Living Media India Limited (‘Living Media’) filed a suit for seeking permanent injunction against Aabtak (‘Aabtak’) and other parties for infringement of trade marks, copyright, passing off, dilution, rendition of accounts, damages, etc.
Living Media is engaged in the business of news publication and printing of various magazines including India Today and Business Today. India Today and Business Today associated with Living Media run popular television news channels including ‘AAJ TAK’. Aaj tak uses its mark Aajtak as prefix or suffix in the news programs hosted on it –for e.g., ‘Agenda Aaj Tak’, ‘Sahitya Aaj Tak’, ‘Budget Aaj Tak’, ‘Panchayat Aaj Tak’. Living Media has also established a digital-first ecosystem with the suffix ‘TAK’ by using marks such as ‘Bharat Tak’, Astro Tak’, ‘Fit Tak’, ‘Mobile Tak’, ‘Kids Tak’, ‘Life Tak’, ‘Mumbai Tak’, ‘News Tak’, ‘Sports Tak’, ‘Food Tak’, ‘Duniya Tak’, ‘Crime Tak’ etc. Cause of action arose when Living Media realized that several unknown entities had started using the trademark “AAJ TAK” on various social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram without any authorization.
(Source: Judgement)
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Living Media approached the Delhi High Court and claimed that the unknown entities had uploaded multimedia videos using infringing marks derived from the mark “AAJ TAK” or use the suffix “TAK” as well as were using logo forms and devices similar to their marks. Against this, Aabtak argued that the term ‘Aaj Tak’ is a common phrase in the Hindi language and no one could claim exclusivity over it. Aabtak claimed that its use of the phrase ‘AAJ TAK’ cannot be called infringement because they had not blatantly copied the phrase ‘AAJ TAK’ which thus, did not amount to infringement.
Living Media, on the other hand, debated over the fact that the term ‘AAJ TAK’ is a well-established term and is now being recognized by millions of its users and subscribers.
After considering all the submissions put forth by both the parties, the Court was of the opinion that Living Media had made out a prima facie case in its favour and granted an ad-interim injunction against all the anonymous infringing parties to take down the infringing content and any mark which is similar to ‘AAJ TAK’ from their platforms or any videos for that matter within 36 working hours. The social media platforms were directed to take down any deceptively similar logo(s) pertaining to the words ‘AAJ’ or ‘TAK’ within 36 working hours. The matter is listed before the Joint Registrar on 27th May, 2022 and listed before the Court on 3rd August, 2022.


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