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Before embarking on analysing the rival contentions of both parties on the touchstone of the settled position of law qua infringement of trademarks and passing off, it would be worthwhile for this Court to shed some light on the general principles underlying the grant interlocutory relief. It is trite that interlocutory proceedings, in a matter pending adjudication, are conducted with a definite purpose, which purpose is different and distinct from the one when the matter is finally decided upon merits.The role of the Court, at this stage of litigation, is not to resolve or reconcile the conflicting issues as to facts and evidence on which the claims of either party may ultimately depend.The defendant, however, has vehemently maintained that the mark 'CNN' connotes nothing more than an abbreviated form of 'CAM News Network Today' and has been used in conjunction thereto to impart a unique and distinctive style to its magazine. Firstly, the defendant does not have the requisite statutory permit or license to publish its magazine by the name 'CNN : CAM News Network Today'. Secondly, as per the prevalent judicial dicta, mere delay is not sufficient to defeat the grant of injunction in an action for infringement of trade mark and passing off. Thirdly, the plaintiff came to know about the defendant's magazine during the end of the year 2003.However, it did not immediately initiate any action against the defendant as at that time the publication of the latter's magazine was irregular and sporadic. Fourthly, there has been no inordinate delay on the part of the plaintiff as it immediately initiated action against the defendant on becoming aware that the latter was publishing its magazine regularly. Fifthly, there has been no acquiescence on the part of the plaintiff as it did not take any positive steps towards encouraging the defendant in publishing its magazine. Lastly, the defense of delay, latches and acquiescence put forth by the defendant is unsustainable inasmuch as it has failed to establish itself as an honest and concurrent user of the plaintiff's registered trade mark 'CNN'. I have heard both parties at length and given my thoughtful consideration to the matter. Although proprietary rights in names have been in existence since the days of common law, it is only with the advent of the capitalist-consumerist culture that their importance has been recognised.Relevant details appertaining to the registration of the plaintiff's trade mark 'CNN' in India, as per the plaint, are reproduced as under: Trade Mark Regd. Class Date Goods CNN Stylized 564735 16 Printed matter, books, program guides, program transcripts, photographs; stationery; instructional and teaching materials (except apparatus); play- ing cards.
Both CNN Cable News Network Television Channel and CNN Headlines News Television Channel are stated to provide live coverage and analysis of breaking news as wells as in-depth interviews and top stories on health, technology, weather, entertainment, environment, sports, travel and money.It is stated that the plaintiff in collaboration with Global Broadcast News Limited has recently launched the CNN-IBN News Channel in India.It is claimed by the plaintiff that approximately 10 million households and 11,000 hotel rooms subscribe to the plaintiff's goods and services in India. It is stated by the plaintiff that it has been successful in acquiring registration of its trade mark 'CNN' under the prescribed statutory laws in India. The various news brands of the plaintiff include nine cable and satellite news channels of which 'CNN Cable News Network Television Channel' is stated to have pioneered the concept of 24-hour television news and 'CNN Headlines News Television Channel' is stated to update 84 million households on the day's news every 15 minutes 24 hours each day. It owns and runs the 'CNN International' which is a global 24-hour news television network launched in the September of 1985.