Post Trai Tariff Regime, Troubles Rack up for DD Free Dish in Legal Row with Dish TV

DD Free Dish ran into legal trouble with Dish TV which accused the public DTH provider of infringing on its trademark

By July 17th, 2019 AT 4:23 PM
Highlights
  • The Delhi HC bench headed by Justice Sahay Endlaw agreed with the plaintiff's arguments
  • Now Prasar Bharti has three months to convey the new name of DD Free Dish

DD Free Dish had made a lot of headlines in the past few weeks because of all the negative reasons, and it was also in the news during the implementation of the new Trai tariff regime. However, now the troubles are different for DD Free Dish as it was bound in a legal battle with the popular private DTH service operator, Dish TV in Delhi High Court. And, now the Delhi HC has granted an injunction to Dish TV against Prasar Bharti. The legal spat was regarding the name of the two platforms, where Dish TV alleged that Prasar Bharti should not use “Dish” for its free DTH platform. In conclusion, as per the Delhi HC order, Prasar Bharti has now been banned from using the word “Dish” for its DD Free Dish platform and has been given three months to inform the subscribers about a new name.

Dish TV Wins Legal Battle Against Prasar Bharti in Delhi HC

The plaintiff that is Dish TV had filed the suit for permanent injunction restraining the defendant from infringing the trademark “Dish TV”. Dish TV stated that the defendant, i.e. Prasar Bharti, was passing along its services as of Dish TV and was using the name or mark “Free Dish” as ancillary relief. Dish TV’s legal counsel then argued that the plaintiff first appropriated the word “Dish” and it continues to remain a significant component of its trademark. The defendant was accused by Dish TV of using a similar Dish logo along with the phrase which is also central to the Dish TV logo.

To this argument, the defendant refuted and said that no one could claim the exclusive right to the Dish logo. However, the court was not in agreement with the statement made by the defendant and said that the word “Dish” was not generic to DTH services.

Prasar Bharti Now Forced to Change Name of DD Free Dish Service

The court order on the legal proceeding said, “As far as the contention of the counsel for the defendant regarding public interest is concerned, it cannot be lost sight of that the defendant after ten years changed the name of its service from DD Direct+ to DD Free Dish. It is not the case of the defendant that in doing so, any such consequence followed. The defendant has also not disclosed the need for such change. There is no reason for the defendant to now, upon being asked to make the change instead of affecting the same voluntarily, suspect any such harm to the public. Moreover, the said aspect can be taken care of by providing sufficient time to the defendant to make its customers/subscribers aware of the change including on its own telecast,”

The hearing was headed by the single Justice bench of Justice Sahay Endlaw. Now DD Free Dish has been given the time of three months to decide on a new name and convey to the subscribers so that there is no confusion.

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Arpit spends his day closely following the telecom and tech industry. A music connoisseur and a night owl, he also takes a deep interest in the Indian technology start-up scene and spends rest of his time spilling poetry and stories on paper.

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