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Dish, Big TV wrestle over trademark
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#1
New Delhi: It’s not a fight for subscribers alone; the intense rivalry in the direct-to-home (DTH) space has now spilled over to the trade mark arena. Subhash Chandra’s DTH arm Dish TV has objected to Anil Ambani’s Reliance-ADAG applying for trademark registration of its DTH service (Big TV) as “Big Dish TV” and “Reliance Dish TV”.

According to sources, recently ADAG applied for the registration of “Big Dish TV” to the office of the trade mark registry in Mumbai. To this, Dish TV has made a strong objection, stating that such a move clearly establishes the mala fide intention of Reliance ADAG.

In 2006, too, ADAG had applied to the registrar of trade marks for registering “Reliance Dish TV” as its trademark on ‘proposed-to-be-used basis’, but it did not use it then. This time, Reliance wants to use “Big Dish TV” in its communications and therefore has applied for trademark registrations, ADAG sources said.

When contacted, a senior executive of Dish TV said: “We feel Reliance filed the application only to derive benefit out of the “Dish TV” mark, which is a well established DTH brand and is being identified as the largest DTH operator in India. We oppose the move”.

An email query sent to Reliance Big TV did not elicit a response. When contacted, a senior executive of the group declined to comment on the matter. However, company sources have confirmed that the group had indeed applied for registering variants of its brand name to the concerned authorities.

<img style="float:left; margin: 0px 10px 0px 0px;" src="http://static.expressindia.com/expressindia/newpic/game.jpg" />Experts believe this may have to do with the low sales numbers of Big TV DTH services in the country.

An executive of a large electronics store that also sells DTH services confirmed that Big TV gets far less sales enquiry from the customers compared to others like Dish TV, Tata Sky, Airtel Digital TV and Sun Direct, among others. “We have shared this feedback with Big TV,” the executive said requesting anonymity.

Dish TV’s objection to the Reliance move came after ADAG recently advertised “Big Dish TV” in the trademark journal for registration purposes. Dish TV maintains that it has been using the name “Dish TV” from 2003 after obtaining necessary approvals.

In its plea to the office of the trade marks registry, Dish TV has maintained that Reliance Blue Magic operates its DTH services under the brand name Big TV. “The act of applying for registration of “Big Dish TV” and “Reliance Dish TV” by Reliance is only with the intention to confuse the public and to take the benefit of the established “Dish TV” brand...therefore it deserves to be rejected.”

Dish TV lawyers have cited the various provisions of the Trade Marks Act, 1999 to submit that the Reliance application should be rejected.

The DTH industry is among the fastest growing in the media and entertainment space, with over 22 million subscribers between six private DTH operators. Currently, Dish TV is the largest DTH operator with over 6.5 million subscribers, followed by Sun Direct, Tata Sky, and Airtel Digital TV. According to industry estimates, average Big TV sales numbers are comparatively among the lowest in the space on a monthly basis.

Source: The Financial Express

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#2
Identical names might not be clear in the customers eye. As per Brand Name guidelines its established names should not coincide with the name of other brands.
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