"7. The defendant filed a reply to the temporary injunction application, refuting the plaint allegations. It was also urged that the two marks were dissimilar and that the plaintiff could not claim exclusivity over the word TODAY. It was submitted that the plaintiff does not have a news channel using the mark INDIA TODAY. Other pleas such as the composite nature of the plaintiff's mark and how the viewers would not be confused or deceived by mere use of the word TODAY were taken."
18. There is no dispute about the fact that the plaintiff has been in the news magazine publication business for over four decades; if it asserts that it has acquired a strong reputation for the title INDIA TODAY, which is its registered trademark, the Court would be correct in assuming it to be so. However, does that per se - along with sales figures and other financial details testifying to various brands and trademarks owned by the plaintiff, crystallize into a right to prevent others from using a common word, "TODAY" in respect of television news channel services. It is here that the matter requires a slightly closer scrutiny. The word TODAY is a common term and a dictionary one. Used in a non-contemporary sense, i.e without reference to time and as a mark, it could well be urged that it constitutes an arbitrary mark. However, its link with news is unmistakable. In this context, what acquires distinctiveness is the combination India Today.
19. The law demands closer scrutiny, when it comes to the use of common words (such as TODAY), that are descriptive (or semi-descriptive) of the services or goods offered by the service provider or trader. This reluctance was best described in Re J Crosfield & Sons Ltd "Wealthy traders are habitually eager to enclose part of the great common of the English language and to exclude the general public of the present day and of the future from access to the inclosure.”...20. In India too, it has been recognized that trademark use of generic or descriptive words have to be closely scrutinized before claims of injury are allowed. The Supreme Court ruling in Skyline Education Institute (India) Ltd v S.L. Vaswani declined to grant injunction to the plaintiff, who carried on business under the trademark "Skyline". The Court noted that a large number of other businesses had used the term "Skyline" for the same business activity, i.e educational services.