On 27 July 2015, the Irish Times lost a bid to stop Times Newspapers Limited, the publisher of “The Times” (commonly known as the London Times in Ireland), from publishing a digital version of “The Times” under the name “The Times Irish Edition”.
The Irish Times was seeking to restrain the publication of the digital edition using the name “The Times Irish Edition” and other names confusingly similar to The Irish Times until the main hearing of the proceedings. It alleged that the launch of “The Times Irish Edition” amounted to trade mark infringement and passing off. Times Newspapers Limited contended that there had been unreasonable delay in bringing the injunction application as it was common knowledge that it intended to launch a digital edition for some months.
Evidence was adduced that senior members of staff within the Irish Times knew of the intended launch for a number of months prior to the injunction application. The Court was satisfied that the launch was common knowledge in journalistic circles and ruled that the injunction should be refused on grounds of delay.
Due to the delay in seeking the injunction, it was not necessary to consider whether or not the Irish Times had an arguable case, the adequacy of damages or where the balance of convenience lay. The matter will now proceed to a full hearing.
The Irish edition of the Times digital newspaper launched on 7 September 2015.
Contributed by Charleen O’Keeffe.