Tuesday 25 October 2016

Newspaper publisher won't call new daily 'Times Ireland', court told

Ray Managh

Published 28/05/2015 | 02:30

News Corporation Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch
News Corporation Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch

UK publisher Times Newspapers Ltd told the High Court yesterday that it will not use the title "The Times Ireland" for a new online newspaper it plans to launch in June.

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'The Irish Times' had objected to the alleged intended use by the UK group of the title "The Times Ireland" for a new online newspaper.

Both parties today told Mr Justice Raymond Fulham that the proceedings could be struck out on a number of undertakings by Times Newspapers Ltd, part of the Rupert Murdoch-led News Corp Group, not to use the title "The Times Ireland" or domain names www.thetimesireland.ie, www.timesireland.ie, using the description The Times Ireland on Twitter accounts or using the "T" logo on its twitter account or any other logo confusingly similar to the "IT" logo.

The undertaking to the court from Times Newspaper Ltd stated:

1. "The Defendant will not use in any manner whatsoever the name or title The Times Ireland or Times Ireland in respect of a newspaper or on-line newspaper;

2. The Defendant will not utilise the domain names www.thetimesireland.ie and www.timesireland.ie; and

3. The Defendant will not use the descriptions The Times Ireland or Times Ireland in connection with the Twitter accounts @The TimesIRL or @roakleyIRL or any other Twitter accounts."

Barrister Jonathan Newman, for The Irish Times Ltd, had initially told the court that the Irish-based newspaper had brought the proceedings because "the potential for confusion is enormous" and the proposed use of the name The Times Ireland was "a very serious violation" of its copyright.

Mr Newman had said during last week's ex parte application to put the UK publisher on notice of its intentions to block any infringement of copyright and breach of The Irish Times trade mark, that The Irish Times Ltd believed the UK publisher was due to start publishing its online paper imminently.

The court had heard that the new publication is a digital edition of 'The Times' due to be part of a seven-day subscription package with 'The Sunday Time's.

The Irish Times Ltd had sought several orders, including to prevent the UK publisher using the name or title The Times Ireland or any name similar to 'The Irish Times'.

The Irish Times also sought orders prohibiting the UK publisher using specific domain names or logos that might be confused with the "IT" logo.

Mr Newman told the court that The Irish Times Ltd was aware for some months of the UK publisher's intention to publish an Irish edition e-paper and had no issue with that but did have a complaint about the use of allegedly confusing titles.

He said The Irish Times Ltd had only become aware within recent days, following posts on social media, that Times Newspapers Ltd's proposed publication would be called "The Times Ireland".

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