Trademark victory for Punjabi paper

The world’s biggest-selling Punjabi language newspaper has triumphed
in a trademarks battle with the publisher of a free weekly title in the
UK with a similar name and near-identical logo.

Sadhu Singh
Hamdard Trust, publishers of the Ajit newspaper, won a ruling declaring
invalid a rival’s trademark registration for their newspaper Ajit
Weekly , featuring an identical stylised version of the word Ajit,
which means “invincible”.

A trademarks judge has ruled that Ajit
Newspaper Advertising, Marketing and Communications Inc, which
publishes its free newspaper in the UK, Canada and the USA, and its
editor-inchief, Dr Darshan Bains, had acted in “bad faith” when it
registered its title as a trademark in the UK in 2001.

The judge
said: “The actions of Dr Bains in seeking to register the mark in suit
amounted to reckless disregard as to the obvious confusion, deception
and detriment which would result.

“The application for invalidation is successful because the registered proprietor filed the application in bad faith.”

The
publishers of the Ajit Weekly , which launched in the UK in April 2003,
argued that “Ajit” was a common forename among Sikhs, and that its
title was named after the warrior Ajit Singh, not copied from a rival
newspaper.

The Ajit newspaper, published from Jalandhar in India,
sells approximately 300,000 copies each day and claims a worldwide
readership of 2.5 million, including people in the UK.

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