Friday 19 January 2018

London Times newspaper says it's entitled to use 'Times' to promote Irish edition

Irish Times
Irish Times

Tim Healy

THE London Times is legally entitled to use the words “Times” and “Irish Edition” in promoting a new digital Irish edition of the UK newspaper, it was claimed in the Commercial Court.

Times Newspaper Ltd (TNL), publisher of The Times, denies the use of the words “The Times Irish Edition” runs the risk of creating confusion with The Irish Times.

The UK publisher also argues the Irish newspaper has no arguable case for infringement of its trademarks.

The reason The Times wants to use the words “Irish edition” is because it wants to tell potential customers what its product is, Brian Murray SC, forTNL, said.

It is necessary for consumers to understand this is a newspaper dedicated towards the Irish market and focused on Irish news, he added.

The Times’ new product is subscription only and, without a subscription, it will not be possible to read a complete article, counsel said.

It could not be said any customer could go through that subscription process in the mistaken belief they were subscribing to the Irish Times, he argued.

The Irish Times’ legal proceedings were launched to cause maximum damage to the defendant’s launch and there was no arguable case to be made his client was engaged in “passing off” its brand, counsel submitted.

While the Irish Times was invoking its goodwill, it had not specified exactly what element of its goodwill would be damaged by a newspaper called The Times selling Irish news and calling itself an Irish edition, he argued.

Counsel was making submissions opposing an application by The Irish Times Ltd for 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 Times says it is entitled to protect its brand among everybody who knows it and not just those who buy it now.

The hearing continues.

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