HT Media says Outlook Lounge is deceptive, confusing name

HT Media says Outlook Lounge is deceptive, confusing name

New Delhi: HT Media Ltd, publisher of Mint and its weekend magazine Lounge, has served a legal notice on the Outlook Group, publisher of magazines such as Outlook and Outlook Business, asking it to “cease and desist" from using the name Outlook Lounge for an airport magazine it launched in September with Delhi International Airport Ltd, the consortium that operates New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport.

Mint’s Saturday magazine, Mint Lounge, has been published every week since February 2007, when Mint was launched.

The notice, sent on behalf of HT Media by law firm Saikrishna and Associates,alleges that Outlook Lounge was a “deceptively similar mark".

“Besides…the contents and material of your magazine/publication is similar to our client’s magazine/publication Mint Lounge," the notice said.

Announcing Outlook Lounge, the Outlook group said the magazine would cover travel, gizmos, trends, lifestyle, entertainment, health advice, as well as reviews on movies, music and books, topics that Mint’s Lounge is also focused on.

As part of its distribution strategy, HT Media had made Mint and Mint Lounge available at most major airports since its launch.

The paper distributes about 120,000 copies Monday through Saturday in five major cities—New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune and Chandigarh.

Outlook Lounge is available for free at the departure terminals of the New Delhi airport.

“Lounge is a generic name. No one can own that," said Outlook Group president Maheshwar Peri. “If that was the case, we own the titles Money, Business, Traveller and Profit and we will stop any media house from using these titles as a suffix or prefix. HT owns Mint Lounge and we own Outlook Lounge. My lawyers are responding to the legal notice," he added.

HT’s notice, however, makes a different claim—that the use of similar titles in the same line of business would create confusion in the minds of the readers.

“You, being in the similar business as that of our client’s, ought to be aware that our mark Mint Lounge is known well and has reputation among the public at large and any use of a deceptively similar mark for the same purpose by you would definitely deceive and/or cause confusion in the minds of the public at large," the notice dated 16 September, said.

Lawyer Nitin Sharma, who represents HT on behalf of Saikrishna, said he hasn’t yet received a response from the Outlook Group.