel. The plaintiffs argued that Choudhary, a self-proclaimed political satirist, had been creating and disseminating audio-video content on social media platforms using the logo and mark ‘Baap Ki Adalat’. They claimed that this was deceptively similar to IndiaTV’s logo and its popular show ‘Aap Ki Adalat’.

Sharma emphasized that Choudhary’s usage of the logo for social media posts mirrored how he uses his trademark on his channels. The High Court recognized that the plaintiffs had established a ‘prima facie case’ for an ex parte ad interim injunction until the next hearing, asserting that the balance of convenience favored the plaintiffs and that they were likely to suffer irreparable harm if the injunction was not granted.

In its order, the court stated, “This court is satisfied that the plaintiff has made out a prima facie case for the grant of an ex parte ad interim injunction till the next date of hearing. Balance of convenience lies in favour of the plaintiff, and they are likely to suffer irreparable harm in case the injunction, as prayed for, is not granted.”

Summons have been issued in the lawsuit, and notice has been given on the plaintiffs’ application for interim relief. The matter is scheduled for the next hearing on October 18.

This ruling underscores the importance of protecting intellectual property and personality rights in the digital age, where content can be easily replicated and disseminated across various platforms. It serves as a reminder to content creators and social media users to respect existing trademarks and avoid infringing on the rights of individuals and entities.

The case also highlights the judiciary’s role in upholding these rights and providing relief to those whose intellectual property is misused. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, such legal precedents will be crucial in navigating the complex issues surrounding digital content and intellectual property rights.

For now, Rajat Sharma and IndiaTV have secured a significant victory in their battle to protect their brand and content from unauthorized use, setting a precedent for similar cases in the future. The outcome of the October 18 hearing will be closely watched by legal experts and media professionals alike, as it could further define the boundaries of trademark and personality rights in India.

Read more latest news on R9 News

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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