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Bombay High Court Quashes Sakal Times’ FIR Against Newslaundry Journalist Accused Of Falsely Applying Its Trademark

The Bombay High Court quashed a First Information report lodged by Sakal Times against a Newslaundry journalist Prateek Chandragupt Goyal for using its trademark in his stories carried on the Newslaundry website. A Division Bench comprising Justices SS Shinde and Manish Pitale said, “Mere use of the registered trademark of the Sakal Media Group in articles authored by the petitioner and published by the news portal ‘Newslaundry’, do not fit into the definition of false application of the trade mark in relation to goods or services.” The case pertained to two articles written by Goyal for Newslaundry last year; ‘The future is bleak: Sakal Times staffers say they have been sacked in violation of Maharashtra order’ dated March 27, 2020 and ‘They wanted to get rid of us : over 50 people laid off as Sakal Times closes down’, dated June 11, 2020. Sakal Times alleged that the use of its trademark for the news stories amounted to a false application of a trademark, punishable under Section 103(b) of the Trademark Act. Goyal then moved the High Court seeking a quash on the FIR and proceedings instituted subsequent to its registration.

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