HC enjoins Voice of Asia from using ‘Varnam TV’ trademark

Tuesday, 19 February 2019 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By S.S. Selvanayagam

The Colombo High Court issued an Enjoining Order against Voice of Asia Networks Ltd., preventing it from using the trademark ‘Varnam TV,’ confusing similar to the said trademark in respect of television or radio broadcasting or online transmission or video broadcasting.   

Alliance Media Company Ltd. initiated Intellectual Property litigation against Voice of Asia Networks Ltd., citing Director General of National Intellectual Property Office as well as Defendant.

The matter was supported on 24 January before High Court Judge Mahanil Prasantha de Silva who issued the Enjoining Order.

Manoj Bandara with Thidas Herath Maduvalthanne and Thiyagaraj Rushani instructed by Sudath Perera Associates appeared for the Plaintiff.       

On 7 February, the court extended the Enjoining Order till 5 May.      

The Plaintiff is a member of a group of companies known as the Pyramid Group of Companies which has its subsidiaries and affiliated companies in several countries in Asia including India, Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates.

The key business of the Pyramid Group of Companies is the acquisition of Tamil content which includes acquiring movies and music copyrights as well as involving in production and distribution of Tamil movies, music and other contents around the world, the Plaintiff states.It claims the Pyramid Group of Companies are the economic right holders of a large number of  commercially-successful Kollywood movies including award winning films such as ‘Nayagan,’ ‘Mouna Ragam’ and ‘Muthal Mariyathai’ and also a large collections of movies featuring Rajanikanth, Kamalahasan, Manirathnam, Bharathiraja, A.R. Rahman and Illayaraja.  The Plaintiff pleads the trademark and trade name ‘Varnam TV’ was originally created by it and the word ‘Varnam’ means colours in Tamil and has similar meaning and phonics in Sinhala and Malay.