Saturday 24 September 2016

Judge clears use of ‘The Times Irish Edition’ by UK paper

Judge clears use of 'The Times Irish Edition' by UK paper

Tim Healy

Published 28/07/2015 | 02:30

'The Times' has been sold in Ireland since 1785 and the 'Irish Times' since 1859
'The Times' has been sold in Ireland since 1785 and the 'Irish Times' since 1859

The 'Irish Times' has failed to get injunctions restraining the London 'Times' using the words "The Times Irish Edition" in promoting a new digital Irish edition of the UK newspaper.

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The Irish Times Ltd (TITL) had sought the injunctions, pending the outcome of a full hearing, arising from the planned launch of the new digital publication, to be sold as part of a subscription package with the 'Sunday Times'.

The Irish paper sought an order restraining Times Newspapers Ltd (TNL) promoting the digital publication using the words "The Times Irish Edition" or any other title confusingly similar to the 'Irish Times'.

In opposing the application, TNL, publisher of 'The Times', denied the use of the words "The Times Irish Edition" runs the risk of creating confusion with the 'Irish Times'. It also denied TITL had any case for infringement of its trademarks.

Mr Justice John Hedigan ruled in the High Court the injunctions should be refused on grounds of delay in seeking them.

The background to the application was "unusual" as 'The Times' has been sold in Ireland since 1785 and the 'Irish Times' since 1859.

Since the 1980s, an Irish edition of the 'Sunday Times' had also been on sale in Ireland.

The 'Irish Times' and London 'Times' have co-existed peacefully for some 150 years, he noted.

He was satisfied on the evidence the London 'Times' decision to launch an Irish edition was "common knowledge" since September 2014. In light of the coexistence of both publications for so long, the judge said he could understand there may have been some confusion about what to do.

However, the evidence was the defendants had made elaborate, complex and costly preparation for the launch to which they had made a very substantial commitment.

Richard Oakley, editor of the Irish edition of 'The Times', afterwards welcomed the decision.

Irish Independent

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