Does Amitabh Bachchan own the name ‘Vijay’?

PALINI R. SWAMY writes from Bangalore: A first-generation newspaper promoter launches a newspaper with his first name as part of the title. After a few years, he sells the now well-established newspaper to a well-established newspaper group. The new owners (neither of whom share the original promoter’s surname) continue to publish the newspaper in its original name.

Now, if the original promoter buys up the title of another existing newspaper, which coincidentally also has his first name as part of its title, and decides to compete with his first newspaper in the same markets, is he banking on the saleability of his name—or indulging in trademark infringement?


Well, that’s the sum and substance of a controversy that has broken out in Bangalore between The Times of India group of Samir Jain and Vineet Jain, and VRL Media owned by the truck operator Vijay Sankeshwar.

Thirteen years ago, Sankeshwar lauched the multi-edition Vijaya Karnataka, which soon became market leader. In 2006, he sold the daily and associated properties to The Times of India group. After the lapse of the five-year no-compete clause, Sankeshwar announced plans to launch a new daily.

He zeroed in on the title Vijaya Vani for his new project.

But The Times group is not amused. In fact, it has apparently issued a legal notice to VRL Media and the matter has landed in the courts in Bangalore. The Times group’s legal notice comes on the eve of Vijaya Vani‘s promise launch on Sunday, April 1.

Vishweshwar Bhat, the former editor of Vijaya Karnataka who now edits Kannada Prabha, points out on his blog:

“If the use of a name like “Vijay” is the cause of the strife, surely Samyukta Karnataka could have objected whenVijaya Karnataka was launched because the word Karnataka was in it? And surely, Praja Vani and Udaya Vani too could take objection to the title Vijaya Vani because the word Vani is in it?”

That’s problem no.1 in The Times argument. Problem no.2 is Vijaya Vani is a title that had been peacefully coming out for a small town called Tumkur, on the outskirts of Bangalore, till Vijaya Sankeshwar purchased it. So, if ToI had no problem with that title for six years, why does it have one now?

Problem no. 3: those who have seen dummy editions of the new (relaunched?) Vijaya Vani  say it will have a picture of the owner, Vijay Sankeshwar, alongside the masthead for a few months. Can either the courts or the registrar of newspapers deny a owner to name a paper after himself?

And who has forgotten the launch of Financial Times by The Times group 20 yers ago that has stymied the launch of the original FT for the last 20 years?

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12 Responses to “Does Amitabh Bachchan own the name ‘Vijay’?”

  1. Kumar Says:

    So, where does Amitab Bachchan come here!?

  2. AlanJ Says:

    Microsoft sued Lindows becoz it sounded like Windows.

  3. Kashinath Says:

    V.Bhat and team, VK bitmele, its circulation went down. Somehow Raghavan tried to maintain circulations, but now VK lost Raghavan too. If Vijayasakeshwar starts Vijaya vani, times group jains have to do tithi of Vijaya karnataka.

  4. chanakya Says:

    V Sankeshwar is nothing but a opportunist. He will not differentiate between a lorry driver and a journalist. He made a handsome profit by selling Vijay Times and Vijaya Karnataka to Times group in 2007. He did not bothered on employees who lost the job later. Owning a journal is nothing but hunger for power and trying to gain some grip on the government.
    Question is; to whom Sankeshwar will sell Vijayavani later?

  5. vshivapura Says:

    A businessman is always an opportunist…after all they don’t do business for charity :-)
    Most of the business houses dont care for their employees….that happens even in software companies as well….
    And moreover opening a newspaper and making it successful in an already crowded market is no joke…
    i am very happy that this newspaper is being launched by a kannidaga…bcos most of the news channels are controlled by other state people and we are forcefully fed with the news of other state film industries etc….in this case at least we would have our own newspaper to rely upon…

  6. Ashutosh Says:

    Vijay Karnataka people don’t have a policy for their journalism, they don’t have journalistic ethics. their money speaks. They don’t have editorial freedom also for journalists. But, Prajavani people have clear policy. that is the only people oriented news paper till date.

  7. vindy Says:

    @Kumar … are u serious with such a question …

  8. punda Says:

    @ Kumar, your GK is quite poor! Amitabh’s common (most movies) screen name is Vijay. google before you post any silly Q!

  9. Doddi Buddi Says:

    I am sure TOI Group’s claims will be thrown out by the Court. Welcome Vijaya Vani

  10. Nastika Says:

    @chanakya, yes he will sell. Times group don’t want to pay *twice* for the same stuff. So they are suing ;)


  11. Prasad Says:

    If Vijay sankeshwar has purchased Vijayavani from People who were running Vijayavani from Tumkur, then I guess there will not be any problem as Vijayavani is a very old newspaper[more than 30 year old ] in Tumkur. Vijayavani existed much before Vijayakarnataka was started. This Newspaper was owned and edited by Freedom fighter and Gandhian Late GunduRao. Later circulation dropped and also it couldn’t handle competition from other very good Tumkur daily, Praja Pragathi.

  12. Vivek Says:

    What ever all of you comment is kept aside,Vijayasankeswar openly says lies for example he darely announced that he will start one more Kannada paper from Nov 2012 & appointed many people from Times group & after 2 – 3 months he suddenly threw out all the people & dropped the plans .Even same in Circulation also he assured many things but now all that is a mere fake dont know how people working in his company joyfully

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